Dick Tiger
NBA Middleweight Champion 1962 - 1963
World Middleweight Champion 1963, 1965 - 1966
World Light Heavyweight Champion 1966 - 1968


b. August 14, 1929
d. December 14, 1971


This vintage promotional photograph has been nicely signed and inscribed by world middleweight and light heavyweight champion Dick Tiger... The photo is by Eddy Hicks and Tiger's signature and inscription is in blue ink and bold throughout... A tough autograph on a nice photo!!

measures: 3.25 x 5.5"
condition: fine




      Tiger was born in the small Nigerian village of Amaigbo, Orlu, on August 14, 1929. He was twenty-six years old when he went to England, where he lost his first four pro bouts. He was supposed to be a set-up for Terry Downes, but finished off the London star in five. This was followed by a nine-round K.O. of Pat McAteer for the British Empire middleweight crown, plus a string of five more victories, and Tiger was off for America.
    America suited Tiger, and once he settled down he proved to be of world class. Americans never ceased to amuse him, however. "When I first arrived," he once said, "folks over here thought Nigerians were cannibals. They even asked me if I was. They thought I grew up in the jungle surrounded by wild beasts-sort of a son of Tarzan. I never was in a jungle in my life. I don't even know if they have them in my part of Africa. I never saw a wild animal until I moved to England and visited the Liverpool Zoo. But when people start asking me silly questions about life in the wild, I make up stories about growing up with lions and tigers as pets-and how I was an elephant boy."
    In a New York restaurant one time, Dick lunched with some friends. As the waiter approached, he gave them a little wink and then his expression grew stern when the waiter asked how he wanted his steak. "You fix it the way it should be," Dick said, menacingly. "I don't know anything about beef. In my country we eat people."
    Dick Tiger's real name was Richard Ihetu. An Englishman dubbed him Tiger "because he jumps around the ring like a tiger."
    He confounded everyone in 1969 by beating Nino Benvenuti. He was forty years old at the time. Eight months later he bowed out of the prize ring by dropping a 10-round decision to Emile Griffith.
    Seventeen months after that he was dead-the victim of cancer.

John D. McCallum
The Encyclopedia of World Boxing Champions