Tim Witherspoon Appointed VP of Malta Boxing Commission
Fight Network Staff / December 12, 2012 - 10:59am
One of boxing's greatest ambassadors, two time Heavyweight Champion of the World 'Terrible' Tim Witherspoon, becomes the latest big name to join the board of the newly revitalised Malta Boxing Commission.
The American superstar, who has been appointed Honorary Vice President, joins fellow legend, two time, two division Champion of the World Steve 'Celtic Warrior' Collins, who was appointed President earlier this month and his long time friend, Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro, who is a founding partner and the other Vice President of the Malta Boxing Commission on the top table.
Tim's exceptional pro career began in 1979, fours years later, and with just fifteen wins under his belt, Tim hit the Championship trail for the first time in May 1983, when he challenged fellow Pennsylvanian Larry Holmes for the title he'd held firmly in his vice like grip since 1978, and had successfully defended no less than fourteen times previously, just one less than the total of fights Tim had to date.
Considering this was Tim's first tilt at a title, and against a long time Champ like Larry Holmes, who had previously successfully defended against such luminaries as Gerry Cooney, Leon Spinks, Trevor Berbick, Muhammad Ali, Ernie Shavers, Ken Norton etc,, Tim put on a fantastic performance to take big Larry the distance, something even the legendary Ali didn't manage, only to lose by a controversial split points decision (115-113, 118-111 & 114-115).
Tim may have 'lost' but at the same time he had 'arrived', that fight against Holmes had put 'Terrible' Tim right up there as a true World class boxer, and future World Champ.
Four months later Tim was back in Championship action, this time beating James Tillis to secure the NABF title, which he vacated six months later, after he rightly earned another shot at the WBC title, this time against Greg Page, for the now vacant World Boxing Council version, following Larry Holmes having switched from the WBC to Championship sanctioning rivals, The International Boxing Federation (IBF).
On this, Tim's second attempt, the Philadelphian finally became World Champion by a majority points decision (117-111, 117-111 & 114-114).
Tim's reign as WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World lasted just five months, after he was beaten, by a majority points decision (112-115, 112-116 & 114-114), by Pinklon Thomas on his first defence of the title.
In April 1985 Tim was again in Championship action, when he successfully secured the NABF title once more, with a second round knockout of James Broad. Tim successfully defended the NABF Crown once, against James 'Bonecrusher' Smith, before turning his attention towards the World stage once again.
This time Tim had the World Boxing Association Championship belt firmly in his sights as he headed to Georgia, USA, in January 1986, to face WBA Champ Tony 'TNT' Tubbs.
After fifteen exhilarating rounds, Tim emerged victorious, by a very close majority points decision (144-143, 143-143 & 144-141), to become a two time Heavyweight Champion of the World.
For his first defence Tim crossed the pond, to face the 'Pride Of England' Frank Bruno in his own back yard, at the famous home of English Football - Wembley Stadium.
In front of over forty thousand baying partisan fans, and millions more watching on TV, Frank Bruno seemed to be heading towards certain victory after ten rounds, however Frank's muscular physique and high work rate, seemed to work together to noticeably drain him at the start of the eleventh.
After two minutes of high tempo back and forth action both men connected with big right hands to the head, Tim held his punch much better than Frank, the combination of fatigue and a known suspect chin was too much for the challenger, who crumbled in the corner, while Tim let rip with bomb after bomb until referee Isidro Rodriguez stepped in to stop the fight with just three seconds of the round left on the clock.
For his second defence Tim had the short hop from his Philadelphia home to Madison Square Gardens, New York, to face his old foe James 'Bonecrusher' Smith.
This time though 'Bonecrusher' exerted maximum revenge on Tim, by knocking him out in the second minute of the first round.
Whilst Tim never again fought for a World title, he did add the USBA Heavyweight title to his collection, as well as unsuccessfully challenge for the WBO Continental Americas and Intercontinental titles before retiring from active duty in 2003.
Since retiring Tim has kept busy, as a trainer to his son Tim Jnr and others lucky enough to catch the big man's attention, as well as being a celebrity, unlike most these days Tim is a genuine Celebrity with a capital C, guest speaker and a magnificent ambassador for the Sport Of Boxing.
Of his appointment of Honorary Vice President of the Malta Boxing Commission Tim said.
"It's a true honour to have been asked to be part of such an exciting young organisation.
It's great for Malta, or any country, to have a national Boxing association that makes sure that boxers are properly licensed and looked after.
Boxing is in a sad state right now and we've all got to work together, boxers, officials, everybody has to work together to get the sport back to where it used to be.
All the hard stuff and the things I have fought for in the past is picking up now, you know, so them having me involved with the Malta Boxing Commission is just beautiful and I'm really looking forward to participating in the commission.
Steve (Collins) is a brilliant guy, Steve as an individual is great, with Steve Collins there's no bull, so I know we have the right guy on top of the board.
We've done several things together in the past, so I know you can trust Steve, if there's one guy you can trust, besides me, it's Steve Collins.
Not just that, but it's gonna be great to work with my friend Rio (Gianluca Di Caro) again. I know that Steve and Rio are dedicated and professional boxing people, as are the rest of the commission, which can only be good for Boxing in Malta."