Merseyside Boxing Archive

A key part of this website is to catalogue and give context to photographs, documents and other archival objects that help to represent Merseyside's rich boxing heritage.

The entire database can be searched from this page. Enjoy exploring our archive, and if you have any images or memorabilia you would like to contribute we would be very pleased to hear from you.

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Dick Tiger

born: 14/08/1929, Amaigbo, Nigeria
died: 15/12/1971

Richard Ihetu did not take up boxing until the age of 19: he earned the name "Tiger" from a comment that he looked like one, following an amateur fight in which he leapt through the air and punched his opponent on the chin. He turned professional in 1950, and moved to Liverpool in 1955, beating Pat McAteer in 1958 for the Empire title. The following year, Tiger moved to the United States, and in 1962, became world champion. In December 1963, Tiger lost his crown to Joey Giardello. A convincing victory over Rubin "Hurricane" Carter earned Tiger a rematch in 1965, which he won to reclaim his title, but less than a year later he lost it to Emile Griffith in a highly controversial points decision. He then moved up to light-heavyweight, winning the world title in December 1966, his first contest at the weight - he lost the title in 1968 and died of liver cancer in 1971. Before his death, the Nigerian government took away his passport as punishment for supporting the secessionist movement in Biafra.

View in 'The Greats'

Fight History
60 (KO's 27)
Divisions fought in
Light Heavyweight


18 April 1958
 Hogan Bassey with Dick Tiger
Liverpool Stadium 27 March 1958
 Pat McAteer v Dick Tiger