Larry Holmes Beats Tim Witherspoon This Day May 20, 1983 and retains the heavyweight crown
- Larry Holmes 213 lbs
- Tim Witherspoon 219½ lbs
- SD in round 12 of 12
- Location: Dunes Hotel & Casino, Outdoor Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
- Referee: Mills Lane
- Judge: Chuck Minker 115-113
- Judge: Chuck Hassett 118-111
- Judge: Herb Santos 114-115
- Unofficial AP scorecard: 115-113 Holmes
- Unofficial KO Magazine scorecard: 114-114
- World Boxing Council Heavyweight Title (15th defense by Holmes)
Holmes was a 6 to 1 betting favorite.
Witherspoon entered the fight ranked 3rd by the WBC.
Holmes’ purse was $2.1 million, while Witherspoon’s was $250,000.
An estimated crowd of 18,000 saw the fight in the 20,000-seat outdoor arena at the Dunes Hotel.
At the official weigh-in the day before the fight, Holmes tipped the scales at 213 pounds. He later said he was too light for Witherspoon, who proved much stronger than the champion expected. Holmes also said that he awoke on the morning of the fight with a bad case of diarrhea. He said he got it because he ate “a lot of corn and rice and steak” after the weigh-in. “I think I left a lot of my strength in the bathroom,” Holmes said.
The crowd booed when the decision was announced in favor of Holmes. Many felt that Witherspoon deserved the verdict. A straw poll taken at ringside had Witherspoon winning by two points. Boxing Monthly listed the fight as one of its ten most controversial fights of all-time.