Category Archives: Philly Keith Interviews

“Terrible” Tim Witherspoon Interview part 2 – 2007

 

PK: So you have decided to the return to the ring, how do you feel, are you in shape?

TW: I am not in full shape right now; I am trying to gather help with sponsors and other people who are interested. I stopped working during the day so I can concentrate on training. I’ve been training with the guys that I teach since I retired. I have gained some pounds but I have been active hitting the bags and such 3 to 4 days out of the week so I haven’t been just sitting around.

PK: You said you want to go the Bo Jackson route doing the boxing and also some promoting. How do you plan on pulling that off?

TW: Well I don’t have all the problems in my head now and have the time to think back on the things I didn’t capitalize on in my career. Things sit on my head real easy these days.

PK: I take it you have a lot of ideas.

TW: Oh yeah, like training guys now is the last thing on my mind because it is so easy to me. Some trainers get all panicked and it is hard work for them. And I’m talking the big trainers like the McGirt’s and Mayweather’s and all. Teaching is easy to me and I love to recruit. I want to see a boxer go in the right direction; hook them up with a sponsor or investor who will take care of them. I think boxing needs a person that fighters can trust.

PK: What specifically do you have going on?

TW: I have been setting up companies. I have one in England called Big Bash. Dennis Hopson Sr. is my partner over there. I go from England to Ireland to different parts of Europe trying to recruit fighters. The only problem right now is that I lack sponsors. I have been talking to people in this area (Philly) and we will gradually pick it up and put it together. Once we get moving we will be big in the Philly, New Jersey and New York area with fighters from all over the world.

PK: As a promoter, what would like to change or make different from what the guys right now are doing?

TW: Right now there are a lot of guys with money trying to promote but they don’t know who the right guy to be with is. Like when I was with Fingerman, when you walk with me, you know who you are with and know there ain’t no shaky stuff going on.

PK: What happened with that? The final product Fingerspoon put together was a very good night of boxing.

TW: I think I helped him a lot, being the former world champ, not to brag or nothing but I know a lot of people. So when he was walking with me people had to realize he ain’t a bad dude because Tim ain’t getting into no dumb shit. I met Mike at a Racquetball club in Newtown. I just came back from England looking for investors. Mike was interested but it didn’t seem like he trusted me but trusted other people. I was trying to get him involved and hooking him up with important people but I don’ t think I got the full return. I think he wanted to do it on his own. He has the money and I have know how and it could have worked. I feel like he wanted someone to help him then for him to go on his own as I was looking for someone to help build fighters.

PK: How would Tim Witherspoon build a fighter?

TW: I would like to start with the amateurs. A lot of people don’t want to deal with amateurs and I think that is wrong. Most people want a guy who is 10 – 0, 9 – 1. I am ready to sweat at the bottom. I would allocate some money for the amateurs and allocate some for the professionals. You can’t just come along and steal people’s products. You have to grow your own and look towards the future. Everyone wants to jump right in and be the next Don King or Bob Arum.

PK: Speaking of Don King, you were with him during your title run. What is your take on King?

TW: Yeah he was my promoter back then. With King you will get a title shot and he will put you in the right situation if you are in shape. The negative publicity we had was a positive for me in the long run. I stood up to Don King, and people loved what I did. I have stood up to various promoters in my day. For that I had to take less money and suffered.

PK: Would you consider yourself a fighter’s fighter?

TW: You have guys who will take that money and not care about the next man. They don’t worry about it and people get hurt. I can’t live with that.

J.A.B. is a union in New York with the Kane brothers along with Eddie Mustapha. They asked me to join them and offered to pay a good amount of money to be the union president. I couldn’t accept at the time but I think it was offered because of my reputation.

PK: How did you get into boxing in the first place?

TW: I played football and got injured. I was a tight end with a football scholarship. But I got hurt, I wasn’t very motivated for school which I should have been. But I came home, got a job, but I said naw sports in my thing. I need to find something in sports. At the time a lot of my buddies were boxing. Penny Reese, Buster Drayton, Earl Hargrove, my brother Anthony, Clinton Barnes, I might have missed some more but we were all from South Philly.

Before long just boxing with one guy, Saad Muhammad, that was paying me $500 for two days where as my job was only made me $150 for a whole week. Gerry Cooney paid me $750 a week so you add it up! I gave good work to Michael Spinks, Trevor Borbick, Muhammad Ali, Eddie Mustapha Muhammad, Greg Page. I went on to beat Greg Page, Tony Tubbs.

