Advertisement
Advertisement

Firsts For Witherspoon’s Possible Last Shot at Contention

By Jake Donovan

Chazz Witherspoon is living proof that it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks.

There were several firsts surrounding the Philly heavyweight heading into his HBO-televised co-feature with Chris Arreola in June ’08. Both fighters were unbeaten and fighting on HBO for the first time.

The night went miserably awry for Witherspoon, who was battered and beaten prior to getting dropped hard twice, including one at the end of the third round. He was spared a knockout loss only because his corner entered the ring while the referee continued with his count, resulting in a DQ loss, similar to what recently played out last month in Carlos Molina’s loss to James Kirkland.

The major difference in the fights was that Witherspoon never stood a chance on this particular night. He has since won seven of eight, with the only loss coming against Tony Thompson in Dec. ’09.

Still, it wasn’t until Witherspoon (30-2, 22KO) received a shot at unbeaten Seth Mitchell (24-0-1, 18KO) when he decided to make drastic changes in his career. The two American heavyweights collide on April 28 in an HBO-televised co-feature live from Atlantic City.

The fight takes place about an hour and change from Witherspoon’s hometown of Paulsboro, NJ, on the outskirts of Philadelphia. Yet home court advantage will only play out on fight night (if at all). Witherspoon taken to the road for what could possibly serve as his last chance at being regarded as a legitimate heavyweight force.

“Lots for firsts for me heading into this fight,” Witherspoon notes.

It was revealed during a recent conference call that the 30-year old – whose second cousin is former heavyweight titlist Tim Witherspoon – is actually in a training camp for the first time in his career.

Preparation for the bulk of his 32 pro fights to date has been kept close to him.  This time around, Witherspoon saw fit to bring in additional ammunition, as he is now working with 2011 Trainer of the Year Virgil Hunter, best known for his work with super middleweight king Andre Ward.

“The way I look at it is, people have yet to see me at my best,” Witherspoon insists. “Everything came together out of nowhere. I was a blessing how I got together with Virgil and I got to get away to go to camp. I plan on going out there and give a good performance.”

Another prominent figure accompanies Witherspoon in this latest journey, as his new management team is headed by former heavyweight titlist Ken Norton Sr. Though boxing is their bond, it was another medium that led to such a union.

“My uncle, my dad’s brother, is the lead singer for Cameo, Larry Blackmon,” Witherspoon reveals. “He told me he had some buddies who did some stuff with music and with Hollywood and that one of them mentioned that I should get together with Ken Norton, who runs Jawbreaker Management.

“We talked and it all came together pretty fast. I’ve never been in camp before, so all of these opportunities came together at the same time. [It’s my] first fight with Ken Norton, first fight with Virgil, first fight in a camp.”

The only remaining first for Witherspoon is to come out on a top in a fight with title fight implications. Whatever the result, the St. Joseph’s-educated heavyweight will make certain that his presence is felt.

“Everyone who knows me, knows that I come to fight. I’m a man’s man; I don’t fear any man.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by joe strong on 04-17-2012

this is a big fight for both. twice witherspoon has stepped up & twice he lost. if he loses this fight it could relegate him to gatekeeper status.mitchell is on the cusp & This is his 2nd opponent who is…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Video: Anthony Crolla-Jorge Linares Post Fight Press Conference Malignaggi: So Obvious, Team Canelo Waiting For Golovkin To Age Javier Fortuna Back With a Bang, Demolishes Cabrera in Two Donnie Nietes vs. Edgar Sosa LIVE Results Crolla: Linares Rocked My World, I'm Not Going To Lie Klitschko-Fury 2 - Barclaycard-Arena on Hold For December 10 Jorge Linares Decisions Anthony Crolla, Wins Lightweight Crown Arnfield Shocks Ryder - Wins WBA Regional, Targets British Belt Anthony Crolla vs. Jorge Linares - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Callum Johnson Stops Shihepo, Wins Commonwealth Belt Deontay Wilder: Tyson Fury No Longer Cares About Boxing Klitschko Waits on Word From The Sanctioning Bodies on Fury Hosea Burton Conor Benn, Marcus Morrison Get Wins Nihito Arakawa Retains Title, Stops Yusuke Tsukada in Six Rounds Malignaggi Will Not Go For The EBU Title, Withdraws From Spot Anthony Joshua Ready To Replace Tyson Fury, Fight Klitschko! Crolla Plans To Be Calculating, Take The Fight To Linares Early Warren: Won't Take Long For Liam Smith To Get in World Title Mix Parker: Dimitrenko's Height Will Prepare Me For Champions Curtis Stevens: Me And Lemieux Should Fight For Shot at Canelo Teddy Atlas: Golovkin Looked HORRIBLE Against Brook Anthony Crolla Pumped: This is My Kostya Tsyzu Moment! Donnie Nietes Ready To Make Impressive Debut at Flyweight Anthony Crolla vs. Jorge Linares - Tale of The Tape Jarrell Miller: I'd Break Joshua's Face in Half, I'd Run Him Over! Canelo-Golovkin: Promoters Agree To Sit Down in Two Weeks Tommy Morrison's Son: I Opened Some Eyes, Roach Improved Me Anthony Crolla-Jorge Linares: Pre-Fight Report Card Carlos Carlson Gets Off The Deck To Win By Knockout Christopher Diaz, Julian Rodriguez Win: Toka Kahn Clary KO'd Canelo-Smith PPV: Golden Boy Pleased With 300K Buys Radivoje Kalajdzic Drops, Stops Travis Peterkin in Five Rounds Ivan Baranchyk Goes The Distance, Decisions Wang Zhimin Tommy Morrison's Son Demolishes Ed Latimore in One Round Ivan Golub Blasts Out James Stevenson in Three Rounds Rico Ramos vs. Prosper Ankrah at Los Angeles Badminton Club Photos: Donnie Nietes, Edgar Sosa on Weight, Ready For War Gilberto Ramirez To Return in 2017, Says Bob Arum Golovkin vs. Jacobs: Barclays Center Placed on Hold For Dec. 10 Ivan Baranchyk Plans To Put on a Show, Entertain on ShoBox
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement