Rugged Russian heavyweight of the 1960s, though his entry to the ring was made all the more colourful with his traditional Russian dress.
Not exactly a villain of the first order Yuri had a very rugged style which brought him close to breaking the rules and made him less of a fans favourite. He started wrestling for the independents in 1961 and was signed up by Joint Promotions the following year.
As well as upsetting the wrestling fans of Britain Yuri had a nice sideline in the television and film industry, appearing in dozens of films and television dramas that included Z Cars, Doctor In Trouble, Superman and the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
It is said that during a test fight for the James Bond film George Lazenby broke Yuri's nose and this helped Lazenby gain the part of Bond.
A short lived career for the independent promoters as Zoltan Zimmerman but Zolly soon switched to the name that would find fame and success as a top lightweight at a time of fierce competition in that weight division.
The scowl and hardened features of Hungarian born Zoltan Boscik made him a wrestler that fans found easy to dislike. Here was a man with considerable skill who usually stayed just on the right side of the rules,but looked the part of an out and out villain. He relentlessly applied punishing submission holds with a frequency rarely seen amongst lighter men, creating a very pleasing contrast to popular speed merchants Cortez, Saint, Morice, Miquet and the like.
The result was a thoroughly entertaining, talented wrestler who travelled the journey from novice Hungarian amateur in 1954 to one of the top British lightweights of the 1970s. We were told that Zoltan fled Hungary during the 1956 uprising. We have no reason to question this, but more of a conundrum was how he was able to claim the Hungarian lightweight title some twelve years after leaving the country. which did not allow professional sport during the socialist era.
Read our extended tribute: A Taste of Goulash
This French heavyweight travelled extensively throughout Europe. He visited Britain in 1952, travelling throughout the country and meeting wrestlers such as Vic Hessle and Eddie Flash Barker.
Extended tributes to dozens of our most loved wrestlers in Shining Stars and Personality Parade
A name that surfaced at least twice in the post war years. There was a Boston Blackie on the independent circuit in the 1960s, this is the one we remember and believe Ezra Francis may have been using the name. Another Boston Blackie resurfaced in the 1980s, and Pantaleon Manlapig tells us Boston Blackie wrestled in Germany during 1991-2 in Hamburg for Sven Hansen and Rene Lassartesse.
The rugged Spanish based South American heavyweight first visited Britain in 1957, falling to Judo Al Hayes at the Royal Albert Hall. He was back in Britain ten years later, once again appearing at the Royal Albert Hall, and this time going down to Judo Al's tag partner Rebel Ray Hunter. The wild Peruvian came to national prominence in televised contests against three of the most popular wrestlers in Britain, Judo Al Hayes, Mike Marino and Les Kellett. Around the halls Botano faced top class opposition Steve Veidor, Joe Cornelius and Tibor Szakacs. In tag contests Juan partnered fellow Peruvian Gomez Maximilliano.
The rugged Frenchman came over to work in the UK for the latter half of 1965. Despite coming with the usual first class credentials of having won international tournaments and met international acclaim the reality was quite different. A KO loss to Jackie Pallo at the Royal Albert Hall is fair enough, but add to that losses to Spencer Churchill, Ivan Penzecoff, Leon Arras, Colin Joynson and other mid carders and you will appreciate that the Frenchman did not quite meet his initial promise.
Tagged with fellow Greek Souris Tsickrikas for some thrilling matches with the Royals and The Saints as well as against villains like the Black Diamonds and Dennisons.
A knock out win over Terry Jowett in his sole television appearance and lost to Johnny Czeslaw at the Royal Albert Hall.
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Le Bourreau de Bethune. This masked Executioner from the northern French town of Béthune visited the United Kingdom in 1965 and wrestled on Devereaux Promotions bills.
Le Bourreau de Béthune was a rugged formidable opponent and Wrestling Heritage writers have no hesitation in classing him amongst the few serious career masked men we include on this site.
Years later we were intrigued to unearth a further French masked wrestler called Jacquerez whom we can only conclude to be one-in-the-same as it seems he merely eliminated the four middle letters of his two names and then elided the two together.
For more on Jacquerez, go to J.
One time amateur Greco Roman champion and French middleweight from Avignon made a three day visit to the United Kingdom in the spring of 1971.
He held the heavier Johnny Czeslaw to a draw, was knocked out by Jackie Pallo and lost by a single fall to Clayton Thomson at the Royal Albert Hall.
'The little things you remember'
The bell had gone for the end of the round and Bernard Murray and his opponent had gone to their respective corners; as the seconds got to work the announcer put out over the PA system "Would the owner of car number....please remove it from the front of the hall"
Bernard slowly got up and began to climb out of the ring.
Welsh wrestler who appeared in south Wales and southern England between 1952 and 1954.
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