John Tate (boxer)
John Tate (January 29, 1955 – April 9, 1998) was the WBA heavyweight champion of the world from 1979 to 1980. As an amateur he won a bronze medal in the heavyweight division at the 1976 Summer Olympics.
|Height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Reach||80 in (203 cm)|
|Born||January 29, 1955|
Marion, Arkansas, U.S.
|Died||April 9, 1998 (aged 43)|
Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.
|Wins by KO||23|
"Big John" Tate (named due to his 6-foot-4-inch or 193-centimetre height) captured a bronze medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, losing to Olympic boxing legend Teófilo Stevenson in a semifinal bout.
1976 Olympic resultsEdit
- Round of 16: Defeated Andrzej Biegalski (Poland) by decision, 5-0
- Quarterfinal: Defeated Peter Hussing (West Germany) by decision, 3-2
- Semifinal: Lost to Teófilo Stevenson (Cuba) KO round 1 (was awarded bronze medal)
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 two 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, Tennessee. Tate and Miller worked together through 1983.
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 twitching 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. The former champion started well, but tired throughout the bruising battle and was defeated by Berbick early in the 9th round—being 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 1980s but was often grossly overweight. He weighed in at an astonishing 281 pounds (127 kg) 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 ringEdit
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 panhandling on the streets of Knoxville, Tennessee. He was rumored to have ballooned to over 400 pounds (180 kg) in his post-fighting years.
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.
Professional boxing recordEdit
|Professional record summary|
|37 fights||34 wins||3 losses|
|37||Loss||34–3||Noel Quarless||PTS||10||Mar 30, 1988||York Hall, London, England|
|36||Win||34–2||Wesley Smith||UD||4||Jan 16, 1988||Viking Hall, Bristol, Tennessee, U.S.|
|35||Win||33–2||Mark Green||KO||1 (6)||Dec 19, 1987||Bristol, Tennessee, U.S.|
|34||Win||32–2||Calvin Jones||MD||4||Nov 28, 1987||International Speedway, Bristol, Tennessee, U.S.|
|33||Win||31–2||Steve Eisenbarth||TKO||1 (6)||Apr 17, 1986||Convention Center, Bakersfield, California, U.S.|
|32||Win||30–2||Marty Capasso||KO||2 (10), 1:26||Aug 19, 1983||Auditorium, West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.|
|31||Win||29–2||Donnie Long||UD||10||Apr 10, 1983||Hilton, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|30||Win||28–2||Danny Sutton||TKO||5 (10), 2:55||Jan 13, 1983||Viking Hall, Bristol, Tennessee, U.S.|
|29||Win||27–2||Bruce Grandham||TKO||3 (10)||Aug 27, 1982||Bristol, Tennessee, U.S.|
|28||Win||26–2||Leroy Boone||UD||10||Jul 8, 1982||Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|27||Win||25–2||Leroy Caldwell||UD||10||Mar 25, 1982||Showboat Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.|
|26||Win||24–2||Chuck Gardner||KO||1 (10), 2:25||Nov 27, 1981||Civic Coliseum, Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|25||Win||23–2||Barry Funches||TKO||7 (10), 2:59||Oct 15, 1981||Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|24||Win||22–2||Clayman Parker||TKO||1 (10), 2:47||Aug 8, 1981||Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|23||Win||21–2||Harvey Steichen||UD||10||Feb 15, 1981||Civic Coliseum, Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|22||Loss||20–2||Trevor Berbick||KO||9 (10), 0:22||Jun 20, 1980||Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|21||Loss||20–1||Mike Weaver||KO||15 (15), 2:15||Mar 31, 1980||Stokely Athletic Center, Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.||Lost WBA heavyweight title|
|20||Win||20–0||Gerrie Coetzee||UD||15||Oct 20, 1979||Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria, South Africa||Won vacant WBA heavyweight title|
|19||Win||19–0||Kallie Knoetze||TKO||8 (12), 2:52||Jun 2, 1979||Independence Stadium, Mmabatho, Bophuthatswana|
|18||Win||18–0||Duane Bobick||KO||1 (10), 2:15||Feb 17, 1979||Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.|
|17||Win||17–0||Ron Draper||KO||5 (10), 1:55||Dec 9, 1978||Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|16||Win||16–0||Roy Wallace||KO||9 (10), 0:43||Oct 14, 1978||The Summit, Houston, Texas, U.S.|
|15||Win||15–0||Johnny Boudreaux||SD||10||Aug 26, 1978||Houston, Texas, U.S.|
|14||Win||14–0||Walter Santemore||KO||6 (10), 2:45||Jul 7, 1978||Sports Stadium, Orlando, Florida, U.S.|
|13||Win||13–0||Bernardo Mercado||TKO||2 (10), 2:24||Jun 22, 1978||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|12||Win||12–0||Reinaldo Gorosito||KO||2 (10)||May 13, 1978||Sports Stadium, Orlando, Florida, U.S.|
|11||Win||11–0||Harold Carter||DQ||4||Apr 25, 1978||Sports Stadium, Orlando, Florida, U.S.|
|10||Win||10–0||Leon Shaw||KO||7 (10), 2:32||Mar 14, 1978||Sports Stadium, Orlando, Florida, U.S.|
|9||Win||9–0||James Dixon||KO||3||Jan 29, 1978||Hyatt Regency, Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|8||Win||8–0||Charlie Jordan||KO||1||Dec 3, 1977||Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|7||Win||7–0||Frank Schram||TKO||1 (6)||Nov 18, 1977||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|6||Win||6–0||Lou Esa||KO||3 (6), 2:58||Oct 22, 1977||The Aladdin, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|5||Win||5–0||Eddie Lopez||MD||6||Sep 13, 1977||Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|4||Win||4–0||Walter Santemore||PTS||6||Aug 23, 1977||Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.|
|3||Win||3–0||Baker Tinsley||KO||2 (6)||Aug 20, 1977||High School Gym, Pikeville, Kentucky, U.S.|
|2||Win||2–0||Norm Kues||KO||1 (6), 1:45||Jun 1, 1977||Forum, Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|1||Win||1–0||Jerry Thompkins||TKO||5 (6), 2:40||May 7, 1977||Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.|
- "Reflections on Big John Tate: Boxing Interview with Ace Miller". Doghouseboxing.com. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-12. Retrieved 2007-10-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_n14_v83/ai_13362481[permanent dead link]
- Frank Litsky (1998-04-11). "John Tate, 43, Troubled Heavyweight Champ". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- Thompson, Jack (April 12, 1998). "Examiner: Tate's Death From Stroke". Chicago Tribue. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
|World boxing titles|
Title last held byMuhammad Ali
| WBA heavyweight champion
October 20, 1979 – March 31, 1980