|Real name||Theodore Flowers|
August 5, 1895|
|Died||November 16, 1927
New York City, New York
|Wins by KO||56|
Theodore "Tiger" Flowers (August 5, 1895 – November 16, 1927) was the first African-American middleweight boxing champion, defeating Harry Greb to claim the title in 1926. Nicknamed the "Georgia Deacon", he was a devoutly religious man who would recite a passage from Psalm 144 before every bout. The International Boxing Research Organization rated Flowers as the #12 ranked middleweight of all-time, while boxing historian Bert Sugar placed him 68th in his Top 100 Fighters catalog. The Bleacher Report named him the #3 greatest southpaw in boxing history. He was inducted into the Ring Magazine Hall of Fame in 1971, the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1976, the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993.
Theodore Flowers was married and had a daughter named Verna Lee Flowers.
Flowers began boxing professionally in 1918 at the age of 23 while working at a Philadelphia shipbuilding plant. During his career, Flowers would meet many high caliber fighters, including Sam Langford, Kid Norfolk, Jamaica Kid, and Mickey Walker. In 1924, Flowers was rated the number one contender for Harry Greb's middleweight title by Ring Magazine. Flowers earned a shot at Greb after losing a questionable decision to light heavyweight champion Mike McTigue.
World middleweight champion
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, although both results were considered questionable. Tiger's next bout came against Mickey Walker in Chicago. Flowers lost the bout but it was 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 circumstances that caused the death of Greb the year before. He was buried in Atlanta's Lincoln Cemetery.
- "Tiger Flowers Bio". International Boxing Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
- All-Time Middleweight Rankings IBROresearch.com Retrieved on 2014-04-29
- Bert Randolph Sugar (2005). Boxing's Greatest Fighters. Lyons Press. ISBN 978-1-59228-632-4.
- Seekins, Briggs. "Manny Pacquiao and the 25 Greatest Southpaws in Boxing History". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- Cyber Boxing Encyclopedia - Tiger Flowers CyberBoxingZone.com Retrieved on 2014-04-30
- Kaye, Andrew (May 8, 2003). "Tiger Flowers (1895-1927)". New Georgia Encylopedia. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
- Tiger Flower's Professional Boxing Record. BoxRec.com. Retrieved on 2014-05-18.
- Andrew M. Kaye, "The Canonisation of Tiger Flowers: A Black Hero for the 1920s," Borderlines: Studies in American Culture 5, no. 2 (1998): 142-59.
- Andrew M. Kaye, The Pussycat of Prizefighting: Tiger Flowers and the Politics of Black Celebrity (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2004).
- Herman "Skip" Mason Jr., Black Atlanta in the Roaring Twenties (Dover, N.H.: Arcadia, 1997).
- Professional boxing record for Tiger Flowers from BoxRec
- CyberBoxingZone Biography - Tiger Flowers
- IBHOF Bio - Tiger Flowers
|World Middleweight Champion
February 26, 1926 – December 3, 1926