Sports Column:Fun ahead for boxing fans tonight
PHILADELPHIA All that was missing from Friday afternoon's press conference for tonight's Tim Witherspoon fight at the Silver Star Resort &Casino was a Lion, a trapeze and a guy wearing a top hat.
It was definitely a circus.
There was no pre-fight brawling, ala Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis. There wasn't any fist-shaking or cursing. There wasn't even a lot of jawing between the fighters, but there was plenty of entertainment.
What you did have was a former Playboy model turned pro boxer sitting at the main table, with her mother by her side.
There was the pronouncement by promoter Dan Goossen that he now thinks of "Terrible" Tim Witherspoon as "Mr. Mom.''
There was an interesting tale woven by Witherspoon about his World Heavyweight Championship bout win over Frank Bruno in England in the 1980s.
There was the introduction of Amy Hayes, another former Playboy model as the ring announcer. "She definitely is better on the eyes than Michael Buffer," Goossen said.
To be honest, the press conference seemed more like a love fest than a boxing press conference. The fighters were cordial to their opponents and other than heavyweight Chester Hughes' warning to opponent Otis Tisdale that he better be ready for a beating, everything was pretty laid back.
And, it was fun.
But tonight the fun will be over, at least half of the fighters.
Mia St. John, the aforementioned Playboy model turned boxer, has one thing on her mind knocking out anybody she has to in order to get a bout with Christy Martin. That's not very good news for Kristy Follmar who will be standing in St. John's way when the two square off tonight.
Before the press conference began, St. John who has a tattoo on her right bicep and is the former wife of a soap opera star signaled to the crowd for her mom to come and join her at the head table.
Goossen got as much mileage as he could out of the fact that there were two ex-Playboy models sitting at the table, saying more than once that he wouldn't want to get in between the two women if they decided to fight.
While Witherspoon is by far the most experienced boxer on tonight's card, perhaps the best physical specimen is Hughes. The 6-foot-5, 235-pounder looks more like an NFL defensive end than a pro boxer. He towers over Tisdale, his opponent.
Finally, a little smack talk.
When Goossen introduced Witherspoon he talked of a fighter who made his pro debut in 1979 and made it all the way to the top. He also made reference to the fact that he is a single parent.
Witherspoon took it all in stride with a smile on his face, when he took his place behind the podium.
The tried to act a little concerned about his bout with the impressive looking Abdin, but it did seem a little forced.
The former champion may or may not have a little left in his boxing career. We will find out a lot about that tonight when he takes the ring for the main event around 8:30 p.m.
But one thing about Witherspoon, he surely seems happen.
And for now, Witherspoon is going to savor every moment of it.