FLASHBACK: NIGERIA’S DICK TIGER BECOMES WORLD BOXING CHAMPION

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

On this date, 10 August 1963 at the Liberty Stadium, Ibadan, Nigerian legendary boxer, Dick Tiger became the WBC Middleweight champion after beating America’s Gene Fullman by knockout in the seventh round. 

The fight was a sort of birthday gift to him as it held two days to his 33rdbirthday. 

Born as Richard Ihetu, the Nigerian pugilist by beating Fullman, also retained his WBA belt. The fight was the inaugural WBC bout and vacant lineal middleweight titles. He also added The Ring’s middleweight titles to his laurel.

For his exploits on the ring, the International Boxing Hall of Fame inducted Dick Tiger in 1991. Also, The Ring magazine had previously in 1962 and 1965 named him as Fighter of the Year.

Before then, the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) named the Nigerian Fighter of the Year for 1962 and 1966.

In 2002, Dick Tiger was voted by The Ringmagazine as the 31st greatest fighter of the last 80 years. 

He died of liver cancer on 14 December 1971, aged 42.