Mat Champ Due Saturday

Eugene Register-Guard – July 19, 1959

First appearance of a world heavyweight wrestling champion in the Emerald Empire for five years – since the appearance of Lou Thesz – will be made at the Armory Saturday, July 25.

Pat O’Connor, undisputed world titleholder, will meet the best available opponent and four grapplers of known ability have expressed the desire to meet the native of Wellington, New Zealand – Kurt VonPopenheim, Eric Pedersen, Fritz Brauner, and Luther Lindsay, who once battled titleholder Thesz to a draw.  Thesz later lost his crown to Dick Hutton of Oklahoma, who was beaten last January before 12,000 fans in St. Louis by O’Connor.

O’Connor, who wrestled for Massey College and the British Empire in the 1950 Empire has been in this country for six years.  The 32-year-old matman, joined the pro wrestling ranks after working as a cowboy in his native country.  He has had successful campaigns in Canada, Hawaii and the South Pacific and will be making his first trip to the Northwest.

The New Zealander, now a native of Chicago, is being handled by Joe Stretcher.

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