PK: I guess that explains how you were able to get a title shot against Larry Holmes even though you were only 15 – 0.

TW: Yeah dudes like Holyfield and Mike Tyson had to wait until they had around 30 fights before they got a shot where I only had 15. They knew I was ready though just like they knew Holyfield or Tyson wasn’t ready at 14 fights. They were mean but they weren’t ready. I don’t think I ever reached my full potential. If I didn’t have a lot of obstacles in the way I think I would have had a much longer run.

PK: Ok, so give me one of your good ideas.

TW: I would like to see a reality show for trainers. If they had a reality show with trainers on it, I know I would come out on top. I know how to get away from punches and know how to work. These young guys are strong but don’t have the skills of when I came up with Ali and Holmes and them. We had the old school stuff, the old school teachers are falling off. We had Slim Jim Robinson, Georgie Benton is ill now; my trainer was one of the last to teach the slick and smart stuff.

Teddy Atlas is a good friend of mine and he be analyzing but I can see what he is doing wrong! I also like Wladimir Klitschko but I don’t think Emmanuel Stewart will take him to that next level. A lot of these guys are making it but they need someone to show them a better defense. Emmanuel can’t do it, I don’t know if Buddy can do it, Freddy Roach. I am not trying to bad talk these guys, a lot of them are my friends but if we had that reality show I would eat them all alive!

PK: That’s an interesting idea and something I would definitely watch. So if you are the best, why isn’t Kassim Ouma with you anymore?

TW: With Ouma, it wasn’t about me teaching him, it was about loyalty with him. I was Kassim’s friend and still am I think. I met his manager Jimmy Rohan while in Poland while I was fighting Andrew Golata. Jimmy offered to bring to me Florida to train him.

So we are down there with James Luwamba who was an undefeated light heavyweight and Kassim’s friend. We were working out every day and he became like my little brother.

Now Tom Moran is my manager at the time who I knew for like 20 years. He was a so called movie producer but said he wanted to help fighters. Turns out he is an opportunist looking to make money and learn the boxing game.

We were in it together going around the world, making money together, right. Then he left me, like Tim I’m fed up with it and got a job with Lou Duva recruiting people. He went over to England and bumped into a guy named Ron Boddie. He was still kicking my name around like I’m Tim Witherspoon’s manager, this and that because he knew they wouldn’t talk to him. Long story short, I asked Tom to come back and he did. Soon after we were to form a new company with myself, Tom, Jimmy Rohan and Ron Boddie who ran amature sports for the BBC. My job was to bring in the fighters for our company.

I got Kassim,  it took me like 7 – 8 months to get Kassim to join us and every day Tom is calling me about him, like “what is he doing”. They were worried he might be off doing something bad but I’m like don’t worry. Every day bugging me, so I finally gave Kassim Tom’s number, Tom Kassim’s number, basically I put them together.

Don’t you know like a month after that Tom started acting like he didn’t know me and then Kassim started acting funny. They stabbed me right in the back. Tom Moran was my manager for 18 years and turned his back on me once I got him Kassim. Everyone in Philly knew what happened and knew it was wrong. Even after that I tried to talk Kassim out of signing with Russell Peltz but he needed the money. He was my boy, I took him to my mom’s treated him like my little brother. I’d give him some money. You don’t forget about the people who helped you that’s cold blooded.

PK: Then why is Chazz with Tom Moran? Don’t you worry about that? Tom seems like he helps a lot of fighters.

TW: Chazz situation is different in that he is an experiment but I hooked him up with Tom beforehand. I hooked him up and a guy Darrell Richardson. Now I am going to make sure people go to the right guys and get assurance that everything is cool.

PK: Anything you want to add in closing?

TW: Hopefully I can fight on a main event and hype it up which will also help the younger fighters get some hype. They are using my line in the Rocky movie, the two-time Philly heavyweight champion! I am the real champion. We need to still use some of the older fighters, who have knowledge. Maybe they want to deal more fiction than they do truth. We will see.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can email Philly Keith at keith@phillykeith.com

Go to www.phillykeith.com for up to the minute info on the Philly boxing scene

“Terrible” Tim Witherspoon interview Part 1 – 2007

In this segment,  Philly’s top boxing photographer Mike “Teek” McGuigan comes from behind the camera to catch up with former World Heavyweight Champion “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon of South Philadelphia.

