Tim Witherspoon

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Tim Witherspoon

Tim Witherspoon (left) in 2008 in Apperknowle
Statistics
Real nameTim Witherspoon
Nickname(s)Terrible
Rated atHeavyweight
Height6 ft 3 12 in (1.92 m)
Reach78 in (198 cm)
NationalityAmerican
Born(1957-12-27) December 27, 1957 (age 54)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights69
Wins55
Wins by KO38
Losses13
Draws1
No contests0
 
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Tim Witherspoon

Tim Witherspoon (left) in 2008 in Apperknowle
Statistics
Real nameTim Witherspoon
Nickname(s)Terrible
Rated atHeavyweight
Height6 ft 3 12 in (1.92 m)
Reach78 in (198 cm)
NationalityAmerican
Born(1957-12-27) December 27, 1957 (age 54)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights69
Wins55
Wins by KO38
Losses13
Draws1
No contests0

"Terrible" Tim Witherspoon (born December 27, 1957) is a retired American boxer who was twice world heavyweight champion.

Contents

Early career

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 impressively destroying 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. In a fairly enjoyable bout, Witherspoon would win a majority decision over 15 rounds (144–143, 143–143, 144–141) over an overweight Tubbs to take the title.

Witherspoon's second reign as a Heavyweight champion saw him travel to London, England and defend his title against hard hitting local Frank Bruno in front of 60,000 fans. After a tough, bruising fight, Witherspoon came from behind to stop Bruno in the 11th, retaining his title. After the fight, Bruno would receive a million sterling from his promoters. Witherspoon, due the same amount, devastatingly 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 would lose 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 dubious 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 legend 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 had lost his edge. The ageing, out-of-shape fighter was outpointed convincingly by the slick Larry Donald on HBO, and, in 1998, lost a close decision when outworked by New Zealand muscleman Jimmy Thunder before travelling to Poland to be outpointed by Andrew Golota.

Surprisingly, a 43 year old Witherspoon resurfaced in 2001, knocking out the usually durable prospect David Bostice in one round, outpointing Cuban southpaw contender Eliecer Castillo and huge 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.; a heavyweight prospect named Robert Atkins; and many others. He has also trained Light Heavyweight champion Clinton Woods in the U.K.

Lawsuit against Don King

Besides being known for his exploits inside the ring, Witherspoon also achieved notoriety by suing his long-time promoter Don King. In 1987, Witherspoon filed a $25 million suit against King and his son Carl King for fraud and conflict of interest. Carl King was Witherspoon's manager and represented Witherspoon in negotiation's with Carl's father, Don King. According to documents produced during discovery, Carl King improperly took half of Witherspoon's earnings as his manager's fee. Most managers receive, at most, a third. However, instead of going to trial King agreed to settle the case for $1 million.

