Whipper Retains Empire Title As Curfew Ends Kiniski Bout

Globe & Mail – September 24, 1965
By Steve York

They call it all-in wrestling in Britain and a look at the ending of the main bout at Maple Leaf Gardens last night showed why. There was Gene Kiniski…

What? The result? Oh, that was a draw between Whipper Watson and Kiniski. The 11 o’clock curfew halted the one-fall match for the British Empire heavyweight championship at 30:32 and referee Tiger Tasker ruled the outcome a draw. That meant Watson retained the title.

Many in the crowd of 4,004 would have liked the match to continue. They had an idea Whipper could have won. And from the look of challenger Kiniski they may have had the right thought.

There he was flat on his back, chest heaving as if he were fighting for breath. His arms lay limply on the canvas. Every once in a while he would shudder like a fish does sometimes when it has finished flopping around after being landed. Kiniski was all in for sure.

Watson had been near the same condition minutes before. Kiniski had caught him with a judo chop as he came off the ropes and made Whip wilt with a series of judo chops and karate blows to the throat.

Did the Whip give in? Never. He caught Kiniski with a hip throw, flinging him to the mat. When Kiniski started to rise Watson applied his commando hold and had him in increasing trouble with variations of the hold. And the situation from two minutes before the curfew bell was Watson slowly but surely wearing down Kiniski with the hold but not being able to beat the time limit.

Promoter Frank Tunney is going to try holding shows on Sundays again with the first one this Sunday. Main attraction will be Bruno Sammartino against Johnny Powers.

Bobo Brazil returned after several years’ absence and won the semi-final from Mike Valentino at 25:45 of the scheduled 30-minute bout. Brazil, who introduced the koko bonk to Toronto fans, used only one and that clinched matters. Valentino dropped abruptly to the mat and offered no resistance to Bobo’s top spread.

The best bout, actually, was the 20-minute draw between Hans Schmidt and Sweet Daddy Siki. It was a thing of beauty with every movement, every expression counting. Nothing was wasted. It was as if they were under the guidance of a skilled movie director. Siki provided the cleverness, agility and hero elements and Schmidt the brutishness and heavyhandedness. His depicting of distress, outrage and futility was delightful.

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