The best boxers in the world are professional boxers. These men box to earn money for a living, entertaining millions of people around the world. They try to win fights for money, and when they win fights they start boxing better people, until the best people who’ve won a lot of fights box for World Titles, to be declared the champion of the world.
Africa has produced many world champions, and great boxers over the last few decades. It’s a great honour to represent your country in a sport.
BATTLING SIKI (SENEGALIAN)
Battling Siki was sub-Saharan Africa’s first world champion. He was born in Senegal in 1897, and over his career he had 60 wins, 24 losses and 4 draws. He had an impressive run of 43 wins in 46 bouts (21 KOs), suffering just one loss (on a decision) and two draws just before winning the world title.
He boxed George Carpentier on September 24, 1922 for the Light-Heavyweight World title. He hit Carpentier with a vicious right uppercut in the sixth round, knocking Carpentier unconscious, and winning the title. He created a piece of African boxing history.
DICK TIGER (NIGERIAN)
Dick Tiger’s birth name was Richard Ihetu. At one of his contests, an Englishman named Bob Diamen watched the short, stocky Ihetu practically jump in the air to hit his opponent. What tenacity he thought, almost like a Tiger. “A tiger is what he is!” he shouted. Thus was born the nickname Dick Tiger.
He won both the World Middleweight, and Light-Heavyweight titles. He was born in Nigeria, and beat Gene Fullmer in 1962 by decision to become the Middleweight Champion, and beat José Torres in 1966 to become the Light-Heavyweight Champion.
He was one of Africa’s greatest boxers, and also worked as a guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He was short but made up for his lack of height with strength. He fought with his heart and his courage in the ring was inspiring to many people.
HOGAN BASSEY (NIGERIAN)
Hogan Bassey was another Nigerian World Champion. He was born as Okon Bassey Asuquo in 1937 and was one of Africa’s greatest ambassadors for sport.
He became world champion in 1957 beating Cherif Hamia by tenth round knockout. Throughout the fight, Bassey dominated the fight, knocking Hamia down in the second round. Hamia managed to last until the tenth where the referee stopped the fight and Bassey was declared the victor.
After retiring he took a job as director of physical education by the Nigerian government in 1963. He had a great impact on amateur boxing in Nigeria. He wrote a book to teach boxing, called “Hogan on Boxing”. He achieved a lot in the sport, and gave a lot of his wisdom back to his country by teaching the next generation.