Dick Tiger

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Dick Tiger
Dick Tiger.jpg
Statistics
Real name Richard Ihetu
Rated at Middleweight
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Reach 71 in (180 cm)
Nationality Nigeria Nigerian
Born (1929-08-14)August 14, 1929
Amaigbo, Nigeria
Died December 14, 1971(1971-12-14) (aged 42)
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 82
Wins 60
Wins by KO 27
Losses 16
Draws 3

Dick Tiger CBE (born Richard Ihetu August 14, 1929 – December 14, 1971) was a boxer from Ubahu village, Amaigbo, Nigeria, who emigrated to Liverpool and later to the United States of America. Tiger was a member of the Igbo ethnic group.[1] Tiger was a boxer, commercial venturer, and Biafran rebel.

Professional career[edit]

Dick Tiger was one of the greatest fighters to come out of Africa. He became a two-time undisputed world middleweight titlist and helped keep boxing alive during the 1950s boxing industry recession. Tiger earned an undisputed Light-Heavyweight world championship. In 1962, Tiger won the world middleweight boxing championship.

On May 20, 1965, Tiger floored Rubin "Hurricane" Carter three times and won a unanimous 10-round decision. Tiger took on Gene Fullmer and won the world's Middleweight title by decision in fifteen. Later in a rematch he drew in fifteen and in the rubber match won by knockout in seven rounds.

Tiger was an "in-house fighter" at New York City's Madison Square Garden.

Retirement and death[edit]

After retiring from boxing, Tiger worked as a guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. One day, he felt a strong pain in his back. Tested by doctors, he was diagnosed with liver cancer. Tiger had been banned by the Nigerian government in his country because of his involvement in the Biafran movement; however, the ban was lifted immediately after news about his condition arrived in Nigeria.

He died of liver cancer on December 14, 1971; he was 42 years old.[2]

Biafran rebel cause[edit]

Tiger developed a portfolio of investments before the outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War. Tiger was appointed CBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, but he returned his insignia as a protest for what he perceived as a lack of support by Great Britain to the Biafran cause.

Professional boxing record[edit]

