Court rules boxing champ's mother must leave her home

Feb. 28, 2014 at 11:33 AM
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NORFOLK, Va., Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Former boxing champ Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker says his court victory to evict his mother from her Virginia home is a "beautiful moment."

Whitaker began legal action against his 73-year-old mother, Novella Walker, last fall, saying he could no longer afford to maintain the house, ABC News reported Thursday.

A 1985 Olympic gold medalist and former welterweight champ, Whitaker gave the home to his mother 30 years ago, but left the title in his name, ABC said. Since then, the once-wealthy boxer has lost millions of dollars to drug abuse and encounters with the police.

"It's sad for him to have to take action against his mother," said Whitaker's attorney, Bruce Gould, "but none of the family would contribute to the real estate and he had no alternative but to use the court process."

Gould said his client was not happy he had to evict his mother. Whitaker described the ruling "a beautiful moment."

Whitaker will sell the house, which has about $150,000 in equity, to recover $15,000 in overdue taxes he paid while his mother and two siblings lived there.

"I'm a survivor," Novella Whitaker said. "I'm going with my daughter. She is taking me in."

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