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|Real name||Theodore Flowers|
August 5, 1895|
|Died||November 16, 1927
New York City, New York
|Wins by KO||56|
Theodore Flowers (August 5, 1895 – November 16, 1927) became the first African-American middleweight boxing champion, defeating Harry Greb in 1926. Known as "Tiger", he began boxing professionally in 1918 at the age of 23 while working at a Philadelphia shipbuilding plant. Nicknamed the "Georgia Deacon", he was a devoutly religious man who would recite a passage from Psalm 144 before every bout.
Theodore Flowers was married and had a daughter named Verna Lee Flowers.
During his career, Flowers would meet many high caliber fighters, including Sam Langford, Kid Norfolk, Jamaica Kid, and Mickey Walker. In 1924, Tiger was rated the number one contender to Greb's title by Ring Magazine. Flowers earned a shot at Harry Greb after losing a questionable decision to lightheavyweight champion Mike McTigue.
On February 26, 1926, before a crowd of 16,311 at Madison Square Garden, Flowers dethroned Greb by unanimous decision, and would repeat the victory in August. Tiger's next bout came against Mickey Walker in Chicago. Flowers would dominate the bout but would lose a controversial decision in the eyes of many, which would later be investigated by the Illinois Athletic Commission, but the decision would not be overturned.
While trying to obtain a rematch with Walker, Flowers was hospitalized in November, 1927, to have surgery to remove scar tissue from around his eyes. Complications from the surgery resulted in his death on November 16, 1927, reminiscent of the surgery that caused the death of Greb the year before. He was buried in Atlanta's Lincoln Cemetery.
- The Pussycat of Prizefighting: Tiger Flowers and the Politics of Black Celebrity
- New Georgia Encyclopedia: Tiger Flowers (1895–1927)
- Career record at boxrec.com
- CyberBoxingZone Bio
- IBHOF Bio