Tim Witherspoon

Last updated

Tim Witherspoon
Tim Witherspoon in Apperknowle (cropped).JPG
Witherspoon in 2008
Statistics
Nickname(s)Terrible
Weight(s) Heavyweight
Height6 ft 3+12 in (192 cm)
Reach78 in (198 cm)
NationalityAmerican
Born (1957-12-27) December 27, 1957 (age 63)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights69
Wins55
Wins by KO38
Losses13
Draws1

Tim Witherspoon (born December 27, 1957) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1979 to 2003. He was a two-time world heavyweight champion, having held the WBC title in 1984, and the WBA title in 1986. Witherspoon also worked as a regular sparring partner for Muhammad Ali.

Contents

Professional career

Early years

Witherspoon had six amateur bouts, losing the last 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 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 complimentary ring alias of "Terrible" Tim Witherspoon. [1]

In 1982, he was matched with Renaldo Snipes, who had just given champion Larry Holmes a fair challenge (and knocked Holmes down), and outpointed him over 10 rounds, setting up his own challenge to Holmes.

Witherspoon vs. Larry Holmes: WBC heavyweight title

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 gave Holmes all he could handle, including rocking him badly in the ninth round, before losing a disputed twelve round split decision.

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 with a first-round knockout of James "Quick" Tillis.

First title reign: WBC heavyweight champion

In December 1983, Holmes relinquished his WBC title rather than defend against Greg Page, and chose to accept that of the newly formed IBF (International Boxing Federation).[ citation needed ]

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.[ citation needed ]

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.[ citation needed ]

Second title reign: WBA heavyweight champion

In 1985 Witherspoon regained his NABF belt by beating James Broad in two rounds and made a successful twelve round defense against James "Bonecrusher" Smith in his first defense of the belt. This earned him another chance at a heavyweight title and he signed to fight reigning WBA champion Tony Tubbs on January 17, 1986 in Atlanta. Witherspoon won a close fight by majority decision, winning by only one point on one of the scorecards and three on another with one even, to become champion for a second time.

In his first defense of his newly won championship, Witherspoon traveled to London and fought a young up-and-coming English heavyweight and future world champion Frank Bruno at Wembley Stadium, as part of the heavyweight unification series. In the eleventh round of a scheduled fifteen, Witherspoon recorded a technical knockout and did something he had not done when he was champion the first time: make a successful defense of the title after winning it. After defeating Bruno, a rematch with Tony Tubbs loomed but Tubbs pulled out of the fight.

Needing to make a title defense, Witherspoon accepted a second fight with Bonecrusher Smith. Since dropping a lopsided decision in their first matchup (losing every round but one on all three scorecards) Smith had fought four bouts and recorded three wins, all against fringe contenders and journeymen.[ citation needed ] The fight was scheduled for December 12, 1986 at Madison Square Garden and Witherspoon a heavy favorite against the 17-5 Smith.[ citation needed ] With fifty seconds remaining in the first round, Witherspoon hit the canvas a third time and Rivera ended the proceedings. At ringside, HBO commentators Barry Tompkins, Larry Merchant, and Sugar Ray Leonard expressed disbelief at the outcome, with all three calling the bout a major upset.[ citation needed ]

Post-championship career

Following the end his second title reign, Witherspoon spent years in litigation against Don King.[ citation needed ] In 1991 won the USBA heavyweight title by defeating fellow contender Carl "The Truth" Williams but lost a points decision to Everett Martin.[ citation needed ] Ring magazine called this inexplicable loss the low point of his career.[ citation needed ]

In 1993 Don King settled out of court and paid Witherspoon a million dollars. By 1994 Witherspoon had won five fights in a row by knockout.[ citation needed ] Aged 38 he was signed by HBO and matched in high-profile fights with cruiserweight champion Al Cole and the Cuban amateur Jorge Luis González, both of whom he defeated.[ citation needed ] Later in the year he was matched with Ray Mercer but lost a 10-round decision.[ citation needed ]

After that loss Witherspoon laid off a year, and when he came back he was outpointed by 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.[ citation needed ]

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 Lou Savarese, who stopped him in five rounds.[ citation needed ]

