Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Score it!... Holmes/Witherspoon (Part 1)

For this month's scorecard feature, The Boxing Bulletin looks back to the night Larry Holmes put his heavyweight title on the line against young Tim Witherspoon. With only fifteen fights to his name, few gave the challenger much chance, but the 6 to 1 underdog pushed the long-time champ to the brink.

Did Larry deserve to hang on to his title? Did Terrible Tim do enough to take it?

Let's go back to the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas, May 20, 1983...

The Boxing Bulletin have assembled a panel of our writers to judge the fight and explain their scores.

The Judges: Lee Payton, Brian McCarraher, Michael Nelson, Andrew Fruman and Mark Lyons.

Today, we'll break down rounds 1-6.


“This was a classic feeling out round. Tough to score, but it’s obvious at this stage that Spoon’s defensive style is going to be a problem for Holmes.” – BM

“Both fighters let their hands go, but in a cautious non-committal way and nothing of note landed.” - AF

“There's very little to separate the two fighters. Holmes is throwing far more punches, but Witherspoon blocked or slipped almost all of them. The few punches that Witherspoon threw were more accurate, albeit nothing damaging. Close round that I'd give to Witherspoon.” – MN

“Neither guy got off much, as both fighters showed excellent defense. Holmes landed a few more jabs and actually got in a hook or two.” - ML


“Larry still can't find a home for that left jab, and is having trouble landing when he lets go with power shots. Tim landed a hard right to the body and a short one in the corner, which probably won him the round, though Holmes nailed him with a beautiful shot at the bell. It was another close one.” – LP

“Witherspoon landed a crisp right inside and worked the body well. He also blocked just about all of Larry’s jabs that round, while backing him up consistently.” – BM

“Witherspoon is still doing a good job blocking Larry's shots, and now he's landing nice right hands to the body, as well as a strong counter jab. Holmes finally caught him with a flush punch at the end of the round as Witherspoon moved in, but most of the solid blows were landed by Witherspoon.” - MN

“Much the same story as we saw in the first round. Spoon got in some nice body punches, but a cross from Holmes at the bell was the best punch of the fight so far, and was enough to even the round on my card.” – ML


“Larry has started to touch Tim up with the stick in this round, but clubbing punches from the young man to end the round are enough to win it on my card. Witherspoon also landed the hardest punch of the round (and maybe the fight, so far). It was a murderous right hand to the ribs. That had to hurt a lot.” – LP

“I'm being reminded how much more fun it is to watch these guys fight than the current batch of heavyweights. Holmes is finding his range with his jab, landing a number of stiff ones. Witherspoon continues to bang Holmes' left side with his right hand. It was a close round, but it seems like Witherspoon's landing the harder shots, so I'm giving him another one.” – MN

“Witherspoon landed a couple nice right hands to the body, and punctuated the round by winning a good exchange near the end.” – AF


“Larry's pumping his jab energetically, and it's landing more and more. Tim's still sneaking in nice body shots and counter jabs. The first two minutes are close, but Holmes took over in the last minute.” - MN

“Spoon landed a big cross early. From there Holmes dictated the pace. He
is still having trouble getting off his vaunted jab. But he slipped several through and followed with a couple of nice crosses.” - ML

“Witherspoon’s defense is the biggest factor so far. His high guard and leaning style is a bad fit for Holmes, and he’s consistently landed his counter jab right in the center of the champ’s face.” – BM


“Spoon got lazy in the round and Holmes won it. The champ came out throwing some more combos, and managed to start getting through with some clean shots.” - BM

“I thought Holmes outworked Witherspoon this round, although the challenger came on over the last 30 seconds. It wasn’t enough to sway the round though on my card.” - AF

“Holmes finished off a four punch combo with a clean right to the head, but Tim came back with a heavy hook to the body and some nice forearm work. The challenger added some more physical stuff that earned him the round, while Holmes just couldn’t hit him like he wanted to.” – LP


“Holmes had Witherspoon handcuffed a bit, and had his own jab working well. Clear round for Larry.” - LP

“Larry controlled the 6th with his jab. Witherspoon landed a big right hand to the body with about the 30 seconds to go, but Larry came back with a couple of body shots of his own.” - MN

“Spoon's defense against the jab is masterful, but Holmes still kept him at bay
with it and got a few home. He mixed in some nice right hands as well. Spoon had a bit of a rally in the last minute. But I would say this was Holmes best round so far.” - ML

We'll be back tomorrow for Part 2.

January's edition: Hagler/Leonard

February's edition: Morales/Barrera


GG said...

Love these.

Where do you get the score card information? I was thinking about doing the same for my blog.

But you guys do such a great job.

Andy said...

Thanks GG. We're going to do one of these every month.

levizer94 said...

how can you score the frst even, it was a clear holmes win. gotta mute the sound, the commentators are scoring this one for you guys!