Ever since 1840, the first Monday of every year kicks off the “Mule Day” celebration in Columbia, Tennessee. On Thursday, July 7, the city which served as the ancestral home to James K. Polk will be declared “Spider Day”, as undefeated welterweight contender Tim “Spider” Webb (born James Timothy Webb) will be given the key to the city in a ceremony to be held at City Hall.
Webb (18-0, 15KO) is being honored for his courageous come-from-behind stoppage victory on ESPN2 this past May. Webb went to San Jose, California on Friday the 13th, overcoming facial cuts in five different locations to rally back and stop hometown favorite Jose Celaya on national television .
Very few have received the key to the city in Columbia. Webb is the first boxer to have such honors bestowed upon him, and appreciates the recognition from his hometown.
“It’s so nice that the town is doing this for me,” said Webb. “To my knowledge, no other athlete – not just boxing, but in all sports - has ever received this honor. To have the city of Columbia recognize me and the sport of boxing… it’s a huge thrill for me. It makes all of my hard work pay off, knowing that I can have this kind of effect on everyone.”
The win earned Webb a world ranking, as he is currently #13 in the IBF welterweight rankings. His cuts have all healed, and Webb has resumed training. The date of his next fight is unknown at the moment, though hopes for Team Webb are that the competition level progresses. The knockout win over Celaya remains Tim’s biggest to date. While content with the win, he wants to continue to climb the rankings and fight opponents that will consistently bring out the best in him.
“No question, I want big fights from now on,” insists Webb, who trains out of the Columbia Boxing Club under the guise of Dr. Morgan Hines. “I’m grateful for any opportunity I can get, but my mission now is to disprove the myth surrounding all Tennessee fighters. I know that going in to the Celaya fight, people probably looked at me and thought I was just some dumb, unskilled tough hillbilly. It’s a bad stereotype surrounding fighters down here.
“Granted, I didn’t put on a boxing clinic against Jose, but a win is a win. I fought with heart, and beat him in his hometown. The win help put me on the map, and earned the respect of my peers, and the citizens of my hometown. To show my appreciation, I want to do all I can to shed a positive light on the Tennessee fight scene.”
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at approximately 7:30PM.