Yesteryear Fights - Printable Version

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Interview: Pinklon Thomas

By Ray Wheatley – World of Boxing

Former WBC heavyweight champion Pinklon Thomas (43-7-1, 34 KOs) talks to Peter Maniatis about defeating Tim Witherspoon for the WBC heavyweight crown and defending successfully against Mike Weaver, losing the world title to Trevor Berbick, being stopped by Mike Tyson, and what a great man Angelo Dundee was.


(Pinklon Thomas outpointed Tim Witherspoon by twelve round majority decision to capture the WBC championship on August 31, 1984 in Las Vegas)

“It was a classic bout man against Tim Witherspoon. He had trainer Slim Jim Robinson from South Philly. My trainer was George Benton from North Philadelphia. They had both fought each other in the amateurs. They both had that Philadelphia style. I wanted to display Georgie Benton’s skills. I am sure Tim wanted to display Slim Jim Robinson’s skills. I wanted to outclass him, outbox and outmaneuver him. I did it. I did that in the ring, but outside the ring, me and Tim were great friends.”


(Pinklon Thomas defends the WBC heavyweight crown successfully by stopping Mike Weaver in eight rounds on June 15, 1985 in Las Vegas)

“Weaver had knocked out Big John Tate in the last thirteen seconds of the fifteenth round of their fight. Mike fought Larry Holmes. I think Larry won in round thirteen. Mike was one helluva puncher. He had great conditioning. Mike had all the muscles and that was very intimidating. I had to bite the bullet. I had to have more heart than experience to get through what I had to get through. To get to where I wanted to go. That’s what pushed me through – my heart and my left jab. That came natural.”


(Trevor Berbick outpointed Pinklon Thomas over twelve rounds to capture the WBC heavyweight crown on March 22, 1986 in Las Vegas)

“There was a lot going on that time. It was a political move. A political move I don’t want to really get into. Me and Berbick, we were the only ones that weren’t connected to Don King. I think about a week before the fight they got to Berbick. Who do you think they are going to go for if it goes the distance? I am not saying I should have won the fight no matter what. I think the fight was close. I wasn’t stressed out. I was world champion. I think if I was in the clique – I would have held my title.”


(Mike Tyson stopped Pinklon Thomas in round six to retain the WBC and WBA heavyweight crowns on May 30 1987 in Las Vegas)

“Mike came out strong like he always does. After the second round, I gained control. I wasn’t getting hit. I was using the jab. Third round was even. Fourth I think I won. The fifth I pulled off to. Something happened. My gloves split. I was going to take Tyson to the cleaners. Another two or three rounds I would have got him. Unfortunately, my gloves split. They had to cut the gloves off. It took ten minutes to get another set of gloves. I was really frustrated and upset. I had a broken right shoulder. I couldn’t hold my right hand up. I got hit with seventeen unanswered punches and I went down. I knew I had to get back up and I didn’t want to be counted out. I couldn’t continue. I did get back up. That’s the way that fight went. Only me and Mike Tyson and the Lord knows what was going on in that fight. Mike today is not like the person he was when he was fighting. Mike is a better person now. I love Mike now. I have a lot of respect for Mike.”

ANGELO DUNDEE (Pinklon Thomas’ trainer)

“Angelo was my trainer, my mentor, and my dad. He was everything man. He was a guy I could call in the morning or night. He introduced me to everybody. Told me I was “the Greatest.” I said no – Ali is the greatest. He said no you are the greatest because you changed your life when you cleaned up and got off drugs. Learning how to live again and doing the right thing. He was a humble guy. I learned so much from Angelo. I still miss that old man.”

RE: Yesteryear Fights - diehard - 12-31-2021

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