The REAL Rocky Balboa—Two-Time Heavyweight World Champion Tim Witherspoon

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Episode Description

In this episode Matt talks to the two-time heavyweight champion of the world from the fighting city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Tim Witherspoon. Although he’s known as “Terrible Tim” he’s one of the greatest guys you’ll ever meet, who still at age 64 doesn’t want to disappoint his mom. 

Tim likes to say he’s the real Rocky because he grew up not far from the Italian Market in Philly, where the Oscar winning movie was filmed. In fact, Tim’s mom—who raised eight kids nearly single-handedly—used to take him there to buy groceries as a kid. And yes, he’s also run those iconic steps at the museum. 

The boxer’s positive attitude is infectious. He credits his success and the ability to overcome racism and resistance to gangs, which were active in his neighborhood, to having supportive and loving people around him during his formative years. Playing sports also helped, and so did going to church every Sunday. One of his mentors welcomed him into his family, a Jewish family that fed him, hugged him, and sent him to summer camp. Tim can recite prayers in Hebrew to this day! 

He also credits his success as a boxer to having the right people around him. When Muhammad Ali noticed him at the gym and asked him to be his sparring partner Tim’s confidence soaredHe says he wasn’t fond of the moniker given to him by a friend “Terrible Tim” at first, but when Ali kept referring to him that way it stuck. Because at the time, if you were terrible, it meant the opposite of what you’d expectyou were awfully good. And if you think you can’t build muscle without meat, this champion has been a vegetarian for 45 years. 

Don’t miss Tim’s hilarious answers to Matt’s FAST FIVE questions. 

Tim teaches the secrets of boxing he was taught by the old timers and shares his healthy diet on his YouTube channel. To support his endeavors, visit his Patreon page. 

Tim Witherspoon | YouTube
Tim Witherspoon | Facebook
@officiallytimwitherspoon | Instagram 


In each episode of Life’s Tough – Boxers Are TOUGHER!  host Matthew Pomara, licensed amateur boxer, and boxing writer and contributor to “The Ring” magazine and “,” talks to men and women in the boxing industry whose hard-won victories and personal triumph and perseverance inspire listeners to fight on.  Because life isn’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.  

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Matthew Pomara



Tim Witherspoon


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