By Kimberly Ada B
As Biafrans are getting ready to immortalized those who gave their lives to Biafra struggle and to those that gave up everything they have amidst social criticism just to be ” Biafran” on the May 30th sit in, we must remember one man that took our fight globally, Middleweight and Light Heavy Weight Boxing Champion of the world, the Biafran, late Dick Tiger Ihetu.
Dick Tiger was a lieutenant during the Biafran war. He trained young soldiers. When he sensed how his people were slaughtered, he rushed home to help. Most of his boxing money was used to cater for them during the war.
Dick Tiger called a press conference one morning in New Jersey Atlantic city where he was scheduled to fight, and said ” pressmen, I called you to let you know that I am relinquishing this O.B.E title I won in London because I can not wear this around my waist while the British government are supplying ammunition to kill my people in Biafra.
In the morning, he mailed the title back to London, with a note.” I am hereby returning the O.B.E, because every time I look at it, I think of the millions of men, women, children who died and are still dying in Biafra because of the arms and ammunition the British government is sending to Nigeria and its continued moral support of this genocidal war against the people of Biafra. Signed, Dick Tiger Ihetu.
Such a Heroic act. They called me Dick Tiger of Nigeria, they still claim me. They would kill me, they would kill us all. I am a Biafran, he said to a radio personality.
Dick Tiger said, ” Without Biafra, the championship title is no good to me. The United States is a good country, a very nice country, but Biafra is my home. I was born a Biafran, I will die in Biafra. He said.
DickTiger was the greatest boxer to come out of Africa, and not taking anything away from one man that invited him to America, the boxing great, Hogan Bassey.
On June 15th, 1967, Dick Tiger publicly declares his allegiance to the Biafran State and renounced all association with Nigeria.
On each of his fights. He requests for the Biafran anthem to be played before he fights. Six times Ringman of the year. Knocked out Ruben Carter, whom Denzel Washington portrayed in a movie called ” Hurricane”.
Dick Tiger died in 1971 from cancer at 42 and was buried in Amaigbo.
Biafrans remembers you always. Rest on, the great Biafran Hero.
All hail Biafra.