Name: TATE, JOHN ORIGINAL PROMOTIONAL POSTER (1979)
History: John Tate (January 29, 1955 – April 9, 1998) was an American professional boxer who competed from 1977 to 1988, and held the WBA heavyweight title from 1979 to 1980. As an amateur he won a bronze medal in the heavyweight division at the 1976 Summer Olympics. 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 lbs 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. 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." Offered here is an original promotional poster of Big John Tate which was issued at the time of his championship fight with Gerrie Coetzee in South Africa on October 20, 1979 in which Tate won the heavyweight championship.
Full description: This is an original, paper, promotional poster of John Tate in full, fight pose. Includes facsimile signature. Bold color and print. Bold, clear image. Includes original folds. Clean with no staining. Very minor edge wear. 22 1/4" x 32." Rare, the first we have seen and nearly as nice as the day it was issued.
Size: 22 1/4 x 32
Categories: Posters & Broadsides & Lobby Cards - Tate, John -
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