We first came across Bolton's Bobo Matu in the mid 1960s and by then he had half a dozen years under his belt, having turned professional in 1959.
Straight away we could see that here was a man with an effervescent character who would bob, weave and smile his way around the ring; and the fans loved him. The professional career followed a grounding in the amateur sport at the Bolton Harriers Amateur Wrestling Club.
As to his family heritage of the pacific islands we cannot confirm. Although we can say that his real name suggests more links to friendly Lancashire than the Friendly Isles! Maybe someone in the know would like to provide readers with more information. Whatever, he had a radiant personality that made him a popular wrestler around the rings of Britain.
In January, 1962, having worked for the main independent promoters Bobo was signed up to work for Joint Promotions, where he found himself with a new class of opponent including Billy Howes, Gerry de Jaegar, Les kellett and Billy Joyce.
The highlight came on 11th April, 1962, when he appeared at the Royal Albert Hall for the first tme, losing to Braford's Eric Taylor. Bobo remained a regular throughout British rings until the mid 1980s, but by then wrestling commitments were competing for his time with television and film parts.
The name may not have been an original, and we should not confuse this gentleman with the extrovert we read about in those 1960s American magazines that eventually made their way into our newsagents. In the 1980s the British version of Magnificent Maurice was an impressive figure as he stood shaven headed. moustachioed and totooed centre ring. Here was a man who knew how to upset the punters; not just by disregarding the rules but by his ring presence and camp gimmick. Strutting around the ring, taunting his opponent and jeering at the audience, let alone his rule bending tendencies, led to him being hated by fans throughout the world.
Steve Regal (William Regal) praises the colourful character who was his first professional opponent. The villainous heavyweight was solid northern. His name was Shaun Arnott and he went on to wrestling reincarnation as Colonel Brody, the shaven headed bad boy of the 1980s heavyweight scene.
We think we are safe to say that back in the 1960s most British wrestling fans knew very little about the distant land of Peru.
They did know a powerful man with long black curly hair who went by the name Gomez Maximiliano, or Ernesto Conde Maximiliiano to give him his family name. By the time he set foot in Britain, his first visit being in 1961, he had left Peru and set up home in Spain.
It was from here that he made his annual 1960s jaunts to Britain to rough it with our top heavyweights, almost always for Dale Martin Promotions. By the end of 1961 he was known to television fans and had beaten Johnny Yearsley at the Royal Albert Hall.
No one was safe – Earl Maynard, Gordon Nelson and Joe Cornelius all went down to the wild Peruvian on occasions; though promoters used him increasingly as target practice for domestic talent from 1965 onwards.
Visits to Britain were often alongside appearances in the major tournaments held in Austria and Germany. Last seen wrestling in Britain in 1967.
Later married and lived in Vienna until his death.
The Ellesmere Port welterweight received little recognition until September, 1969, when he snatched the British welterweight title from Alan Sargeant.
The sceptics said it would never last, but having re-styled himself Goldbelt Maxine’s career seemingly outlasted wrestling itself.
Resplendent in his velvet cloak and gold cardboard crown he would parade around the ring tossing out leaflets that proclaimed his greatness and challenging one and all. He established himself as welterweight and middleweight champion, enraging fans with his unruly tactics, arrogant manner and ruthless style until into the 21st century.
Few other wrestlers can boast of entertaining fans at the highest level for five decades.
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Barbados born heavyweight Earl Maynard was a wrestler with muscles on his muscles. A wrestler with a fine physique who took up body-building as a seventeen year old in 1954.
He won the Mr Europe title in 1959, Mr England in 1960, Mr Universe Pro in 1964, and 1978 Mr America title. Not bad considering that he weighed under ten stones when he moved to England aged eighteen years.
Shortly afterwards he was called up for national service and after serving in the Royal Air Force Earl turned professional wrestler in 1962.
He went on to become one of the most popular and successful sixties wrestlers in Britain and Europe before finding even greater success in the United States.
Twice American Tag Champion (with Rocky Johnson and Dory Dixon) Earl was listed as one of the WWE top wrestlers of all time.
Following his retirement from wrestling Earl turned to acting, and appeared in many films before turning to film producing and directing.