Tiger was my childhood hero, a true warrior.

While the American pugilist makes millions of dollar out of his talent and name, coming in and out of retirement, this cannot be said of the Nigerian boxer.

In 1962, Dick Tiger won the world middle weight boxing championship.


Tiger inspired lots of Nigerians to go into boxing.

He was 35, and 15 months earlier he had lost his middleweightchampionship in Atlantic City to Joey Giardello on what was concededto have been, by everyone but Giardello people, a warped hometowndecision.

Where is Power Mike, our master wrestler?

Only four or five reporters had shown up, and we waited outsidethe door to a 50th Street dressing room while the tap and slide of ajump rope sounded from inside.

"The Lion of Mid-West."The match was declared a draw, although I thought Wonder Boy won.

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He started boxing at Makpara Approach School, a reform institution for children of Igbo men captured and adopted by the federal government forces during the civil war.

The euphemistic ''problem'' waswell understood.

The former number one contender to the lightweight crown of the world is one of the many Easterners whose education was cut short due to the civil war of 1967-70.

Giardello hadn't had a license to box in New Yorksince 1957.

You should help tell the public that Obisia Nwankpa is alive, hale and hearty." Obisia, who speaks Yoruba very fluently, would not strike you as an average Igbo man, despite hailing from Isialamogwa Local Government Area of Abia State.

''But that is not the entire story,'' Tiger explained patiently.

The old Obisia Nwankpa was boxing champion who won many laurels and championships within and outside Nigeria, high point being a shot at the world lightweight title then held by Seoul Mamby.

Dick Tiger was an honorary Biafran army officer and tried to rally US support for Biafra.

It didn't figure to be an easy evening forTiger.

Even at the eight and while living in Uromi (mid-western Nigeria), I remember honing my boxing skills with my friends John Nnajide (from Awka) and Michael Ezeigbo.

I am also looking for photos and information on thefollowing sports heroes that inspired me.

I would never have recognized Tiger in theflesh.

''Have you read Animal Farm?'' ''Orwell?'' ''Of course, Orwell.'' We spent the afternoon together, talking a bit about Orwell butmore about the implications of Animal Farm and the terrible pitfallsof revolutionary politics.

Who in your opinion is the greatest goalkeeper Nigerian has ever produced?

I stared atthe knotty, heavily muscled body.

Andeh resigned from boxing the following day." Having won the African and Commonwealth titles by defeating Degis Lorents and Jeff Malcomm respectively, the stage was set for Obisia to have a crack at the world light weight crown held by Seoul Mamby of America.