60 Wins (27 Knockouts), 16 Defeats (2 Knockouts), 3 Draws[3]
Res. Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
Loss 60-19-3 United States Virgin Islands Emile Griffith UD 10 1970-07-15 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 60-18-3 United States Andy Kendall UD 10 1969-11-14 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 59-18-3 Italy Nino Benvenuti UD 10 1969-05-26 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 58-18-3 United States Frank DePaula UD 10 1968-10-25 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York The Ring magazine's "Fight of the Year" (1968)
Loss 57-18-3 United States Bob Foster KO 4 (15), 2:05 1968-05-24 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Lost The Ring, WBC & WBA World Light Heavyweight titles
Win 57-17-3 United States Roger Rouse TKO 12 (15), 0:12 1967-11-17 United States Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada Retained The Ring, WBC & WBA World Light Heavyweight titles
Win 56-17-3 Puerto Rico José Torres SD 15 1967-05-16 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Retained The Ring, WBC & WBA World Light Heavyweight titles
Win 55-17-3 Nigeria Abraham Tomica TKO 5 (10) 1967-02-05 Nigeria Mile One Park, Port Harcourt
Win 54-17-3 Puerto Rico José Torres UD 15 1966-12-16 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Won The Ring, WBC & WBA World Light Heavyweight titles
Loss 53-17-3 United States Virgin Islands Emile Griffith UD 15 1966-04-25 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Lost The Ring, WBC & WBA World Middleweight titles
Win 53-16-3 Germany Peter Mueller KO 3 (10), 0:57 1966-02-18 Germany Westfalenhalle, Dortmund, Nordrhein-Westfalen
Win 52-16-3 United States Joey Giardello UD 15 1965-10-21 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Won The Ring, WBC & WBA World Middleweight titles
Win 51-16-3 United States Rubin Carter UD 10 1965-05-20 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 50-16-3 Argentina Juan Carlos Rivero TKO 6 (10) 1965-03-12 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Loss 49-16-3 United States Joey Archer SD 10 1964-10-16 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 49-15-3 United States Don Fullmer UD 10 1964-09-11 United States Cleveland Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Win 48-15-3 Puerto Rico Jose Monon Gonzalez TKO 6 (10) 1964-07-31 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Loss 47-15-3 United States Joey Giardello PTS 15 1963-12-07 United States Atlantic City Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey Lost The Ring, WBC & WBA World Middleweight titles
Win 47-14-3 United States Gene Fullmer RTD 7 (15), 3:00 1963-08-10 Nigeria Liberty Stadium, Ibadan Retained WBA & Won vacant The Ring, WBC World Middleweight titles
Draw 46-14-3 United States Gene Fullmer PTS 15 1963-02-23 United States Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada Retained WBA World Middleweight title
Win 46-14-2 United States Gene Fullmer UD 15 1962-10-23 United States Candlestick Park, California, California Won vacant WBA World Middleweight titles
Win 45-14-2 United States Henry Hank UD 10 1962-03-31 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 44-14-2 Cuba Florentino Fernández TKO 6 (10) 1962-01-20 United States Miami Beach, Florida
Win 43-14-2 United States William Pickett UD 10 1961-12-16 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 42-14-2 United States Hank Casey SD 10 1961-05-15 United States New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 41-14-2 United States Spider Webb KO 6 (10), 2:41 1961-04-15 United States St. Nicholas Arena, New York, New York
Win 40-14-2 United States Gene Armstrong TKO 9 (10), 1:21 1961-02-18 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 39-14-2 Canada Wilf Greaves TKO 9 (15), 1:20 1960-11-30 Canada Edmonton Gardens, Edmonton, Alberta Won Commonwealth (British Empire) Middleweight title
Loss 38-14-2 Canada Wilf Greaves SD 15 1960-06-22 Canada Edmonton Gardens, Edmonton, Alberta Lost Commonwealth (British Empire) Middleweight title
Win 38-13-2 Argentina Víctor Zalazar MD 10 1960-04-01 United States Boston Arena, Boston, Massachusetts
Win 37-13-2 United States Gene Armstrong UD 10 1960-02-24 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Win 36-13-2 United States Holly Mims MD 10 1959-12-30 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Loss 35-13-2 United States Joey Giardello UD 10 1959-11-04 United States Cleveland Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Win 35-12-2 United States Joey Giardello UD 10 1959-09-30 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Win 34-12-2 United States Gene Armstrong PTS 10 1959-09-02 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey
Loss 33-12-2 United States Rory Calhoun SD 10 1959-07-17 United States War Memorial Auditorium, Syracuse, New York
Draw 33-12-2 United States Rory Calhoun PTS 10 1959-06-05 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 33-12-1 United States Randy Sandy PTS 10 1959-05-12 England Empire Pool, Wembley, London
Loss 32-11-1 United States Randy Sandy PTS 10 1959-05-12 England Liverpool Stadium, Liverpool, Merseyside
Win 32-10-1 Trinidad and Tobago Yolande Pompey PTS 10 1958-10-14 England Empire Pool, Wembley, London
Loss 31-10-1 United States Spider Webb PTS 10 1958-06-24 England Empress Hall, Earl's Court, Kensington, London
Win 31-9-1 England Billy Ellaway KO 2 (8) 1958-05-01 England Liverpool Stadium, Liverpool, Merseyside
Win 30-9-1 England Pat McAteer KO 9 (15) 1958-03-27 England Liverpool Stadium, Liverpool, Merseyside Won Commonwealth (British Empire) Middleweight title
Win 29-9-1 England Johnny Read KO 6 (8) 1958-03-27 England Harringay Arena, Harringay, London
Win 28-9-1 England Jimmy Lynas KO 7 (8) 1958-02-03 England King's Hall, Belle Vue, Manchester
Win 27-9-1 France Jean Ruellet PTS 8 1958-01-13 England City Hall, Hull, Yorkshire
Win 26-9-1 Republic of Ireland Paddy Delargy KO 6 (10) 1957-11-28 England Embassy Sportsdrome, Birmingham, West Midlands
Draw 25-9-1 England Pat McAteer PTS 10 1957-11-11 Wales Maindy Stadium, Cardiff
Win 25-9 France Jean Claude Poisson PTS 10 1957-10-21 Wales Maindy Stadium, Cardiff
Win 24-9 Wales Phil Edwards PTS 10 1957-09-09 Wales Maindy Stadium, Cardiff
Win 23-9 England Alan Dean PTS 8 1957-07-25 England Liverpool Stadium, Liverpool, Merseyside
Loss 22-9 Scotland Willie Armstrong PTS 8 1957-07-15 England Engineer's Club, West Hartlepool, County Durham
Win 22-8 France Marius Dori TKO 7 (8) 1957-06-04 England Harringay Arena, Harringay, London
Win 21-8 England Terry Downes TKO 5 (8) 1957-05-14 England Town Hall, Shoreditch, London Cut eye stoppage. Matchup of future world champions.
Win 20-8 England Johnny Read TKO 2 (8) 1957-04-29 England National Sporting Club, Piccadilly, London
Win 19-8 England Alan Dean PTS 8 1956-11-09 England Tower Circus, Blackpool, Lancashire
Loss 18-8 England Alan Dean PTS 6 1956-10-18 England Liverpool Stadium, Blackpool, Lancashire
Win 18-7 England Jimmy Lynas PTS 8 1956-07-02 England Tower Circus, Blackpool, Lancashire
Win 17-7 England Wally Scott TKO 4 (8) 1956-05-28 England Engineer's Club, West Hartlepool, County Durham
Win 16-7 England Alan Dean PTS 8 1956-05-10 England Liverpool Stadium, Blackpool, Lancashire
Win 15-7 Wales Dennis Rowley KO 1 (8) 1956-05-03 England Liverpool Stadium, Blackpool, Lancashire
Loss 14-7 England George Roe PTS 8 1956-03-22 England Liverpool Stadium, Blackpool, Lancashire
Loss 14-6 England Jimmy Lynas PTS 8 1956-03-01 England Tower Circus, Blackpool, Lancashire
Loss 14-5 England Gerry McNally PTS 8 1956-01-27 England Tower Circus, Blackpool, Lancashire
Loss 14-4 England Alan Dean PTS 6 1955-12-08 England Liverpool Stadium, Blackpool, Lancashire

