Tiger Flowers

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Class of 1993 Bio

Name: Tiger Flowers
Alias: Georgia Deacon
Birth Name: Theodore Flowers
Hometown: New York, New York, USA
Birthplace: Camilla, Georgia, USA
Died: 1927-11-16 (Age:34)
Stance: Southpaw
Height: 178cm
Reach: 193cm
Pro Boxer: Record

Born Theodore Flowers in Camille, Georgia, Tiger Flowers would become the first African-American middleweight champion by defeating Harry Greb in 1926. Tiger began boxing professionally in 1918 at the age of 23 while working at a Philadelphia shipbuilding plant. Nicknamed the "Georgia Deacon," he was a devoutly religious man who would recite a passage from Psalm 144 before every bout. Tiger was sometimes called the "left-handed Harry Greb."

During his career, Flowers would meet many high caliber fighters, including Sam Langford, Kid Norfolk, Jamaica Kid, and Mickey Walker. In 1924, Tiger was rated the number one contender to Greb's title by The Ring Magazine. Flowers earned a shot at Harry Greb after losing a questionable decision to light heavyweight champion Mike McTigue.

On February 26, 1926, before a crowd of 16,311 at Madison Square Garden, Tiger Flowers dethroned Greb by unanimous decision, and would repeat the victory in August. Tiger's next defense came against Mickey Walker in Chicago. Flowers would dominate the bout but would lose a controversial decision in the eyes of many, which would later be investigated by the Illinois Athletic Commission, but the decision would not be overturned.

While trying to obtain a rematch with Walker, Flowers was hospitalized in November 1927 to have surgery to remove scar tissue from around his eyes. Complications from the surgery resulted in the tragic passing of Tiger Flowers, reminiscent of the surgery that caused the death of Harry Greb the year before.

Flowers has been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (1993) and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame (1976)

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