Approaching 34, I’d begun to feel my time as an Amateur footballer was drawing to a close; family and working life making the commitment to stay fit and available hard to muster. I’ve never been particularly gifted, but hard work, a loud monotone Yorkshire accent and a fearless approach to the tackle has carved me a small niche in local league football in Cambridgeshire for the past decade. However, I’ve recently realised I’m a mere pup and to retire now would be tantamount to quitting at my peak. What changed? Well if Tim Witherspoon is to fight again at 49 I reckon I could tackle another right winger or two.
True, Tim Witherspoon has proven an infinitely more talented sportsman than I and true his greatest weapon, that thudding right hand, will probably still be an object of fear for aspiring heavyweights until he’s 59 but the fact he’s coming back as a professional heavyweight has put some bounce back in my step this morning. Witherspoon, who kind of played Alexander O’Neal to Larry Holmes’ Luthur Vandross, is a name and figure woven into my formative years thanks to his defeat of the popular but flawed Frank Bruno. The always on point Mark Staniforth, published in the Sporting Life today, covers the story with quotes from Tim on why he proposes to return and the likelihood of it.
Despite the growing renown of Sprott, Skelton and Williams you can’t help thinking he’d come to no harm at their hands and could probably pop out that smooth jab for a few rounds too. Of course, Tim has been a regular on these shores for a while, and at one time was Clinton Woods’ trainer – a relationship that didn’t bear fruit in the way Clinton has with Richard Poxon – and remains a popular figure at ringside around the country.
His plan is to become active in British rings and already the story he could face Scott Gammar is doing the rounds on the internet message boards. Mark’s interview with Tim is available by clicking here.