BIG John Tate Former WBA Heavyweight Champion SIGNED Action Shot Photo

BIG John Tate Former WBA Heavyweight Champion SIGNED Action Shot Photo

"BIG" John Tate former WBA heavyweight champion SIGNED action shot 8" x 10" photo. Beautifully mounted and presented in removable frame.

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John ("Johnny") Tate (January 29, 1955 in Marion, Arkansas – April 9, 1998 in Knoxville, Tennessee) was an American prizefighter and Olympic boxer, who briefly held the World Boxing Association heavyweight title from 1979 to 1980.

Amateur Career
"Big John" Tate captured a bronze medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, losing to Olympic boxing legend Teófilo Stevenson.

Olympic Results
* 1st round bye
* Defeated Andrzej Biegalski (Poland) 5-0
* Defeated Peter Hussing (West Germany) 3-2
* Lost to Teófilo Stevenson (Cuba) KO by 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.

Professional Career
Tate turned pro in 1977 and captured the WBA title on October 20, 1979 by defeating Gerrie Coetzee by decision, succeeding Muhammad Ali, who had relinquished the title that summer. Tate's reign was brief, however, as he lost the title to Mike Weaver just five months later. Tate was leading on all scorecards going into the last round when Weaver landed a 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 Duran. 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 became the object of ridicule after these humiliating losses. Although he fought until 1988, he was never again taken seriously as a challenger.

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 panhandling on the streets of Knoxville, Tennessee. He was rumored to have ballooned to over 400 pounds 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. The Knox County medical examiner stated that Tate "had been using cocaine regularly in the last 24 hours of his life."