Witherspoon also competed in Cedric Kushner's 2003 Thunderbox Heavyweight Tournament, "Fistful of Dollars," but lost in the opening stages.[ citation needed ]

Life after boxing

Witherspoon resides near 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.[ citation needed ]

In 2014, Witherspoon published his book with the help of British entrepreneur Kevin Baker and ghost writer Ryan Danes. [2]

Professional boxing record

Professional record summary
69 fights55 wins13 losses
By knockout384
By decision179
Draws1
No.ResultRecordOpponentTypeRound, timeDateLocationNotes
69Loss55–13–1 Flag of the United States.svg Brian NixSD10Mar 15, 2003 Flag of the United States.svg Grand Casino, Gulfport, Mississippi, U.S.
68Loss55–12–1 Flag of the United States.svg Lou Savarese TKO5 (12), 2:42Sep 22, 2002 Flag of the United States.svg Table Mountain Casino, Friant, California, U.S.For vacant WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title
67Win55–11–1 Flag of Syria.svg Ahmed AbdinUD10May 18, 2002 Flag of the United States.svg Silver Star Hotel & Casino, Choctaw, Mississippi, U.S.
66Win54–11–1 Flag of the United States.svg Darroll Wilson KO2 (10), 1:02Mar 10, 2002 Flag of the United States.svg Green Valley Ranch, Henderson, Nevada, U.S.
65Win53–11–1 Flag of the United States.svg Ed WhiteTKO1, 1:10Jan 18, 2002 Flag of the United States.svg Entertainment & Sports Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.
64Win52–11–1 Flag of the United States.svg Cleveland WoodsKO1 (10), 2:30Jul 29, 2001 Flag of the United States.svg Palace Indian Gaming Center, Lemoore, California, U.S.
63Loss51–11–1 Flag of the United States.svg Monte Barrett SD10Jun 28, 2001 Flag of the United States.svg Turning Stone Resort Casino, Verona, New York, U.S.
62Win51–10–1 Flag of the United States.svg Danny WoffordTKO3 (10)Apr 13, 2001 Flag of the United States.svg University, Hampton, Virginia, U.S.
61Win50–10–1 Flag of Cuba.svg Elieser Castillo MD10Mar 31, 2001 Flag of the United States.svg Bally's Park Place, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
60Win49–10–1 Flag of the United States.svg David Bostice TKO1 (10), 2:21Feb 22, 2001 Flag of the United States.svg Zembo Shrine Building, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.
59Win48–10–1 Flag of the United States.svg David SmithTKO2 (10), 2:12Jul 8, 2000 Flag of the United States.svg Monroe, Louisiana, U.S.
58Draw47–10–1 Flag of Mexico.svg Mike SedilloPTS12Apr 29, 2000 Flag of Antigua and Barbuda.svg St. John's, Antigua and BarbudaFor NBA heavyweight title
57Win47–10 Flag of the United States.svg Joe BallardKO1Feb 25, 2000 Flag of the United States.svg Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
56Loss46–10 Flag of the United States.svg Greg Page RTD7 (10), 3:00Jun 18, 1999 Flag of the United States.svg Cumberland County Crown Coliseum, Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S.
55Loss46–9 Flag of Denmark.svg Brian Nielsen TKO4 (10)Apr 16, 1999 Flag of Denmark.svg K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
54Loss46–8 Flag of Poland.svg Andrew Golota UD10Oct 2, 1998 Flag of Poland.svg Centennial Hall, Wrocław, Poland
53Loss46–7 Flag of New Zealand.svg Jimmy Thunder UD10Apr 7, 1998 Flag of the United States.svg Harrah's Hotel and Casino, Cherokee, North Carolina, U.S.
52Loss46–6 Flag of the United States.svg Larry Donald UD12Dec 13, 1997 Flag of the United States.svg Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S.For WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title
51Win46–5 Flag of the United States.svg Levi BillupsTKO1 (10), 1:44Nov 4, 1997 Flag of the United States.svg Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi, U.S.
50Loss45–5 Flag of the United States.svg Ray Mercer UD10 Dec 14, 1996 Flag of the United States.svg Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
49Win45–4 Flag of Cuba.svg Jorge Luis González TKO5 (10), 2:54 May 10, 1996 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
48Win44–4 Flag of the United States.svg Al Cole UD10Jan 12, 1996 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
47Win43–4 Flag of the United States.svg Tim PullerTKO2 (10), 0:45Nov 14, 1995 Flag of the United States.svg Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.
