Tim Witherspoon vs. Tony Tubbs

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April 1986 issue of The Ring

1986-01-17 : Tim Witherspoon 227 lbs beat Tony Tubbs 244 lbs by MD in round 15 of 15


  • There was an estimated crowd of 6,000.
  • Witherspoon was the WBA's No. 1-ranked heavyweight contender.
  • Tubbs' purse was about $125,000, and Witherspoon's was $50,000.
  • At 244 pounds, Tubbs was fifteen pounds heavier than when he won the title against Greg Page nine months earlier. [1]
  • Witherspoon tested positive for marijuana after the fight. The WBA fined him $25,000, and ordered him to give Tubbs a rematch. [2]
  • The rematch was scheduled for December 12, 1986. Tubbs, citing an injured left shoulder, withdrew on December 5. Promoter Don King charged that Tubbs was just trying to get more money. Tubbs said he was unhappy with the money, but he could "deal with that after the fight." King nullified Tubbs' contract and asked the WBA and other sanctioning bodies to suspend him. Tubbs said, "I'm not going to fight injured, even though Don wants me to." [3]
  • James (Bonecrusher) Smith, who was outpointed by Witherspoon on June 15, 1985, stepped in as Tubbs' replacement and stopped Witherspoon in the first round to win the WBA title. [4]