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Sunday, 11 August 2013

BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRICAN AMERICAN JOHN "JOHNNY" TATE AN AMERICAN PRIZE FIGHTER AND OLYMNPIC BOXER AND WORLD HEAVY WEIGHT CHAMPION : GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK GENIUS "

                          BLACK          SOCIAL           HISTORY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       John ("Johnny") Tate  January 29, 1955 in Marion, Arkansas – April 9, 1998 in Knoxville, Tennessee  was an American prizefighter and Olympic boxer, who held the World Boxing Association version of the World Heavyweight Championship from October 1979 to March 1980, losing the title in his first defeat.

Amateur career

"Big John" Tate (named due to his 6'4" height) captured a bronze medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, losing to Olympic boxing legend Teófilo Stevenson.

Olympic results

  • Defeated Andrzej Biegalski (Poland) 5-0
  • Defeated Peter Hussing (West Germany) 3-2
  • Lost to Teófilo Stevenson (Cuba) KO round 1
Tate lost in the finals of the 1975 National Golden Gloves to Emory Chapman. He lost in the quarterfinals the next year in a split decision to Michael Dokes. He avenged his loss to Dokes in the Olympic Trials by decision, and beat 1976 National AAU Champion Marvin Stinson to advance to the Olympic team.He also beat future heavyweight champion Greg Page by 2 close decisions, one in the quarterfinals of the 1975 National Golden Gloves tournament.
Tate met his future trainer, Ace Miller, during an amateur tournament in Knoxville, TN. Tate and Miller worked together through 1983.

Professional career[edit source | editbeta]

Tate turned pro in 1977 and scored a series of high profile wins, knocking out highly ranked contenders Duane Bobick, Bernardo Mercado, and Kallie Knoetze. He captured the vacant WBA title on October 20, 1979 by defeating Gerrie Coetzee by decision, succeeding Muhammad Ali, who had relinquished the title that summer. Tate's fights with Knoetze and Coetzee were held in Apartheid South Africa, the latter before 80,000 fans.
Tate lost the title to Mike Weaver in his first defence just five months later. Tate was well ahead on all scorecards going into the 15th and final round when the big hitting Weaver landed a left hook punch to the chin that left the champion unconscious on the canvas for several minutes.
Tate came back from the loss on June 20, 1980 against up and coming Trevor Berbick. This was on the undercard of the legendary fight between Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Durán. However, the former champion was easily defeated by Berbick. He was knocked out by a punch that caught him on the back of the head and left him unconscious.
Tate was in the frame to challenge Larry Holmes for the heavyweight title in 1984, but the fight fell apart due to injury. Tate boxed on and off for the remainder of the 80s but was often grossly overweight. He weighed in at an astonishing 281lbs prior to losing a points decision to journeyman Noel Quarless in London, in his final fight in 1988. Tate's professional career record was 34-3, with 23 wins by knockout.

Outside the ring

Tate's life after his championship reign was brief and troubled, suffering from a cocaine addiction during the 1980s, being convicted on petty theft and assault charges, serving time in prison, and at times pan handling on the streets of Knoxville, Tennessee. He was rumored to have ballooned to over 400 pounds in his post-fighting years.

Death





































On April 9, 1998, Tate died of injuries sustained following a one-car automobile accident. It was determined that he suffered a massive stroke, caused by a brain tumor, while driving. The pickup truck crashed into a utility pole. Two other passengers were not seriously injured. The Knox County medical examiner stated that Tate "had been using cocaine regularly in the last 24 hours of his life."