Philly Boxing History

DECEMBER 12, 1986




Terrible Tim Witherspoon came out of South Philly and made his first noise as a 15-0 heavyweight with a well fought and close decision loss to champion Larry Holmes in 1983. A year later he took a share of the world crown with a win over Greg Page. But Tim was an inconsistent fighter with so-so training habits - characteristics that would plague him throughout his career. He lost his title in his first defense but went on to win WBA honors on 1986 vs. Tony Tubbs. After one defense, Tim lost the belt to James Smith on this day in 1986. Three knockdowns in the very first round by Smith won him the title and reversed a previous decision loss to Witherspoon. With the victory, it was Smith who would advance to the financial bonanza of a unification fight with the rising Mike Tyson.

  1928 - George Godfrey NC2 Jim Sigmon at Freemont, OH
  1929 - Dick Welsh D8 Benny Goldstein I at Baltimore, MD
  1932 - George Godfrey W10 Walter Cobb at Philadelphia
  1938 - Gus Dorazio W10 Bob Pastor at Philadelphia
  1941 - Johnny Forte W8 Dom Fiantini at the Cambria A.C. in Northeast Philly (Kensington)
  1944 - Billy Arnold D8 Johnny Finazzo at Trenton, NJ
  1951 - Bobby Dykes W10 Joey Giardello at Miami Beach, FL
  1957 - Slim Jim Robinson W10 Milo Savage at the Adelphia A.C. in South Philly
  1957 - Vic Diamond KO2 Nate Sullivan at the Adelphia A.C. in South Philly
  1961 - Joey Giardello D10 Joe DeNucci at Boston, MA
  1979 - Jerome Artis KO1 Anthony Beverly at Washington, DC
  1980 - Milton McCrory KO2 Alfonso Hayman at Detroit, MI
  1999 - Bernard Hopkins W12 Antwun Echols I at the Miccouskee Gaming Resort in Miami