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This Day in Georgia History

February 26, 1926

Tiger Flowers First Black Middleweight Boxing Champion

Theodore “Tiger” Flowers won a 15-round decision over Harry Greb in New York City to become the first African American to win the world middleweight boxing championship. In a rematch the following Aug. 18, Flowers again defeated Greb in 15 rounds. Flowers lost the title on Dec. 3, 1926, in a controversial 10-round loss to Mickey Walker. Born in Camilla, Georgia, Flowers (sometimes known as “The Georgia Deacon”) began his professional boxing career in 1918, winning his first 29 fights. He would go to fight in 143 bouts, with 116 wins (49 by knockout), 13 loses, and 14 draws. Shortly after winning the world title in 1926, Flowers built a 20-room luxury home on Simpson St. in Atlanta. Unfortunately, he died the next year following an operation.