by David P. Greisman
Hall of Famer. Gold medalist. Four-division titleholder and two-division champion. Pernell Whitaker is all of these things — and struggling financially so badly that he is evicting his 73-year-old mother from a house that he bought for her three decades ago so that he may sell it.
That’s according to a report from Virginia television station WVEC.
There is context to the story: Whitaker says there are real estate tax bills mounting on the property and that the house could be foreclosed on. He doesn’t have the money to pay the bills, however, not without selling the house. As the WVEC report noted, Whitaker had a history of drug and legal problems, and he’s not getting much work as a boxing trainer.
Whitaker’s mother has been ordered by a judge to be out of the house by the end of March.
“I’m going to survive,” Whitaker’s mother, Novella, told a reporter. “I’m going with my daughter, my oldest daughter. She’s taking me in.”
In addition, one of Novella’s grandsons, who played for three seasons in the NFL, says she will be taken care of, the article said.
Whitaker, who is 50 years old, captured Olympic gold in 1984 and last fought as a pro in 2001. He won belts at 135, 140, 147 and 154, and was the lineal champion at lightweight and welterweight. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2007.
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