Monday, September 17, 2018

Whipper and Phil Lawson Training: Classic Photo

An interesting and slightly creepy photo of Whipper Watson and manager/trainer Phil Lawson circa mid 1940's.

Lawson was a real powerhouse in the city running shows and training upstarts for many years. An accomplished amateur himself he had been both City and Ontario champion since starting at the YMCA as a kid around 1910. In 1921 he won the Provincial Light Heavyweight Title in boxing, and in 1926 the Canadian Lightweight Championship in Wrestling.

Lawson took over training for the YMCA in 1926 and would start training Whipper around 1931. Officially he would become Whipper's wrestling manager in 1940 but he had already been using his specialized training regimens from the time a teenage Watson had first found the sport.

There were stories about the unorthodox training methods Lawson would use. Having Whipper carry him up the Scarboro bluffs on his back, stuff like that. This one looks designed to strengthen your neck. If you survived.

Whipper would survive and go on to a long and successful career. Lawson, a very fitness conscious and hyper type who was described as literally 'bouncing' around through life passed away in 1949 at the age of 48 from a heart attack.