Theo "Tiger" Flowers The Georgia Deacon

Harry Greb fought Tiger Flowers 3 times. The last 2 times were when Greb's sight was extremely diminished and were Greb's final bouts of his career. Here is a newspaper article describing the first encounter, 2 years before they're final two bouts:

August 22, 1924

Middleweight King Has Little Trouble In Beating Flowers


Fremont, Ohio, Aug 21.- Harry Greb, champion middleweight of the world, Thursday night retained his title, getting the newspaper decision in a ten-round no-decision bout here with Tiger Flowers of Atlanta. Greb easily outpointed his negro opponent in eight of the ten rounds.

Greb staged one of his characteristic slam-bang fights, doing practically all of the leading and forcing the battle at practically all stages. He landed his blows from any and all angles.

In the first round Flowers' southpaw boxing seemed to puzzle the champion, but after that he gauged this style correctly and was the leader in all but two rounds.

Greb drew blood from his opponent early in the contest. His hitting was cleaner and harder than Flowers' throughout the bout.



The following Article and photo's are from the August 1980 issue of Boxing Illustrated.

When "Tiger" Flowers scored his stunning upset victory over Harry Greb on February 26, 1926, to become middleweight champion of the world, he was not only the first Negro boxer to win a title, but the first since the reign of Jack Johnson to even challenge for a championship. During the eleven years following Johnson's loss to Jess Willard there had been an "unwritten" law allowing the champions to bypass black fighters.

Flowers was the only man to ever defeat Greb, without being beaten in return. He twice scored fifteen round decisions over the "Pittsburgh Windmill". During his career of some 290 bouts, Greb lost but five decisions--two to Gene Tunney, whom he also beat and fought a pair of no-decisions with, and one in ten rounds to Tommy loughran, whom Greb beat twice. And remember that both loughran and Tunney were light-heavyweights, whereas Flowers was only a middleweight, yet no one remembers Flowers as a great fighter. A true member of the "FORGOTTEN CHAMPIONS".

Born Theo Flowers in the small farming town of Camille, Georgia, on August 5, 1895, his early years in the ring were obscure. Like many a Negro youngster in the south, he began in bootleg bouts and "battle royals". He claimed to have had his first professional fight when he was only fifteen; however, his first recorded fights were not until 1913, some eight years later when he was 22. During that year he won a fifteen-rounder over Battling Mims and a twenty-rounder from Battling Henry Williams, so he must have had quite a bit of experience behind him.


Like most bla#k fighters of his era, Flowers' bouts were mostly against others of his own race and in 1922 he was kayoed four times. Jamaica Kid, Lee Anderson, Kid Norfolk and the then-42-year-old Sam Langford turned the trick.

The following year Flowers traveled to Mexico City where he defeated "Fireman" Jim Flynn. Weight differences meant little in those days, especially to Negro fighters who usually took what they were offered, never complaining about weight or money.

Flowers beat Jamaica Kid and fought a no-decision with "Panama Joe Gans", but was again stopped by Norfolk in that year.



The year 1924 was an unbelievable one for the "Georgia Deacon" as he fought a total of 36 times without a defeat, including a pair of knockouts over Jerry Hayes and Clem Johnson on the same night. Flowers kayoed former middleweight champion Johnny Wilson in three rounds in a battle of southpaws and also halted Willie Walker, Bob Lawson, Tut Jackson, gained revenge by again stopping the Jamaica Kid and defeated George Robinson, Lee Anderson and Joe Lohman. He drew with Frankie Schoell and battled Greb to ten torrid rounds in a no-decision affair in Fremont, Ohio.

In 1925 he had twenty-five contests, winning all but four. Three of those losses were to light-heavyweights, as he was twice stopped by Jack Delaney and dropped a decision to Mike McTigue. He also lost on a foul to Lou Bogash, but kayoed Tommy Robson, Jackie Clarke, and defeated Frank Moody, Pat McCarthy, Lee Anderson and Bogash. Flowers went to no-decisions against Ted Moore, Jack Malone and Chuck Wiggins.