Professional boxing record

55 Wins (38 knockouts, 17 decisions), 13 Losses (4 knockouts, 9 decisions), 1 Draw [1]
ResultRecordOpponentTypeRoundsDateLocationNotes
Loss55–13–1United States Brian NixSD1015/03/2003Mississippi Grand Casino Pavilion, Gulfport, Mississippi, United States
Loss55–12–1United States Lou SavareseTKO5 (12)22/09/2002California Table Mountain Casino, Friant, California, United StatesFor vacant WBO Inter-Continental Heavyweight title.
Win55–11–1Syria Ahmed AbdinUD1018/05/2002Mississippi Silver Star Casino, Choctaw, Mississippi, United States
Win54–11–1United States Darroll WilsonKO2 (10)10/03/2002Nevada Green Valley Ranch resort, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win53–11–1United States Ed WhiteTKO1 (?)18/01/2002North Carolina Sports Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Win52–11–1United States Cleveland WoodsKO1 (10)29/07/2001California Palace Indian Gaming Center, Lemoore, California, United States
Loss51–11–1United States Monte BarrettSD1028/06/2001New York Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona, New York, United States
Win51–10–1United States Danny WoffordTKO3 (10)13/04/2001Virginia Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia, United States
Win50–10–1Cuba Elieser CastilloMD1031/03/2001New Jersey Bally's Atlantic City Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win49–10–1United States David BosticeTKO1 (10)22/02/2001Pennsylvania Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States
Win48–10–1United States David SmithTKO2 (10)08/07/2000Louisiana Monroe, Louisiana, United States
Draw47–10–1Mexico Mike SedilloPTS1229/04/2000Antigua and Barbuda St. John's, Antigua and BarbudaFor NBA Heavyweight Title.
Win47–10United States Joe BallardKO1 (?)25/02/2000Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Loss46–10United States Greg PageRTD7 (10)18/06/1999North Carolina Crown Coliseum, Fayetteville, North Carolina, United States
Loss46–9Denmark Brian NielsenTKO4 (10)16/04/1999Denmark K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Loss46–8Poland Andrew GolotaUD1002/10/1998Poland Hala Ludowa, Wroclaw, Poland
Loss46–7Samoa Jimmy ThunderUD1007/04/1998North Carolina Harrahs Casino, Cherokee, North Carolina, United States
Loss46–6United States Larry DonaldUD1213/12/1997Connecticut Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut, United StatesFor WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight title.
Win46–5United States Levi BillupsTKO1 (10)04/11/1997Mississippi Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi, United StatesBillups down twice during the bout.
Loss45–5United States Ray MercerUD1014/12/1996New Jersey Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win45–4Cuba Jorge Luis GonzalezTKO5 (10)10/05/1996New York Madison Square Garden, New York City, United States
Win44–4United States Alfred ColeUD1012/01/1996New York Madison Square Garden, New York City, United States
Win43–4United States Tim PullerTKO2 (10)14/11/1995Mississippi Casino Magic, Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, United States
Win42–4Jamaica Everton DavisTKO7 (10)31/10/1995Arizona Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Win41–4United States Jesse ShelbyTKO1 (?)24/03/1995Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win40–4United States Nathaniel FitchTKO6 (10)17/14/1994New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win39–4United States Sherman GriffinTKO3 (10)12/08/1994Texas South Padre Island, Texas, United States
Win38–4United States Tony WillisUD1025/08/1992New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Loss37–4United States Everett MartinSD1021/07/1992Michigan The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States
Win37–3United States James PritchardUD1023/03/1992New Jersey Harrah's Marina Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win36–3United States Jimmy Lee SmithKO1 (10)04/02/1992New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win35–3United States Art TuckerTKO3 (12)10/09/1991Pennsylvania The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United StatesRetained USBA Heavyweight title.
Win34–3United States Carl WilliamsSD1208/03/1991Pennsylvania The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United StatesWon USBA Heavyweight title.
Win33–3Cuba Jose RibaltaMD1019/07/1990Washington, D.C. Kingdome, Seattle, Washington, United States
Win32–3United States Greg GorrellTKO3 (12)12/03/1990Indonesia Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta, Indonesia
Win31–3United States Jeff SimsRTD5 (10)11/01/1990New Jersey Trump Plaza Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win30–3Sweden Anders EklundKO1 (10)19/10/1989New Jersey Trump Plaza Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win29–3United States Larry AlexanderSD1027/01/1989Nevada Bally's Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win28–3Mexico Mauricio VillegasTKO9 (10)17/02/1988England York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, England, United Kingdom
Win27–3United States Mike WilliamsSD1014/10/1987New Jersey Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win26–3United States Mark WillsTKO1 (10)04/08/1987New Jersey Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United StatesWitherspoon swarms all over Wills who fails to punch back and is stopped on his feet.
Loss25–3United States James SmithTKO1 (15)12/12/1986New York Madison Square Garden, New York City, United StatesLost WBA World Heavyweight title.
Win25–2United Kingdom Frank BrunoKO11 (12)19/07/1986England Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London, England, United KingdomRetained WBA World Heavyweight title.
Win24–2United States Tony TubbsMD1517/01/1986Georgia (U.S. state) The Omni, Atlanta, Georgia, United StatesWon WBA World Heavyweight title.
Win23–2United States Sammy ScaffTKO4 (10)12/10/1985England National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom
Win22–2United States Larry BeilfussTKO1 (10)06/09/1985Florida Tamiani Fairgrounds Auditorium, Miami, Florida, United StatesBeilfuss down twice during the bout.
Win21–2United States James SmithUD1215/06/1985Nevada Riviera Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesRetained NABF Heavyweight title.
Win20–2United States James BroadKO2 (12)29/04/1985New York Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, New York, United StatesRetained NABF Heavyweight title.
Win19–2United States Mark WillsKO9 (10)25/03/1985California Forum, Inglewood, California, United States
Loss18–2United States Pinklon ThomasMD1231/08/1984Nevada Riviera Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesLost WBC Heavyweight title.
Win18–1United States Greg PageMD1209/03/1984Nevada Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesWon vacant WBC Heavyweight title.
Win17–1United States James TillisTKO1 (12)23/09/1983Ohio Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio, United StatesWon vacant NABF Heavyweight title. Title had been vacated by Michael Dokes when he won the WBA title.
Win16–1United States Floyd CummingsUD1016/07/1983Nevada Dunes Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesCummings was down in the second round.
Loss15–1United States Larry HolmesSD1220/05/1983Nevada Dunes Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesFor WBC Heavyweight title.
Win15–0United States Renaldo SnipesMD1005/06/1982Nevada Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win14–0Argentina Luis AcostaKO2 (8)30/03/1982New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win13–0United States Alfonzo RatliffTKO7 (10)05/12/1981New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win12–0United States Curtis GaskinsTKO2 (?)17/11/1981New Jersey Playboy Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win11–0United States Jerry WilliamsTKO8 (10)30/07/1981Pennsylvania Martin Luther King Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win10–0United States Jerry WilliamsKO4 (10)17/06/1981Pennsylvania Martin Luther King Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win9–0United States Dave JohnsonUD811/04/1981New York Concord Hotel, Kiamesha Lake, New York, United States
Win8–0United States Marvin StinsonPTS1007/02/1981New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win7–0United States Ed BednarikPTS1024/01/1981Pennsylvania Martin Luther King Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win6–0United States James ReidKO6 (?)11/12/1980Pennsylvania Martin Luther King Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win5–0Jamaica Oliver WrightTKO2 (8)24/10/1980Pennsylvania Martin Luther King Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win4–0United States Charles CoxKO5 (?)20/07/1980New Jersey Great Gorge Playboy Club, McAfee, New Jersey, United States
Win3–0United States Robert EvansUD609/05/1980New Jersey Great Gorge Playboy Club, McAfee, New Jersey, United States
Win2–0Robert RitchieKO1 (?)26/04/1980Virginia Lynchburg, Virginia, United States
Win1–0Joe AdamsTKO1 (?)30/10/1979Pennsylvania Forum, Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, United States

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Michael Dokes
Vacated
NABF Heavyweight Champion
September 23, 1983 – March 9, 1984
Vacated
Succeeded by
James Broad
Preceded by
Larry Holmes
Vacated
Heavyweight boxing champion (WBC)
March 9, 1984 – August 31, 1984
Succeeded by
Pinklon Thomas
Preceded by
James Broad
NABF Heavyweight Champion
April 29, 1985 – January 17, 1986
Vacated
Succeeded by
Larry Alexander
Preceded by
Tony Tubbs
Heavyweight boxing champion (WBA)
January 17, 1986 -December 12, 1986
Succeeded by
James 'Bonecrusher' Smith