||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2013)|
Tim Witherspoon (left) in 2008 in Apperknowle
|Real name||Tim Witherspoon|
|Height||6 ft 3 1⁄2 in (1.92 m)|
|Reach||78 in (198 cm)|
December 27, 1957 |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
|Wins by KO||38|
Tim Witherspoon (born December 27, 1957) is a retired American boxer who for two brief periods in the mid-1980s held the WBC then WBA World Heavyweight Championship titles.
Witherspoon had eight and a half amateur bouts, losing one to Marvis Frazier on decision after getting knocked down.
Making his professional debut with a first-round TKO over Joe Adams on October 30, 1979, Witherspoon quickly rose through the ranks. In 1981, he participated in his first high profile fight, knocking out future world cruiserweight champion Alfonzo Ratliff, after which he was signed by an impressed Don King. Witherspoon was a sparring partner of Ali as he was training to fight Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick. Ali also gave Witherspoon his ring alias of "Terrible" Tim Witherspoon.
In 1982, he was matched with Renaldo Snipes, who had just given champion Larry Holmes a stiff challenge (and knocked Holmes down), and outpointed him over 10 rounds, setting up his own challenge to Holmes.
On May 20, 1983, Witherspoon would have his first attempt at earning a world title by taking on the recognized top man in the division World Boxing Council champion Larry Holmes at the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas. Witherspoon, a relative unknown, utilized his awkward style and natural physical strength and fought valiantly. However, he lost the fight by a split decision.
However Witherspoon had caused a stir with his showing and the expectations of a potentially glorious career would color what he eventually did accomplish. He returned later in the year to outpoint Floyd "Jumbo" Cummings, who had drawn with Joe Frazier in Smokin Joe's last fight, and win the NABF title impressively with a first round knockout of James "Quick" Tillis.
First Title Reign
In December 1983, Holmes relinquished his WBC title rather than defend against Greg Page (boxer), and chose to accept that of the newly formed IBF (International Boxing Federation).
Witherspoon was matched with Page for the vacant title on March 9, 1984. Page, in constant war with promoter Don King, turned up overweight and was outpointed in a close, mauling fight.
Witherspoon's reign as champion would not be long however, as soon he himself was in constant war with King, and on August 31 of that year he was outpointed by Pinklon Thomas via majority decision.
Second Title Reign
In 1985 Witherspoon regained his NABF belt by beating James Broad in two rounds, and retaining it with a twelve round decision over James "Bonecrusher" Smith, earning a match against reigning WBA (World Boxing Association) champion Tony Tubbs on January 17, 1986. Witherspoon won a majority decision over 15 rounds (144–143, 143–143, 144–141) over Tubbs to take the title.
Witherspoon's second reign as a Heavyweight champion saw him travel to London, England and defend his title against Frank Bruno in front of 60,000 fans. Witherspoon came from behind to stop Bruno in the 11th, retaining his title. After the fight, Bruno received one million pounds sterling from his promoters. Witherspoon, due the same amount, received less than $100,000 after Don King's creative accounting and deductions.
Witherspoon was supposed to fight a rematch against Tubbs next, but due to Tubbs pulling out of the fight he ended up facing Bonecrusher Smith in a rematch of their 1985 fight. Witherspoon came into the fight as a favorite but Smith came out aggressively against the champion. Witherspoon was felled three times in the span of 2:16 and the fight was stopped with Smith winning by TKO in what was considered by some (including HBO's Larry Merchant at ringside) as a monumental upset.
Post championship career
Following the end his second title reign, Witherspoon spent years warring with Don King in court. Avoided by numerous big name fighters, Witherspoon would fight scarcely, in varying shape and form. In 1991 won the USBA heavyweight title by defeating fellow contender Carl "The Truth" Williams but lost a points decision to journeyman Everett Martin.
In 1993 Don King settled out of court and paid Witherspoon a million dollars. By 1994 a new and in-shape Witherspoon was back, winning five fights in a row by knockout. Aged 38 he was inked by HBO and matched in high-profile fights with cruiserweight champion Al Cole and the Cuban amateur Jorge Luis Gonzales, both of whom he defeated comprehensively. Later in the year he was matched with Ray Mercer but lost a disputed 10-round decision.
After that loss Witherspoon laid off a year, and when he came back he was outpointed convincingly by the slick Larry Donald on HBO, and, in 1998, lost a close decision when outworked by New Zealander Jimmy Thunder before travelling to Poland to be outpointed by Andrew Golota.