46Win42–4 Flag of Jamaica.svg Everton DavisTKO7 (10), 1:34Oct 31, 1995 Flag of the United States.svg Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
45Win41–4 Flag of the United States.svg Jesse ShelbyTKO1 (10)Mar 24, 1995 Flag of the United States.svg Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
44Win40–4 Flag of the United States.svg Nathaniel Fitch TKO6 (10)Dec 17, 1994 Flag of the United States.svg Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
43Win39–4 Flag of the United States.svg Sherman GriffinTKO3 (10), 2:58Aug 12, 1994 Flag of the United States.svg South Padre Island, Texas, U.S.
42Win38–4 Flag of the United States.svg Tony WillisUD10Aug 25, 1992 Flag of the United States.svg Harrah's Marino Resort, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
41Loss37–4 Flag of the United States.svg Everett MartinSD10Jul 21, 1992 Flag of the United States.svg The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
40Win37–3 Flag of the United States.svg James Pritchard UD10Mar 23, 1992 Flag of the United States.svg Harrah's Marina Resort, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
39Win36–3 Flag of the United States.svg Jimmy Lee SmithKO1 (10), 2:27Feb 4, 1992 Flag of the United States.svg Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
38Win35–3 Flag of the United States.svg Art Tucker TKO3 (12), 1:33Sep 10, 1991 Flag of the United States.svg The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.Retained USBA heavyweight title
37Win34–3 Flag of the United States.svg Carl Williams SD12Mar 8, 1991 Flag of the United States.svg Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.Won USBA heavyweight title
36Win33–3 Flag of Cuba.svg José Ribalta MD10Jul 19, 1990 Flag of the United States.svg Kingdome, Seattle, Washington, U.S.
35Win32–3 Flag of the United States.svg Greg GorrellTKO3 (10), 1:00Mar 12, 1990 Flag of Indonesia.svg Gelora Senayan Main Stadium, Jakarta, Indonesia
34Win31–3 Flag of the United States.svg Jeff SimsRTD5 (10), 3:00Jan 11, 1990 Flag of the United States.svg Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
33Win30–3 Flag of Sweden.svg Anders Eklund KO1 (10), 1:11Oct 19, 1989 Flag of the United States.svg Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
32Win29–3 Flag of the United States.svg Larry AlexanderSD10Jan 27, 1989 Flag of the United States.svg Bally's Las Vegas, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
31Win28–3 Flag of Mexico.svg Mauricio VillegasTKO9 (10)Feb 17, 1988 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg York Hall, London, England
30Win27–3 Flag of the United States.svg Mike Williams SD10Oct 14, 1987 Flag of the United States.svg Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
29Win26–3 Flag of the United States.svg Mark WillsTKO1 (10), 1:15Aug 4, 1987 Flag of the United States.svg Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
28Loss25–3 Flag of the United States.svg James Smith KO1 (15), 2:12Dec 12, 1986 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.Lost WBA heavyweight title
27Win25–2 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Frank Bruno TKO11 (15), 2:57Jul 19, 1986 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Wembley Stadium, London, EnglandRetained WBA heavyweight title
26Win24–2 Flag of the United States.svg Tony Tubbs MD15Jan 17, 1986 Flag of the United States.svg Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.Won WBA heavyweight title
25Win23–2 Flag of the United States.svg Sammy ScaffTKO4 (10), 1:04Oct 12, 1985 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, England
24Win22–2 Flag of the United States.svg Larry BeilfussTKO1 (10), 1:35Sep 6, 1985 Flag of the United States.svg Tamiami Park Auditorium, Miami, Florida, U.S.
23Win21–2 Flag of the United States.svg James Smith UD12Jun 15, 1985 Flag of the United States.svg Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.Retained NABF heavyweight title
22Win20–2 Flag of the United States.svg James Broad KO2 (12), 2:35Apr 29, 1985 Flag of the United States.svg Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, New York, U.S.Retained NABF heavyweight title
21Win19–2 Flag of the United States.svg Mark WillsTKO9 (10), 1:13Mar 25, 1985 Flag of the United States.svg The Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S.
