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Tiger Tops Fullmer at Candlestick, Wins WBA Middleweight Crown

Oct. 23, 1962 - Dick Tiger (left) of Nigeria cut both of Gene Fullmer’s eyes tonight in pounding out a unanimous 15-round decision in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park for the World Boxing Association middleweight championship. In a bruising battle, the 159-pound Tiger used sharper punching to lift the title that his 160-pound foe from Utah had held since 1959. Blood gushed from a slash over Fullmer’s left eye in the 9th round, and Tiger opened a cut over Fullmer’s right eye in the 10th. The bout was televised to 48 cities across the country on a closed circuit. When the decision was announced, a group of Nigerians in colorful native robes lifted Tiger to their shoulders and did an impromptu dance in the ring. Fullmer, who battled back gamely, had not lost in his last 17 fights and had defended the crown 7 times. He won it by beating Carmen Basilio on Aug. 28, 1959. But Tiger, whose real name is Ihetu, just had too much ammunition.


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