The 43 year old Witherspoon resurfaced in 2001, knocking out the prospect David Bostice in one round, outpointing Cuban southpaw contender Eliecer Castillo and Syrian Ahmed Abdin, before his revival was ended by hard hitting heavyweight Lou Savarese who stopped him in five rounds.
Witherspoon also competed in Cedric Kushner's 2003 Thunderbox Heavyweight Tournament, "Fistful of Dollars," but at 45 looked his age and lost in the opening stages.
Tim now resides in an area around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he trains boxers, including his son, lightweight Tim Witherspoon Jr and many others. He has also trained Light Heavyweight champion Clinton Woods in the U.K.
In 2014 Tim witherspoon will be publishing his book with the help of British entrepreneur Kevin Baker and ghost writer Ryan Danes.
Professional boxing record
|55 Wins (38 knockouts, 17 decisions), 13 Losses (4 knockouts, 9 decisions), 1 Draw |
|Loss||55–13–1||Brian Nix||SD||10||15/03/2003||Grand Casino Pavilion, Gulfport, Mississippi, United States|
|Loss||55–12–1||Lou Savarese||TKO||5 (12)||22/09/2002||Table Mountain Casino, Friant, California, United States||For vacant WBO Inter-Continental Heavyweight title.|
|Win||55–11–1||Ahmed Abdin||UD||10||18/05/2002||Silver Star Casino, Choctaw, Mississippi, United States|
|Win||54–11–1||Darroll Wilson||KO||2 (10)||10/03/2002||Green Valley Ranch resort, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||53–11–1||Ed White||TKO||1 (?)||18/01/2002||Sports Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States|
|Win||52–11–1||Cleveland Woods||KO||1 (10)||29/07/2001||Palace Indian Gaming Center, Lemoore, California, United States|
|Loss||51–11–1||Monte Barrett||SD||10||28/06/2001||Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona, New York, United States|
|Win||51–10–1||Danny Wofford||TKO||3 (10)||13/04/2001||Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia, United States|
|Win||50–10–1||Elieser Castillo||MD||10||31/03/2001||Bally's Atlantic City Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||49–10–1||David Bostice||TKO||1 (10)||22/02/2001||Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||48–10–1||David Smith||TKO||2 (10)||08/07/2000||Monroe, Louisiana, United States|
|Draw||47–10–1||Mike Sedillo||PTS||12||29/04/2000||St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda||For NBA Heavyweight Title.|
|Win||47–10||Joe Ballard||KO||1 (?)||25/02/2000||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Loss||46–10||Greg Page||RTD||7 (10)||18/06/1999||Crown Coliseum, Fayetteville, North Carolina, United States|
|Loss||46–9||Brian Nielsen||TKO||4 (10)||16/04/1999||K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark|
|Loss||46–8||Andrew Golota||UD||10||02/10/1998||Hala Ludowa, Wroclaw, Poland|
|Loss||46–7||Jimmy Thunder||UD||10||07/04/1998||Harrahs Casino, Cherokee, North Carolina, United States|
|Loss||46–6||Larry Donald||UD||12||13/12/1997||Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut, United States||For WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight title.|
|Win||46–5||Levi Billups||TKO||1 (10)||04/11/1997||Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi, United States||Billups down twice during the bout.|
|Loss||45–5||Ray Mercer||UD||10||14/12/1996||Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||45–4||Jorge Luis Gonzalez||TKO||5 (10)||10/05/1996||Madison Square Garden, New York City, United States|
|Win||44–4||Alfred Cole||UD||10||12/01/1996||Madison Square Garden, New York City, United States|
|Win||43–4||Tim Puller||TKO||2 (10)||14/11/1995||Casino Magic, Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, United States|
|Win||42–4||Everton Davis||TKO||7 (10)||31/10/1995||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|Win||41–4||Jesse Shelby||TKO||1 (?)||24/03/1995||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||40–4||Nathaniel Fitch||TKO||6 (10)||17/14/1994||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||39–4||Sherman Griffin||TKO||3 (10)||12/08/1994||South Padre Island, Texas, United States|
|Win||38–4||Tony Willis||UD||10||25/08/1992||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Loss||37–4||Everett Martin||SD||10||21/07/1992||The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States|
|Win||37–3||James Pritchard||UD||10||23/03/1992||Harrah's Marina Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||36–3||Jimmy Lee Smith||KO||1 (10)||04/02/1992||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||35–3||Art Tucker||TKO||3 (12)||10/09/1991||The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||Retained USBA Heavyweight title.|
|Win||34–3||Carl Williams||SD||12||08/03/1991||The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||Won USBA Heavyweight title.|
|Win||33–3||Jose Ribalta||MD||10||19/07/1990||Kingdome, Seattle, Washington, United States|