In this exclusive interview Tim talks a bit about his past, his desire to get back into the ring and how he wants to be remembered in the sport of boxing. While there is a lot more to come, right now we want to let the fans know that we just might be seeing the return of the Terrible One to a ring near you.

Tim witherspoon

Mike McGuigan: Is it true that you are making a comeback?

Terrible Tim Witherspoon: Yes it is.

MM: What kind of things are you planning for this year?

TW: Well I’m currently training fighters and have stock in promotional companies. I tried the thing with Fingerman but it didn’t work out. Now i’m trying to do the Bo Jackson and Michael Jordan thing doing both the promoting thing and fighting. It will keep me feeling young and healthy if I stay active. By helping out the fighters out training them, I am helping myself too.

Continue reading “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon interview Part 1 – 2007

Steve Upshur Chambers Interview – 2007 “If they aren’t willing to fight I am more than willing to take it to them.”

For those of you who prefer the fights at The Blue Horizon, you have come to know the Chambers brothers very well over the past few years. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Steve Upshur Chambers, the rising junior welterweight prospect who is fresh off of an exciting win over Lenny DiVictoria in December at the Blue which brought his record up to 14 – 1.

“Showtime” Steve believes big things are in store for him and his brother in 2007 and he shares his thoughts and plans with the fight fans around the world in this exclusive.

Philly Keith Sports: So Steve, with your last win do you think you are ready to showcase your skills on TV?

Steve Chambers: Oh yeah, I feel very ready but really I have to sit down with my team, they will decide when I am ready for TV and where I am gonna fight at. I’ve been going along with whatever they put in front of me, whoever they bring me and I beat them.

Continue reading Steve Upshur Chambers Interview – 2007 “If they aren’t willing to fight I am more than willing to take it to them.”

Max Alexander interview – January 2007 “Not one light heavyweight stands out to me. It is an iffy division, hopefully I can come in let my talent and skills take over. “

Photo by Mike McGuigan

February 9th, marks the return of up and coming Light Heavyweight prospect Max Alexander, a Camden, NJ native fighting out of Philadelphia whose has become one of the more popular names in the area.

While the local fans know what he is all about, he is ready to take it to the next level and many agree that he has what it takes to succeed. Mike Cassell of ESPN’s Philadelphia Boxing Report touts Max as the next Roy Jones Jr.

His skills have a few big name promoters interested in acquiring his services. Max returns to the ring on in a rematch of sorts against Minnesota’s Marty “The Wolfman” Lindquist on a card aptly labeled “Can Lightening Strike Twice” at the Legendary Blue Horizon in Philadelphia.

The 12 – 0 Light Heavyweight was having a stellar 2006 until he met Lindquist in October for a fight that became filled with controversy and subplots.

It was all set up to be a stepping stone for Alexander. But the Lindquist knocked Max out cold as soon as the opening bell rang. Some say it was perfectly timed, others say it was a cheap shot sucker punch as a fighter was coming out of his corner. Time of the bout was :11 seconds – a world record.

One week after the fight with Lindquist, the ruling was controversially changed  by the State Athletic Commission to a No Contest. Max is ready to set the record straight once and for all.

He recently took a few minutes to talk to Philly Keith Sports to let us know how he has been, where is now and where he plans to go in the future.

Philly Keith Sports: It’s been a little while since we have seen you in the ring, how do you feel physically, mentally?

Max Alexander: I’m feeling ready to fight, time to get back in the ring and do what I do best. I feel really good.

PK: What have you been doing to stay buy lately? I heard you have been sparring with a lot of tough fighters of late.

MA: I’ve been keeping my regular routine at Liberties Gym which is 5 days a week working with my trainer Danny Davis.

Yes, I have been getting good sparring in to, most recently working with Eddie Chambers, who is an outstanding heavyweight, his record is amazing. I have been taking in different in things, he is a much bigger guy weighing in around 225 so I gotta box him and stay on my toes, stay away from his power. It has been good work for both of us.

Continue reading Max Alexander interview – January 2007 “Not one light heavyweight stands out to me. It is an iffy division, hopefully I can come in let my talent and skills take over. “

“Fast” Eddie Chambers Q&A – “I’m ready to take it to the next level” – 2007

A lot of people in the boxing industry say the Heavyweight division is lacking in American talent. Pittsburgh native “Fast” Eddie Chambers is on a mission to disprove that theory and become one of the biggest names in the business.

