History | Aug 14 2019

On This Day: African legend Dick Tiger is born

Paul Wheeler celebrates the career of Dick Tiger – a middleweight powerhouse who matured into a light-heavyweight champion
Dick Tiger
Dick Tiger

A TRUE gentleman outside of the ring, but an aggressive warrior inside it, Dick Tiger represented his native Nigeria with pride and honour. A supporter of the Biafran cause in his homeland, Richard Ihetu, as he was born, started boxing professionally at the age of 23.

Whilst fighting in his mother country, Tiger amassed a near-perfect record inside the squared circle, picking up the Nigerian middleweight strap along the way. His ferocious counter-punching style brought him great success, as he drew his challengers in before unloading heavy shots.

After 15 wins in 16 contests in Africa, Dick relocated to Liverpool, to be trained by Peter Benencko. However, despite his obvious talents, the stocky middleweight initially found it difficult to adjust to the fighting technique of his British opponents. He lost his first four bouts in the country (all on points), before settling in and stringing together some victories, including a stoppage win over future world middleweight boss Terry Downes.


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