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Johnny Tate

Full name: John "Johnny" Tate
Nickname(s): Big John
Gender: Male
Height: 6-3.5 (193 cm)
Weight: 229 lbs (104 kg)
Born: January 29, 1955 in Marion, Arkansas, United States
Died: April 9, 1998 in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
Country: USA United States
Sport: Boxing

Medals: 1 Bronze (1 Total)


As an amateur, John Tate never quite seemed able to win the big title, although he was always close. He was runner-up in the 1975 Golden Gloves and the 1975 Pan-American Games. At the Olympics in 1976, he fought [Teófilo Stevenson] in the semi-finals and the great Cuban heavyweight knocked him out. Tate had a solid but perhaps unfulfilled career as a professional. In 1979, by defeating Gerrie Coetzee, he laid claim to the WBA heavyweight title after [Muhammad Ali] retired. But Tate held the title for less than one year before losing to Mike Weaver in a 15th-round knockout. In addition, Larry Holmes was the WBC champion at the time and considered by everybody as the real heavyweight champion. Tate never again had a title fight after losing his championship. He fought professionally thru 1988, finishing his career with a record of 34 wins and 3 losses.

An addiction to cocaine contributed to serious financial problems and, after convictions for assault and theft, Tate resorted to begging on the streets of Knoxville.

In 1998 he suffered a massive stroke, caused by a brain tumour, whilst driving his pickup truck. The truck crashed into a utility pole, killing Tate and seriously injuring two passengers. The Knox County medical examiner stated that Tate "had been using cocaine regularly in the last 24 hours of his life."


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1976 Summer 21 Montréal Boxing Men's Heavyweight United States USA 3T Bronze

Men's Heavyweight

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result MR JF J1S J2S J3S J4S J5S TJP
1976 Summer 21 Montréal Boxing United States USA Semi-Finals Match #1 2 1976-07-29 Stevenson (CUB) , Tate (USA)
1976 Summer 21 Montréal Boxing United States USA Quarter-Finals Match #1 1 1976-07-28 Tate (USA) , Hussing (FRG) decision 3 60 58 59 59 59+ 295
1976 Summer 21 Montréal Boxing United States USA Round Two Match #1 1 1976-07-26 Tate (USA) , Biegalski (POL) decision 5 59 59 59 59 60 296
1976 Summer 21 Montréal Boxing United States USA Round One Match #2 1 1976-07-22 Tate (USA) bye
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