The slick fisted 24-year-old has adopted Philadelphia as his new home, competing as a regular at the Legendary Blue Horizon. Now boasting a perfect 27 – 0 (15 ko’s )record, it is time to move on from the small venues and challenge the best in the land.

His first road test is around the corner as Eddie recently signed a promotion deal with California-based outfit Goosen – Tutor. The new tandem wasted little time getting Eddie out there on the national stage as he will be featured on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights on February 9th against NY state champ Derrick Rossy for the USBA Heavyweight title.

Chambers recently took the time to speak with Philly Keith Sports to talk about who he is, where he came from, the Heavyweight division as a whole and what he plans to do in this crazy sport of professional boxing.

Philly Keith Sports: Eddie, congratulations on signing a multi fight deal with Goossen Tutor. Tell us what are your thoughts on Goossen Tutor as a promoter, the promotional deal and what it means to you?

Eddie Chambers: Well, I think it is a great opportunity. Instead of going after it myself I have a big name out there behind me to help me get to the title. Goossen – Tutor is one of the best, if not the best promotional outfit out there. His style, the way he presented himself. He kept coming back and in contact with me. Everything seems real good with him. The best fit for me is definitely here. They have a good stable of fighters.

I think this is a great thing; it is something I really needed and will help me take the next step, the next level. I am very excited about it.

PK: You have been fighting in Philly for a long time but in your last fight you made the trip out to Vegas, what was that like getting out of the comfort zone where you weren’t the hometown guy. How did you feel?

Continue reading “Fast” Eddie Chambers Q&A – “I’m ready to take it to the next level” – 2007

Emmanuel Augustus Q&A “My motto is I was born ready” – 2007

photo by Alyssa Maloof

Emmanuel Augustus is at it again, taking a tough fight on his opponents promoters card and this time, on two days notice. But that’s just the way life has been for Augustus who has become a big fan favorite over the years despite a record of 34-27-6. His style is unique to say the least, have you ever seen anyone else kick a guys ass while dancing in the ring? Hit up www.youtube.com and type in Emmanuel Augustus to see what I mean.

Anyway, Emmanuel was cool enough to talk about his upcoming fight where he will be in the main event against Kid Diamoind on Thursday January 11th live on the Versus network.

My man held nothing back! Check it out.

Philly Keith: I’m here with Emmanuel Augustus, a favorite of many boxing fans around the world. Emmanuel, you took the fight on short notice, let me get to the point, are you ready?

Emmanuel Augustus: My motto is I was born ready, it is my job as a professional fighter to always stay ready. I don’t have the benefits of a big this or big that so I have to stay ready.   Emmanuel Augustus 2007 (2)

PK: So what is Kid Diamond in store for tomorrow night? Continue reading Emmanuel Augustus Q&A “My motto is I was born ready” – 2007

Jules Blackwell Interview – 2007 “I want to be a name that sells tickets, be the fighter people come to see”

During the second half of the 2006 boxing year at the Blue Horizon, the tide seemed to turn from fights featuring experienced veterans and younger fighters on the cusp of making it to the next level to cards filled with young hopefuls just breaking into the professional ranks. Jules Blackwell, a 26 year old southpaw super bantamweight from Phoenixville, PA made his pro debut on a sweltering hot night this past July at the Blue and gave the fans their moneys worth by scoring an impressive 2nd round knockout. Jules has stayed active since that night, and enters 2007 with a 3 – 0 record.

Jules is an impressive guy inside and out of the ring with a no time for rest approach. He is close to attaining a Graphic Design degree from Katharine Gibbs and also holds a day job where is an assistant manager. All of this combines with his boxing trainign at the Phoenixville P.A.L.

He took time out of his busy schedule to talk some boxing with Philly Keith Sports and in this exclusive interview; he lets the fans of Philadelphia and the world know who he is and what he plans on doing in the near future.

Philly Keith Sports – Jules, Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. Fight fans that spend their hard earned money to come to the Blue Horizon have been able to watch you fight on the last three cards of the year. While they are familiar with you, can you also tell us a bit about who your team consists of?

Jules Blackwell – Thank you for the opportunity. The guys on the team include John Mulvena, who is my trainer and head coach. John is a great, respectable all around boxing guy. Jimmy Deoria Jr. is my manager; he sets up fights and gets updates on opponents. Jimmy Deoria Sr. is the man behind it all. Dave just came along as well and is a big help.

PK – Who are some of your stable mates? Continue reading Jules Blackwell Interview – 2007 “I want to be a name that sells tickets, be the fighter people come to see”