Fiction[edit]

  • A fictional August 29, 1963 Madison Square Garden bout in which a heavily favored Dick Tiger loses to Tom "The Hammer" Case of Dallas, Texas comes near the end of Stephen King's time-travel novel 11/22/63.

TV[edit]

  • Appeared as a guest on an episode of the American television series What's My Line?. The panel correctly guessed his occupation.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Makinde, Adeyinka (2005). Dick Tiger: The Life and Times of a Boxing Immortal. Tarentum, PA: Word Association Publishers. ISBN 1-59571-042-6. 

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Gene Fullmer
WBA Middleweight Champion
23 Oct 1962 – 7 Dec 1963
Succeeded by
Joey Giardello
Vacant
Title last held by
Paul Pender
WBC Middleweight Champion
7 May 1963 – 7 Dec 1963
The Ring Middleweight Champion
7 May 1963 – 7 Dec 1963
Vacant
Title last held by
Gene Fullmer
World Middleweight Champion
7 May 1963 – 7 Dec 1963
Preceded by
Joey Giardello
WBA Middleweight Champion
21 Oct 1965 – 25 Apr 1966
Succeeded by
Emile Griffith
WBC Middleweight Champion
21 Oct 1965 – 25 Apr 1966
The Ring Middleweight Champion
21 Oct 1965 – 25 Apr 1966
World Middleweight Champion
21 Oct 1965 – 25 Apr 1966
Preceded by
José Torres
WBA Light Heavyweight Champion
16 Dec 1966 – 24 May 1968
Succeeded by
Bob Foster
WBC Light Heavyweight Champion
16 Dec 1966 – 24 May 1968
The Ring Light Heavyweight
16 Dec 1966 – 24 May 1968
World Light Heavyweight Champion
16 Dec 1966 – 24 May 1968
Awards
Preceded by
Joe Brown
Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
1962
Succeeded by
Cassius Clay
Preceded by
Gene Fullmer
BWAA Fighter of the Year
1962
Succeeded by
Emile Griffith
Preceded by
Emile Griffith
Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
1965
Succeeded by
Joe Frazier (1967)
Preceded by
Muhammad Ali
BWAA Fighter of the Year
1966
Succeeded by
Carlos Ortiz