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Dick Tiger


Height: 5Ft 8in
Thigh: 20in
Weight: 158 to 168pds
Calf: 15in
Reach: 71in
Biceps: 13in
Chest: 381/2in (Normal)
Chest: 40in (Expanded)
Fist: 11in
Waist: 32in
Wrist: 7in
Neck: 17in
Ankle: 10in

Richard Dick Tiger Ihetu (August 14, 1929 - December 14 1971) was a boxer from Amaigbo, Orlu, Nigeria, was a migrant fighter to Liverpool (and later to America). Tiger was a talented boxer, commercial venturer, and Biafran rebel. His boxing career record was: Fought 81; Won 60; Lost 18; Drew 3. Dick Tiger was one of the great fighters to come out of the African continent. Tiger became a two-time undisputed world middleweight titlist. Tiger helped keep boxing alive during the 1950s boxing industry recession. Tiger earned an undisputed Light-Heavyweight world championship. In 1962, Tiger won the world middle weight boxing championship. Tiger inspired other Nigerians to go into boxing.

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

Tiger developed a portfolio of investments before the outbreak of his homeland's civil war. Supporter of the Biafran seccession, Tiger's propaganda and financial support of this cause cost him much. Tiger had received a CBE from Queen Elizabeth II,but he returned it as a protest for what he perceived as a lack of support by Great Britain to the Biafran cause.

Tiger fought some of boxing's best fighters, such as Terry Downes. knocked out in six by Tiger early in Tiger's career, Gene Fullmer, from whom he took the world's Middleweight title by decision in fifteen, drew (tied) in fifteen and knocked out in seven rounds, retaining his belt the two latter times; Joey Giardello, against whom he split four fights, including losing the title by decision in their third encounter and then regaining it in their fourth, Emile Griffith, to whom he lost the world Middleweight title on points, Jose Torres, against whom he won the world Light-Heavyweight title by decision in fifteen and retained it, once again by decision in 15, Nino Benvenuti, defeated in ten rounds by decision by Tiger, and Bob Foster, the only man to knock Tiger out, in four rounds at the Madison Square Garden, to mark the end of Tiger's days as world champion.

After retiring from boxing, Tiger worked as a guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York, but 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. Tiger travelled back to his country, where he died in 1971, at the relatively young age of 42.

During a November 1, 2003, HBO Boxing transmission of the Floyd Mayweather Jr-Phillip N'Dou world title fight, HBO analyst Larry Merchant, perhaps trying to call Tiger one of the greatest African boxers of all time, inadvertedly included Tiger in a list of greatest South African boxers of all time.

A book about Tiger's life is on the works and scheduled to be released sometime in 2004.

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