He started off 1926 with his upset triumph over Greb, and came back to prove that it wasn't a fluke by again outfighting Greb over fifteen rounds in Madison Square Garden on August 19th, in what turned out to be Greb's last fight. He was to die following an eye operation two months later.

In between the Greb fights, Flowers kept busy with six bouts including a return to mexico where he kayoed Lee Anderson in two rounds.




In October he lost in nine rounds on a foul to Maxie Rosenbloom in Boston, then was signed to defend his title against Mickey Walker.

Although he was the champion, Flowers was also black--and when Walker's manager, the crafty "Doc" Kearns, made the match he set the terms, which were for the fight to be held in Chicago, where the law only allowed ten-round bouts. Kearns figured that Flowers might be too strong for Walker over fifteen rounds, and he was right.

Mickey got off to an early lead and, despite a strong rally by Flowers, won the title on a decision.

Although it was a close and exciting fight, Kearns did not give Flowers a return match.

Like Greb, Flowers was suffering from eye trouble, and like Greb it is impossible to know just how long he fought with it and how badly his sight was impaired. He kept active in 1927 with eighteen fights, losing only to Leo Lomski whom he spotted a dozen pounds. Flowers turned in wins over Chuck Wiggins, Joe Anderson, Jock Malone, Pete Latzo and twice drew with Rosenbloom that year, then on November 12th he kayoed Leo gates in four rounds.

Four days later he was dead, dying in much the same manner as had Greb the previous year, following an operation on his eyes to correct the sight problem.

His listed fights were 149, of which he won 115, scoring 49 kayoes and boxing six draws. He fought fourteen no-decision battles, and he had one no-contest, lost but three decisions--twice on fouls--and was stopped eight times. However, it is safe to assume that he had fought well over 200 battles and was still a top-notch ringman when he died at age 32.

Flowers must rate among the top left handers of all time and, while over-shadowed publicity-wise by the likes of Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Jack Johnson, Joe Walcott, Joe Gans, George Dixon, Sam Langford, "Sugar Ray" Robinson, Henry Armstrong and other great black fighters, he must be ranked on a par with them, yet despite his fine ring record and top-flight ability, he is still a "forgotten champion."

Article and photo's are from the August 1980 issue of Boxing Illustrated.


(click here for his fights against Greb)




RING RECORD : 115 wins - 13 losses - 14 ND's -6 draw - (149 total bouts)

       Billy Hooper                  Brunswick, Ga		KO 11
       Kid Fox                                          KO  2
       "Battling" Henry Williams                        W 20
       Battling Hazel                                   KO  8
       Rufus Cameron                                    W 10
       Battling Mims                                    W 15
       Battling Mims                                    W 10
       Rough House Baker                                KO  3
       Billy Hooper                                     W 20
       Tiger Moore                                      KO  2
       Andy "Kid" Palmer                                KO  3
       Sailor Darden                                    W 15
       Battling Mims                                    W 10
       Billy Hooper                                     W 10
       Battling Mims                                    W 10
       "Mexican" Kid Brown                              KO  8
       Battling Troupe                                  KO  3
       "Mexican" Kid Brown                              KO  2
       Whitey Black                                     KO  1
       Battling Mims                                    W 10
       Kid Williams                                     KO  3
      "Mexican" Kid Brown                               KO  1
Oct 24 Whitey Black               Memphis, Tn           W  8
Oct    Battling Gahee             Atlanta, Ga           W 10
Nov  7 Battling Gahee             Memphis, Tn           W  8
Dec 15 "Panama" Joe Gans          Atlanta, Ga           LK  5

       "Evansville" Jack Ray                            KO  2
       Kid Norfolk                                      LK  3
Feb 21 Gorilla Jones              Juarez, Mx            KO  4
Mar  7 Jim Barry                  Juarez, Mx            D 15
Mar 21 "Mexican" Kid Brown        Juarez, Mx            KO  1
Mar 28 Jim Barry                  Juarez, Mx            KO  5
Apr 11 Billy Britton              Juarez, Mx            W 15
May  9 Lee Anderson               Juarez, Mx            LK  7
May 16 Frankie Murphy             Juarez, Mx            W 15
Jun  5 Sam Langford               Atlanta, Ga           LK  2
Jul 26 Jamaica Kid                Covington, Ky         LT  2
Aug 22 Andy "Kid" Palmer          Juarez, Mx            W 15
       Kid Paddy                                        KO  1
       Kid Davis                                        KO  1
       Battling Norfolk           Memphis, Tn           D  8
       Battling Gahee             Memphis, Tn           W  8
       Eddie Palmer               Memphis, Tn           W  8
Dec 13 Eddie Palmer               New Orleans, La       TK 10
Dec 22 Frankie Carbone            Juarez, Mx            WF 10