20Loss18–2 Flag of the United States.svg Pinklon Thomas MD12Aug 31, 1984 Flag of the United States.svg Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.Lost WBC heavyweight title
19Win18–1 Flag of the United States.svg Greg Page MD12Mar 9, 1984 Flag of the United States.svg Las Vegas Convention Center, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.Won vacant WBC heavyweight title
18Win17–1 Flag of the United States.svg James Tillis TKO1 (12), 2:16Sep 23, 1983 Flag of the United States.svg Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio, U.S.Won vacant NABF heavyweight title
17Win16–1 Flag of the United States.svg Floyd Cummings UD10Jul 16, 1983 Flag of the United States.svg Dunes, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
16Loss15–1 Flag of the United States.svg Larry Holmes SD12May 20, 1983 Flag of the United States.svg Dunes, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.For WBC and The Ring heavyweight titles
15Win15–0 Flag of the United States.svg Renaldo Snipes MD10Jun 5, 1982 Flag of the United States.svg Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
14Win14–0 Flag of Argentina.svg Luis AcostaKO2 (10), 0:42Mar 30, 1982 Flag of the United States.svg Playboy Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
13Win13–0 Flag of the United States.svg Alfonzo Ratliff TKO7 (10), 2:25Dec 5, 1981 Flag of the United States.svg Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
12Win12–0 Flag of the United States.svg Curtis GaskinsKO2 (8)Nov 17, 1981 Flag of the United States.svg Playboy Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
11Win11–0 Flag of the United States.svg Jerry WilliamsTKO8 (10)Jul 30, 1981 Flag of the United States.svg Martin Luther King Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
10Win10–0 Flag of the United States.svg Bobby JordanKO4 (10)Jun 17, 1981 Flag of the United States.svg Martin Luther King Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
9Win9–0 Flag of the United States.svg Dave JohnsonUD8Apr 11, 1981 Flag of the United States.svg Concord Resort Hotel, Thompson, New York, U.S.
8Win8–0 Flag of the United States.svg Marvin StinsonPTS10Feb 7, 1981 Flag of the United States.svg Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
7Win7–0 Flag of the United States.svg Ed BednarikTKO1, 2:06Jan 24, 1981 Flag of the United States.svg Martin Luther King Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
6Win6–0 Flag of the United States.svg James ReidTKO6 (8)Dec 11, 1980 Flag of the United States.svg Martin Luther King Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
5Win5–0 Flag of Jamaica.svg Oliver Wright TKO2 (8)Oct 24, 1980 Flag of the United States.svg Martin Luther King Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
4Win4–0 Flag of the United States.svg Charles CoxKO5Jul 20, 1980 Flag of the United States.svg The Great Gorge Playboy Club Hotel, McAfee, New Jersey, U.S.
3Win3–0 Flag of the United States.svg Robert EvansUD6May 9, 1980 Flag of the United States.svg Long Island Arena, Commack, New York, U.S.
2Win2–0 Flag of the United States.svg Robert RitchieKO1Apr 26, 1980 Flag of the United States.svg Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S.
1Win1–0 Flag of the United States.svg Joe AdamsTKO1, 1:58Oct 30, 1979 Flag of the United States.svg Forum, Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, U.S.

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References

  1. Frank bruno's autobiography
  2. "Tim Witherspoon biography on the way – "Terrible" Tim to finally tell his side of the story". Boxing News. April 4, 2013. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Michael Dokes
NABF heavyweight champion
September 23, 1983 – January 1986
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
James Broad
Preceded by
Carl Williams
USBA heavyweight champion
March 8, 1991 – February 1992
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Mike Hunter
World boxing titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Larry Holmes
WBC heavyweight champion
March 9, 1984 – August 31, 1984
Succeeded by
Pinklon Thomas
Preceded by
Tony Tubbs
WBA heavyweight champion
January 17, 1986 – December 12, 1986
Succeeded by
James Smith