Tim Witherspoon Sr and Jr
By Ron Valderrama: He was twice the heavyweight champion of the world and is viewed as one of the greatest heavyweights of his era. Tim Witherspoon was born December 27, 1957 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania and made his pro debut in 1979 with a first round TKO over Joe Adams.
Witherspoon quickly climbed his way up the ranks by mounting some impressive wins when he would faced Larry Holmes on May 20, 1983 for the WBC Heavyweight Championship at the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas. Holmes would beat Witherspoon by split decision in what became one of the most controversial decisions of the time. Witherspoon did not leave the desert of Las Vegas empty handed though, he created a buzz by displaying his physical strength and signature awkward style, not to mention he was a sparring partner of the legendary Muhammad Ali who gave him his ring alias "Terrible".
1983 was a busy year for Witherspoon as he won the NABF Heavyweight Championship by defeating James "Quick" Tillis by way of a first round TKO. Larry Holmes gave up the WBC Title in late1983 by refusing to defend the belt against Greg Page and chose to accept the newly formed IBF Title instead. In 1984 Witherspoon faced Greg Page for the vacant WBC Title defeating an overweight Page by winning on points. However, the WBC Title would not stay with Witherspoon very long, losing the title in a battle that would go the distance to Pinklon Thomas by majority decision. Later that same year, to make things worse Witherspoon fell out with promoter Don King, forcing "Terrible" Tim Witherspoon to sue the famed promoter and his son Carl King in a lawsuit.
The court action was said to be $25 million dollars and based on the grounds of fraud and conflict of interest. Carl King was Witherspoon’s manager and it was reported that Carl King took half of Witherspoon’s earnings as a fee. The case would later settle out of court for $1 million dollars. In 1986 Witherspoon bounced back by defeating Tony Tubbs in a 15 round war by majority decision for the WBA Heavyweight Title. July 1986 Witherspoon defended the title by traveling across the pond to face British sensation Frank Bruno at Wembley Stadium in London, coming from behind and stopping Bruno by TKO at 2:57 of the 11th round all this before sixty thousand fans.
Later that same year in December Witherspoon lost the WBA Title to James “Bonecrusher” Smith. Witherspoon continued boxing before hanging up the gloves in 2003. He will go down as one the great champions of our time as well as one of the great contenders of all time. “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon has not been idle since his retirement. He has been giving back by doing many charity events, a desire that he says is "his passion”. Witherspoon said he just returned from the UK recently and had been there since February working many charity events with some other big name fighters like Leon Spinks. He said he has been all over the UK visiting kids and soldiers at different hospitals and working with “Help For Hero’s”, an organization that helps wounded British servicemen and women. Tim also said he has been visiting servicemen and women at Army Bases all over the UK as well as visiting police stations in an effort to help troubled kids. “Terrible” Tim is a very popular guy in the UK these days, but that’s not all he has been doing. He said he has been training his son, Tim Witherspoon Jr. who has had three fights in the UK and currently has a record of 6-1-1 (2KO’s).
You know it’s a good day when you have the opportunity to speak to two Witherspoon’s in one day and today was that day. Spoon jr. said he is thankful to be surrounded by a great team, meaning his father and uncle who guide him. He said they have taught him good values and Spoon Jr. said he knows he has great opportunities, more then other fighters who may not because of his name. He says he "fights his own fight" and "fights his own style". ‘When I’m in the ring I am not thinking that my dad is “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon,’ said Spoon Jr.
There is no doubt this kid can fight and with his father guiding him no telling how far he can go. Tim Sr. said his son has a way to go, but has been impressed so far. Tim also said Spoon Jr. has had an injured shoulder his entire short career and had it repaired and should be good to go. Tim Sr. said he will continue to guide his son in the right direction so he will not have to “experience what I had to experience”. It looks like both Tim’s have no intention of slowing down anytime soon, Tim Sr. is off to the UK again in September for more boxing and charity work and Tim Jr. will continue training for an upcoming bout soon. This writer will continue to follow both of them. Tim Sr. says he will let me know what’s going on and is currently working out details for Tim Jr.’s next ring appearance.
Sept. 2nd Pro Boxing Event “Duelo De Campeones”, Estrella Promotions at the El Zaribah Shriners Auditorium. Phoenix, AZ.
Sept. 17th Showdown Promotions in association with Top Rank Present “Battle At Bluewater II” at the BlueWater Resort & Casino and televised on Fox Sports. Parker, AZ.
Oct. 21st FACE II FACE EVENTS will host Friday Night Fights III at the Madison. Phoenix, AZ.
Update next week on Jose Benavidez Jr. from Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, CA.
Update next week on Jesus “El Martillo” Gonzales, and my apologies to the Champ’s mother for spelling her sons name with a “Z” instead of “S”.
August 24, 2011