By Athol Oakley
The tale of Athol Oakley, one of many maximum wrestlers of our time, and the bloody international of wrestling within the early 1900s. Athol labored himself up from a 5 stone teen to a fifteen stone global wrestling champion, scuffling with in millions of bouts all over the world.
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Extra info for Blue Blood on the Mat
I left England in the Honteric, the yacht formerly owned by the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, and now converted to a liner. As the shores around the Solent disappeared, on that spring day in 1931, it never occurred to me that I might be biting off more than I could chew. Such is the optimism of youth! On looking back it seems a colossal piece of cheek even to have attempted what all other British heavyweights had failed to do. It is one thing to take on Americans, brought over to Britain on a work permit, but quite another to go into their territory and challenge champions, on their own ground and before their own people.
About this time I had decided on Irslinger’s advice to go to America and take all comers, but before this was possible it was absolutely necessary to beat Boganski. With this in mind I trained even more assiduously, six and seven hours a day, and finally issued a challenge via the Newcastle press. Boganski, sensing the crowd that a return match between the British champion and himself would draw, and as usual feeling he was a certain winner, promptly accepted. Irslinger agreed to the match and undertook to hold the side-stake of a hundred guineas.
I managed to escape from all these-the last one by ‘spinning’. Casey, now really angry at sarcastic shouts from the crowd who were beginning to get excited and vociferous, went back into the initial head hold and bulled me into a corner, where he forced a crotch hold and body-slammed me very hard indeed. Somewhat winded by the force of the impact I managed to slip free and so under the ropes. Minute after minute this went on with Casey furiously trying to hold me, while time and again I slipped free.