Ex-world heavyweight champ Tim Witherspoon to guest at Plymouth boxing contest
EX-WORLD heavyweight boxing champ "Terrible" Tim Witherspoon is to meet fight fans at an Easter event in Plymouth.
The American pugilist famously defended his WBA crown against Frank Bruno in front of 60,000 people in London in 1985. Now he will appear in front of about 500 people at the Holiday Inn, on the Hoe, on Easter Sunday, March 31.
Mr Witherspoon, who retired from the ring in 2003 after winning 55 of his 69 bouts, will present trophies at an all-day boxing tournament organised by Plymouth Prizefighters.
He will also meet fans and regale them with tales of his friendship with boxing legend Mohammed Ali, and how he traded blows with other greats including Larry Holmes, Tony Tubbs and James "Bonecrusher" Smith.
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Plymouth Prizefighters' Gareth Rodd said bringing Mr Witherspoon to Plymouth is a major coup for the city.
And he hopes to top it next year by inviting "Iron" Mike Tyson to Plymouth.
"They share a manager," said Mr Rodd. "We hope the prestige of bringing Tim Witherspoon to Plymouth will lead to even bigger and better things. This will show Plymouth is not a backwater past Bristol. And now we're talking about Mike Tyson as a real possibility.
"We've had world champs in Plymouth before, but not since 1908 when Jack Johnson fought at the old Cosmo."
The Easter Sunday boxing event will feature bouts from noon, with various fights, including women's contests, and a main event eight-man knockout competition. In that, fighters will be split into four, three-round, clashes, with the winners meeting in semi-finals, and then a final.
The overall champ will receive his trophy from Mr Witherspoon.