Often a sparring partner of former World Heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medalist Muhammad Ali, ”Terrible” Tim Witherspoon would become a world champion in his own right in the 1980s.
Born December 27, 1957, in Philadelphia, Witherspoon turned pro in 1979 following a short amateur career. His final amateur match saw him lose to Marvis Frazier, son of former undisputed World champion Joe Frazier.
Debuting in October 1979, Tim Witherspoon would go undefeated at 15-0 into 1982. At the time, he was a sparring partner to Muhammad Ali towards the end of the great’s career. It was during his time with Ali that he was given the nickname “Terrible.”
This period displayed Witherspoon’s knockout power and an ability to go the distance and win on points if his Sunday punch failed. It was following his thirteenth bout where he knocked out Alfonzo Ratliff that he was picked up Don King.
WBC World Champion
Witherspoon’s undefeated streak ended on May 20, 1983, when he faced Larry Holmes for the WBC World Heavyweight title as well as the Ring and lineal titles. The match was close and went the full 12 rounds but was awarded to Holmes. He bounced back two months later, defeating Jumbo Cummings in a 10-round unanimous decision. A first-round TKO clinched the vacant NABF Heavyweight title in September 1983.
Tim Witherspoon would win the vacant WBC Heavyweight title in March 1984, defeating Greg Page by points. He would be paired against Pinklon Thomas in August 1984 and lost the title the same way he won it: majority decision.
-vs. Larry Holmes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPWM10r_1-s