|Win||32–3||Greg Gorrell||TKO||3 (12)||12/03/1990||Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta, Indonesia|
|Win||31–3||Jeff Sims||RTD||5 (10)||11/01/1990||Trump Plaza Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||30–3||Anders Eklund||KO||1 (10)||19/10/1989||Trump Plaza Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||29–3||Larry Alexander||SD||10||27/01/1989||Bally's Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||28–3||Mauricio Villegas||TKO||9 (10)||17/02/1988||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||27–3||Mike Williams||SD||10||14/10/1987||Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||26–3||Mark Wills||TKO||1 (10)||04/08/1987||Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Witherspoon swarms all over Wills who fails to punch back and is stopped on his feet.|
|Loss||25–3||James Smith||TKO||1 (15)||12/12/1986||Madison Square Garden, New York City, United States||Lost WBA World Heavyweight title.|
|Win||25–2||Frank Bruno||KO||11 (12)||19/07/1986||Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom||Retained WBA World Heavyweight title.|
|Win||24–2||Tony Tubbs||MD||15||17/01/1986||The Omni, Atlanta, Georgia, United States||Won WBA World Heavyweight title.|
|Win||23–2||Sammy Scaff||TKO||4 (10)||12/10/1985||National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||22–2||Larry Beilfuss||TKO||1 (10)||06/09/1985||Tamiani Fairgrounds Auditorium, Miami, Florida, United States||Beilfuss down twice during the bout.|
|Win||21–2||James Smith||UD||12||15/06/1985||Riviera Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Retained NABF Heavyweight title.|
|Win||20–2||James Broad||KO||2 (12)||29/04/1985||Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, New York, United States||Retained NABF Heavyweight title.|
|Win||19–2||Mark Wills||KO||9 (10)||25/03/1985||Forum, Inglewood, California, United States|
|Loss||18–2||Pinklon Thomas||MD||12||31/08/1984||Riviera Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Lost WBC Heavyweight title.|
|Win||18–1||Greg Page||MD||12||09/03/1984||Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Won vacant WBC Heavyweight title.|
|Win||17–1||James Tillis||TKO||1 (12)||23/09/1983||Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio, United States||Won vacant NABF Heavyweight title. Title had been vacated by Michael Dokes when he won the WBA title.|
|Win||16–1||Floyd Cummings||UD||10||16/07/1983||Dunes Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Cummings was down in the second round.|
|Loss||15–1||Larry Holmes||SD||12||20/05/1983||Dunes Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||For WBC Heavyweight title.|
|Win||15–0||Renaldo Snipes||MD||10||05/06/1982||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||14–0||Luis Acosta||KO||2 (8)||30/03/1982||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||13–0||Alfonzo Ratliff||TKO||7 (10)||05/12/1981||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||12–0||Curtis Gaskins||TKO||2 (?)||17/11/1981||Playboy Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||11–0||Jerry Williams||TKO||8 (10)||30/07/1981||Martin Luther King Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||10–0||Jerry Williams||KO||4 (10)||17/06/1981||Martin Luther King Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||9–0||Dave Johnson||UD||8||11/04/1981||Concord Hotel, Kiamesha Lake, New York, United States|
|Win||8–0||Marvin Stinson||PTS||10||07/02/1981||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||7–0||Ed Bednarik||PTS||10||24/01/1981||Martin Luther King Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||6–0||James Reid||KO||6 (?)||11/12/1980||Martin Luther King Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||5–0||Oliver Wright||TKO||2 (8)||24/10/1980||Martin Luther King Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||4–0||Charles Cox||KO||5 (?)||20/07/1980||Great Gorge Playboy Club, McAfee, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||3–0||Robert Evans||UD||6||09/05/1980||Great Gorge Playboy Club, McAfee, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||2–0||Robert Ritchie||KO||1 (?)||26/04/1980||Lynchburg, Virginia, United States|
|Win||1–0||Joe Adams||TKO||1 (?)||30/10/1979||Forum, Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Awards and achievements|
|NABF Heavyweight Champion
September 23, 1983 – March 9, 1984
|Heavyweight boxing champion (WBC)
March 9, 1984 – August 31, 1984
|NABF Heavyweight Champion
April 29, 1985 – January 17, 1986
|Heavyweight boxing champion (WBA)
January 17, 1986 -December 12, 1986
James 'Bonecrusher' Smith
- "Tim Witherspoon biography on the way – "Terrible" Tim to finally tell his side of the story". Boxing News. April 4, 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- Interview with Brian D'Ambrosio, May 2013. http://www.boxing.com/terrible_times_a_life_of_tim_witherspoon.html