Think OUTSIDE the BOXing Ring
by Cate Murway
Think OUTSIDE the BOXing ring.
Tim is welcoming new clients to his athletic center.
“My name is Tim Witherspoon, Jr. and I am a former professional fighter. I was raised in a family of boxers and was taught the value of hard work by my father, two-time heavyweight champion of the world Tim Witherspoon, Sr. After spending 10 years as a professional fighter, I've retired and turned my passion for boxing into a career in personal training.”
Tim was tenaciously searching for the perfect, upped caliber location: easy to find, highly visible and plenty of parking.
Has this got a familiar RING?
He won that fight. Location and availability were not in opposing corners. He climbed into the ring.
His “Witherspoon Boxing & Fitness” has opened in the spectacular historic Grundy Commons on 925 Canal Street beneath the powerful presence of the iconic Grundy Commons clock tower. The sky’s the limit.
It IS his TIME! This winner is clearly going to be the guy who emerges to the top.
Tim has stepped firmly on his career gas pedal.
There is a global fascination with boxing. Everyone loves a fight. Boxing is not a small niche sport, fighting for legitimacy; it cuts across all demographic and geographic barriers. A history of the sport dates back to Homer, Virgil and other ancient fight fans. The interest in boxing, whether amateur or professional, survives. There is strategy and athleticism involved here.
Tim is prepared with his plethora of skills on display “to not only give back to the community but to inspire a generation of future fighters and fitness fanatics, alike. I want to reach out to the community to help, like with a baseball team that needs sponsorships.”
His dream was to one day open his own boxing gym. He is aiming for an April 14th opening day.
“My facility will not only provide boxing training, but also provide classes in our fitness and yoga studios. Our aim at Witherspoon Boxing is to bring out everyone's inner champion.”
What his sport does promote is discipline, sportsmanship and hard work, all elements necessary for a fighter to be successful.
Tim is throwing NO lackluster, sluggish punches! There isn’t even the smallest cloud of reticence.
He is a confident, charismatic, skilled practitioner of a rough but exciting trade.
His story began in Oxford Crossing in Fairless Hills in Bucks County, the second born with five sisters.
Tim’s mother is Tamela “Tammy” Bishop. “My mom was a housewife.
My dad was fighting, traveling around the world.” His father, “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon, Sr., a renowned American former professional boxer who competed from 1979 to 2003, grew up in the hub of Philadelphia’s distinct boxing pedigree. He found discipline in South Philadelphia High and Lincoln University in Missouri, playing college football, as a tight end. At the age of 22, he tried boxing because his football career was over, making his pro debut in 1979.
Tim’s dad is a two-time world heavyweight champion, having held the WBC title in 1984, and the WBA title in 1986, arguably one of the most controversial and most exciting top attractions for boxing fans. He worked as a regular sparring partner for Muhammad Ali [who gave him his ring alias "Terrible"] and fought up until he hung up his gloves in 2003, calling it quits at 55-13-1. He has not been idle since his retirement and he continues to square up and trade punches for charity matches in England, benefitting Cancer Research UK, Breast Cancer Awareness and St. Andrews Hospice.
“Spoon”, Jr. had three fights in the UK and held a record of 10-5-1 [2KO’s].
Tim, Jr. "fought his own fights" and "fought his own style".
“My dad will be working here full time in the gym. Two generations of professional fighting teaching the clients what we have been doing our whole life. It’s a hard business.”
He is thankful to have been surrounded by a great team, meaning his father and uncle who guided him.
His Uncle Anthony won the Pennsylvania State light heavyweight title in 1987 and the WBA Americas Cruiserweight Title in 1989 and was inducted into the PA Boxing Hall of Fame in 2015.
He and Tim’s dad were recognized with “The Family of Boxers Award” last year.
His grandfather, the late Charles Witherspoon, more of a bare knuckle street fighter than a boxer, was a boxing enthusiast, very well known around the gyms.
Boxing had obviously always fed something in Tim, Jr., a Pennsbury H.S. student and basketball, football and volleyball athlete. His favorite class? “Gym class.” He has fond remembrances of an encouraging Oxford Valley Elementary School teacher. “She made us want to go to school.”
He proved to be a quick study when he made the decision to go to an intensive Pocono boxing camp to pursue his path. He began training with the Ugandan boxer/ IBF champion Kassim Omua “ring name is The Dream” [junior middleweight IBF title from 2004 to 2005 and challenger for world middleweight titles in 2006 and 2011] under his dad’s expert tutelage.
“I was paid to train.” He was running a 20+ minute 5K every day and he also participated in the Blue Cross Broad Street 10 mile- run. Tim has amassed titles as a two-time National Professional Champ and the PA State Golden Glove Champ in 2004.
He is both an AAAI certified Personal trainer, a Gold Standard in Fitness Education and Certification and a certified USA Boxing Coach, having completed the SafeSport Certification course.
He has four children, 3 sons and one daughter.
“My son Tim, III wants to compete. He is 11. I was in my first fight when I was eight.”
This Thursday’s child has far to go with his caring and sincere characteristics, positive attitude and unlimited potential, setting a relentless pace with his ton of talent. Tim is charting his new future.
Motivation is visible everywhere.
Tim met his very supportive girlfriend, Angie Clark during H.S.
“She’s in charge of making the place inviting for everyone, not just sweaty men”, he chuckled.
A friend, Ernie Miragliotta stopped in with posters for Tim to use in his gym.
“I met Tim many years ago through a mutual friend, the late Randy Brown who knew young Tim and Big Tim from when they were neighbors in Fairless Hills. I brought him posters of Tim's fights that Randy had hanging on his wall. When Randy passed, I saved them because I thought Tim would want them some day.”
A new client, Pennsbury baseball/wrestling athlete Michael Walter “Mike” Naylor, Jr., PHS ’14 is training for boxing. “I like the room a lot. Plenty of machines in here!”
Besides the Boxing Ring room, there is a Boot Camp area “with weights and cardio stations and a CrossFit rig cage for pull-ups. This will be the “Witherspoon Group” training area for strength training and conditioning.”
The room will hold all the gear that one needs to get started.
His schoolmate, WCU grad, Mike Kelleher will be the fitness director.
The Yoga Studio classes will be led by talented yoga instructors.
Tim will also provide for a “Latin Dance” for exercise class and is looking into incorporating Tai Chi [practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits] and Pilates that is practiced worldwide. The Grundy Commons is truly a perfect location.
“I love this place! The clients love this location. We have the park right outside and basketball courts and we can run the canal. I’m so happy to be a part of Bristol. This is a great place.”
And for a final HOOK…. He will be throwing his educated best punches quickly and efficiently.
Aspiring athletes who are ready to appreciate the mental side of training will be guided and controlled within accepted limits by this wiser and more experienced, technically skillful man.
He is no lightweight in this arena. Witherspoon possesses the right head speed and the mechanics, and he possesses a gift for connecting with people.
Every day, Tim Witherspoon, Jr. leaves the ring with his head high!
He has turned boxing into a major entrepreneurial attraction.
“I turned it into a career and now I’m a business owner,” he proudly stated.
Hours are 9:00AM-9:00PM Monday through Friday and 9:00AM-3:00PM Saturday and Sunday.
“I’ll be here 89 hours a week. This is my passion!”
Be there for the main event, the April 14th KNOCKOUT opening day. Then the first bell will ring!
Witherspoon Boxing & Fitness
The Grundy Commons
925 Canal Street #19
Bristol Borough, PA 19007-3951
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