Dick Tiger’s archrival, Gene Fullmer, dies at 83
Gene Fullmer, the United States’ boxer from whom Nigeria’s Dick ‘Tiger’ Ihetu wrestled the World Boxing Council (WBC) world middleweight title in Ibadan in the 1965 is dead. He died aged 83.
Tiger, a former undisputed world light heavyweight champion, took on Gene Fullmer in 1965 and won the world’s Middleweight title by decision in 15 rounds. Later in a 15-round rematch, they drew and in the rubber match Tiger won by knockout in the seventh rounds.
Fullmer was a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame whose 55 career victories included two wins over Sugar Ray Robinson.
Fullmer suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia for years and died on Monday while fighting a bacterial infection, his nephew, Larry Fullmer said.
“I want him to be remembered as a gentleman and someone who loved the sport, but he loved people, too,” Larry Fullmer said. “If you ever look at any clips of his fights or see any interviews, you’ll never see any arrogance or cockiness or pride about his accomplishments. He was always a gentleman and never spoke ill of any of his opponents.”
Fullmer turned pro in 1951 and defeated Robinson in 1957 to win the middleweight title. Fullmer lost the title in a rematch with Robinson, but regained the vacated title in 1959 by beating Carmen Basilio. He defended it seven times.