Feb 21 Bob Lawson                 Nashville, Tn         W  8
Feb 28 Battling Mims              Nashville, Tn         W  8
Mar 19 "Evansville" Jack Ray      Nashville, Tn         KO  3
Apr 20 Jamaica Kid                Toledo, Oh            ND 12
May  8 Kid Norfolk                Springfield, Oh       LK  1
May 15 Tom King                   Juarez, Mx            W 15
May 25 "Panama" Joe Gans          Toledo, Oh            ND 12
Jul  3 James "Tut" Jackson        Atlanta, Ga           W 12
Jul 18 James "Tut" Jackson        Springfield, Oh       ND 12
Jul 31 Whitey Black               Detroit, Mi           ND 10
Sep  3 Jamaica Kid                Atlanta, Ga           W 10
Sep 17 "Fireman" Jim Flynn        Mexico City, Mx       LT  5
Nov 27 George Robinson            Atlanta, Ga           D 12
Dec  6 Rufus Cameron              Albany, NY            KO  4
Dec 28 Sailor Darden              Atlanta, Ga           W 12

Jan 23 Herbert Moore              Nashville, Tn         KO  2
Jan 30 Sam Goodrich               San Antonio, Tx       W 12
Feb 18 Bob Lawson                 Toledo, Oh            TK 10
Feb 24 Battling Gahee             Barberton, Oh         ND 12
Mar  3 Jamaica Kid                Fremont, Oh           ND 12
Mar 19 Bob Lawson                 Nashville, Tn         KO  6
Mar 29 Lee Anderson               New York, NY          W 12
Apr  9 Dave Thornton              Nashville, Tn         KO  2
Apr 19 Jimmy Darcy                New York, NY          W 10
Apr 29 George Robinson            Atlanta, Ga           W 12
May  3 Ted Jamieson               New York, NY          W 12
May 14 Willie Walker              New York, NY          W 12
Jun 20 Battling Gahee             Fremont, Oh           ND 10
Jun 27 Jamaica Kid                Grand Rapids, Mi      ND 10
Jul  3 Lee Anderson               Atlanta, Ga           WF 11
Jul 21 Jamaica Kid                Covington, Ky         WF  3
Aug  2 Jack Townsend              New York, NY          KO 11
Aug 12 Oscar Mortimer             San Antonio, Tx       KO  4
Aug 21 Harry Greb                 Fremont, Oh           ND 10
Sep  1 James "Tut" Jackson        Martin's Ferry, WV    KO  8
Sep 15 Jamaica Kid                Columbus, Oh          ND 12
Sep 22 Lee Anderson               Columbus, Oh          ND 12
Sep 29 James "Tut" Jackson        Canton, Oh            KO  2
Sep 30 Battling Gahee             Zanesville, Oh        TK  4
Oct 11 Jamaica Kid                New York, NY          TK  9
Oct 21 Cleve Hawkins              Atlanta, Ga           KO  3
Oct 23 Joe Lohman                 Hamilton, Oh          WF  4
Nov  1 George Robinson            New York, NY          W 12
Nov 10 Jerry Hayes                Philadelphia, Pa      KO  2
Nov 10 Hughie Clemons             Philadelphia, Pa      KO  2
Nov 27 Clem Johnson               Canton, Oh            ND 12
Dec  1 Battling Gahee             Columbus, Oh          KO  2
Dec  9 Johnny Wilson              New York, NY          TK  3
Dec 15 Jack Townsend              New York, NY          KO  5
Dec 26 Frankie Schoell            Buffalo, NY           D  6

