Tim Witherspoon vs. Frank Bruno

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1986-07-19 : Tim Witherspoon 234¾ lbs beat Frank Bruno 228 lbs by TKO at 2:57 in round 11 of 15

AP, Published: July 20, 1986

WEMBLEY, England, Sunday, July 20— Tim Witherspoon, looking fat and out of shape, knocked down Frank Bruno with four crashing rights to the head and stopped the British challenger in the 11th round early this morning to retain the World Boxing Association heavyweight championship.

Past the two-minute mark of the 11th round, Bruno landed a three-punch series to the head. Then Witherspoon crashed home an overhand right that sent Bruno reeling into a neutral corner.

Bruno escaped, but Witherspoon, seeing the end was near, slammed three more overhand rights that dropped Bruno to a sitting position in Witherspoon's corner.

The towel was immediately thrown in from Bruno's corner and Referee Isido Rodriguez of Venezuela saw it and stopped the fight without a count.

Until the sudden ending before some 40,000 fans at the outdoor Wembley Stadium, the fight had been on the dull side, although both men did land some hard head punches.

The time of the finish was 3 minutes of the 11th round.

Bruno, who weighed 228 pounds, never showed the vaunted right-hand power that had given him 27 knockouts.

Witherspoon, on the other hand, looked weary for much of the fight. The 28-year-old champion from Philadelphia came in weighing 234. But he had enough to keep his title.

Before the end came, neither man went down. But Witherspoon was badly marked under the left eye and the eye appeared almost closed. Bruno suffered a cut over the left eye but was never bothered by it.

Despite his paunchiness, Witherspoon matched Bruno's strength and actually outjabbed Bruno in many of the rounds even though the Briton had a five-inch reach advantage.

The fight started about 1 A.M. local time to accommodate Home Box Office, which televised the fight in the United States.

Witherspoon, who got $900,000, now has a record of 25-2 with 17 knockouts.

Bruno, the former European champion, lost for only the second time against 28 victories. He was guaranteed about $1.1 million.