M: Mantopolous - Marques
Wrestling Heritage A - Z
The hugely popular Greek lightweight champion made his first visit to Britain in 1960 for the independent promoters. Now stop right there those of you that still undervalue the independents. How can you after everything you have read on Wrestling Heritage? In those days working for the independents were class acts that included George Kidd, Eddie Capelli and Eric Sands, and developing stars Zoltan Boscik, Jon Cortez and Peter Rann. All were opponents of the young Greek who visited our shores, with some spectacular matches against Kidd and Joyce around the south of England.
In December 1961 Dale Martin realised what they were missing out on and brought the flashy high flying lightweight over to Joint Promotions. A Royal Albert Hall debut followed in January 1962 with a win over Jim Breaks, though a 1963 outing against Mick McManus at the Kensington venue was less rewarding. For the Greek.
Vassilios remained a regular fixture in British rings until 1965. He made further short tours in April 1969, dutifully going down to Jackie Pallo at the Royal Albert Hall, and returned to the same glamorous venue in May 1971 to partner Monsieur Montreal and draw with the Hells Angels.
We have ten matches recorded for this heavyweight between June and October, 1946, all of them at Belle Vue, Manchester. Opponents included Charlie Green, Sonny Wallis and Ernie Baldwin.
One of his country's top wrestlers, and political activist in his native South Africa, Manie One of his country's top wrestlers, and equally famous as a political activist in his native South Africa, Manie Maritz was the son of General Gerrit Maritz who played an important role in the Boer War.
Manie visited Britain in the spring of 1948, encountering opponents that included Tony Mancelli, Flash Barker and Mike Delaney.
Gypsy Gino Marlow
Standing well over six feet tall Gino was billed as champion of the gypsies in the 1930s. Tangled with other supersized heavyweights such as Scot John Bell and Exmoor's Carver Doone. A rough and energetic fighter in one match against Jack Pye he dashed from his corner at the opening bell grabbed Pye and took the first fall in the opening seconds.
The high flying dropkick specialist from Madrid toured Britain frequently during the late 1950s and 1960s. We first discover him during a 1958 visit, working around the country against the likes of Johnny Kwango, Chic Purvey, Jack Dempsey and George Kidd. Highlight of the tour was, no doubt, an apperance at the Royal Albert Hall with Mick McManus in the opposite corner. He was back to Britain in 1960 and each year until 1967, filling out until he was tackling fully blown heavyweights. He gained nationwide admirers during his 1962 television clash with Dai Sullivan in 1962, considered unlucky by viewers to go down by the odd fall. A tall dark heavyweight with a pleasing technical style he won lots of fans even if he didn't win lots of matches.