Jan  1 Joe Lohman                Brooklyn, NY           TK  3
Jan  5 Billy Britton             Boston, Ma             TK  4
Jan  7 Dan O'Dowd                Providence, RI         TK  6
Jan 16 Jack Delaney              New York, NY           LK  2
Jan 28 Tommy Robson              Boston, Ma             TK  8
Jan 29 Bill Savage               Providence, RI         KO  1
Feb  2 Ted Moore                 Newark, NJ             ND 12
Feb  5 Jamaica Kid               Dayton, Oh             KO 10
Feb 14 Jackie Clark              New York, NY           TK  5
Feb 16 Lou Bogash                Boston, Ma             LF  3
Feb 26 Jack Delaney              New York, NY           LK  4
Mar 16 Sailor Darden             Toledo, Oh             ND 12
Mar 20 Lou Bogash                Boston, Ma             W 10
Apr 29 Sailor Darden             Savannah, Ga           KO  5
May  4 Battling Mims             Macon, Ga              KO  5
May 18 Pal Reed                  Boston, Ma             W 10
May 26 Lou Bogash                Bridgeport, Ct         W 10
Jun  4 Jock Malone               East Chicago, In       ND 10
Jun  8 Lee Anderson              Philadelphia, Pa       W 10
Jun 20 Lee Anderson              New York, NY           WF  3 
Jun 26 Jack Stone                Elizabeth, NJ          KO  4
Jul 20 Pat McCarthy              Boston, Ma             W 10
Jul 24 Lou Bogash                Aurora, Il             ND 10
Aug 21 "Allentown" Joe Gans      Grand Rapids, Mi       ND 10
Aug 28 Jock Malone               Boston, Ma             W 10
Sep  7 Ted Moore                 Cleveland, Oh          NC  6
Oct 23 Jock Malone               St. Paul, Mn           ND 10
Oct 28 Chuck Wiggins             East Chicago, In       ND 10
Nov 30 Benny Ross                Buffalo, NY            W  6
Dec 10 Frank Moody               Boston, Ma             W 10
Dec 23 Mike McTigue              New York, NY           L 10

Feb 26 Harry Greb                New York, NY           W 15
Apr 16 "Allentown" Joe Gans      Wilkes-Barre, Pa       W 10
Jun 18 "Young" Bob Fitzsimmons   Jersey City, NJ        ND 10
Jun 28 Ray Neuman                Boston, Ma             W 10
Jul 11 Lee Anderson              Juarez, Mx             KO  2
Jul 24 Eddie Huffman             Los Angeles, Ca        W 10
Aug 10 Battling McCreary         Atlanta, Ga            WF  3
Aug 19 Harry Greb                New York, NY           W 15
Sep 16 Happy Hunter              Memphis, Tn            KO  3
Oct 15 Maxie Rosenbloom          Boston, Ma             LF  9
Nov 22 Eddie Huffman             Chicago, Il            W 10
Dec  3 Mickey Walker             Chicago, Il            L 10

Jan  3 James "Tut" Jackson       Grand Rapids, Mi       KO 10
Jan 22 Leo Lomski                Los Angeles, Ca        L 10
Jan 24 Lee Anderson              Denver, Co             W  4
Feb 18 Lou Bogash                Boston, Ma             W 10
Mar 29 George "Soldier" Jones    Atlanta, Ga            KO  1
Apr 29 Chuck Wiggins             Buffalo, NY            W 10
May 13 Chuck Wiggins             Grand Rapids, Mi       ND 10
May 27 Eddie Huffman             Boston, Ma             W 10
Jun 17 Bob Sage                  Detroit, Mi            W 10
Jul  4 Maxie Rosenbloom          Chicago, Il            D 10
Jul 28 Bing Conley               Norwalk, Ct            W 10
Aug 11 Harry Dillon              Portland, Or           W 10
Aug 16 Jock Malone               Seattle, Wa            W  6
Sep  1 Joe Anderson              New York, NY           W 10
Sep 30 Pete Latzo                Wilkes-Barre, Pa       W 10
Oct 17 Joe Lohman                Canton, Oh             W 10
Nov  9 Maxie Rosenbloom          Detroit, Mi            D 10
Nov 12 Leo Gates                 New York, NY           TK  4


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