Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Making his professional debut with a first-round TKO over Joe Adams on October 30, 1979, Witherspoon quickly rose through the ranks, partially due to a string of 15 straight wins to start his professional career, and partially due to his connection with promoter extraordinaire Don King.
On May 20, 1983, Witherspoon would get his first shot at a world title, taking on World Boxing Council champion Larry Holmes at the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas. Despite winning over many fans who thought Witherspoon won the contest, Holmes would be awarded a split decision victory. Four months later Witherspoon would place himself back into title contention by winning the North American Boxing Federation heavyweight title, defeating James "Quick" Tillis.
First Title Reign
In December, 1983 Holmes relinquished his WBC title to take that of the new International Boxing Federation. Witherspoon was matched with Greg Page for the vacant title on March 9, 1984. In another close contest, Witherspoon earned a majority decision (117-111, 114-114, 117-111) over 12 rounds to capture the title.
Second Title Reign
Following his defeat by Thomas Witherspoon quickly returned to action, winning his next five fights and earning a match against reigning World Boxing Association champion Tony Tubbs on January 17, 1986. Witherspoon would win a grueling majority decision over 15 rounds (144-143, 143-143, 144-141) to take the title.
Witherspoon's second reign as a Heavyweight champion proved slightly longer than the first as he successfully defended his WBA belt against Frank Bruno on July 19, but once again "Terrible Tim"'s reign would be less than a year - on December 12, 1986, he was knocked down three times by James "Bonecrusher" Smith , losing by TKO in one round.
Post Championship Career
Following his second title reign Witherspoon faded in relative obscurity, but kept fighting through 2003, occasionally for a minor title (such as the World Boxing Organization's Intercontinental title in 2002, or the National Boxing Association's title in 2000).
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