History | Aug 05 2015

On This Day: Middleweight great Tiger Flowers was born in 1895

The trailblazing southpaw was truly one-of-a-kind
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TIGER FLOWERS became the first African-American middleweight champion of the world by beating Harry Greb in Madison Square Garden in 1926.

For Flowers to rise out of Georgia in that time, when it was considered acceptable for black men and women to be condemned to waste away in a penitentiary for trivial, often trumped-up offences, or murdered by whole communities without even a semblance of a trial, was nothing short of incredible.

Born in the countryside of Camilla in 1895, raised in the coastal city of Brunswick and boxing out of Atlanta, Flowers fought anywhere he, or his white manager Walk Miller, could get work. He covered more than 70,000 miles by road or rail, zig-zagging across the country. In 1924 alone he fought 36 times, including a 10-round No Decision, non-title fight with Greb in Ohio.

 

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