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Today is April 8, 2020

Wayne Withers

The Mississippian taking the professional arm-wrestling world by storm

By Sandra M. Buckley

Wayne Withers

Framed at 6 feet 6 inches tall and 300 pounds, Wayne Withers of Neshoba County is a sturdy man who is taking the arm-wrestling world by storm.

Withers grew up in Carthage, where his dad worked as a logger. He liked helping out his dad; and thus, he bulked up along the way. His father also was known for his arm-wrestling skills, often challenging locals to friendly, spur-of-the-moment matches. By default, the younger Withers picked up an interest in that as well.

As the years passed, Withers not only learned more about arm wrestling, he trained and competed in the sport. He discovered, too, that arm wrestlers, also known as pullers, did not have much of a presence in Mississippi — and he set out to change that fact.

With a spirit of determination, over the last decade, Withers has taken competitive arm wrestling to a new level and developed it as a competitive sport in Mississippi. “Mississippi is on the map,” he said of its growing popularity. Today, his passion and efforts, alongside fellow arm wrestler enthusiasts who started the Mississippi Arm Fighter group, are building momentum — and muscles — across the state. “We went from myself being the only competitive puller to about 60 pullers statewide. We hold about four major tournaments a year and are growing every day.”

Withers holds numerous wins and titles, within the state, region and country. “I’m currently ranked first right hand and left hand Super Heavyweight Champion in Mississippi and overall right and left hand in Mississippi,” he said. “I have previous Northeast regional titles and Southeast regional titles. I am the two-time defending Alabama State Champion; the Louisiana State Champion and New Mexico State Champion; and most recently, Pennsylvania World Arm Wrestling League Qualifier Champion.” His North American standing, which also includes Canada and Mexico, ranks him in the top 10.

To train for this level of physical competition, Withers said he is at the gym four days a week, aggressively strengthening his forearms, biceps, wrists and back. In addition to the bodily training, competitive pullers must also learn the sport’s rules and regulations as well as maneuvering techniques and strategies.

“I’m very passionate knowing that I’m a champion at the sport I’ve loved since I was a child,” Withers shared. “And 100 years after I’m gone from this world, if arm wrestling is mentioned in Mississippi, you will hear my name — and that’s something I can be proud of.”

Withers, who is a husband, father of three and certified electrician, encourages others to get involved in Mississippi’s growing arm-wrestling arena. In the meantime, he is paving the way for himself and future pullers. “With a wall full of trophies,” he added, “it feels great to know I’ve worked very hard to achieve my goals — and I’m only scratching the surface of what I can do on my way to World Champion.”

 

Wayne Withers is a Central Electric member. Call him at 601-741-1380 or visit Wayne Withers Arm Wrestling on YouTube or Mississippi Arm Fighter on Facebook for more information.

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