Don Leo vs Whipper 1959


Classic Matchup Recap
"Don Leo Jonathan who has been running rough shod over all Canadian opposition since coming back to the circuits caught a tartar in Whipper Billy Watson, former world champion in a feature match at Maple Leaf Gardens Toronto which the fans will remember for a long time. Jonathan in a television interview with sports commentator Fred Scambati said he would make Watson retire from the game when they met.  Apparently Watson did not take kindly to that statement. He asked Frank Tunney to draw up the papers for the match and it must be said that Watson came up with one of the best bouts of his life.
 
The 300 pound Mormon certainly got rough treatment from Watson who used authoritative elbow smashes, double knee lifts, assorted nerve holds, and judo chops to keep Jonathan at bay. Jonathan threw Watson from the ring and Watson returned with fire in his eyes. The former champ threw Jonathan over the ropes then jumped from the ring, picked up the Mormon and slammed him on the concrete floor with a resounding crash. This was retaliation in full on Watson's part. When Jonathan tried to rise Watson caught him with announcer's Jerry Hiff's desk over the head returning to the inside of the ring. Watson caught hold of the big fellow's head and drove him into the corner's steel post raising a wicked welt on the side of his head. 

It was without a doubt one of the best bouts of Whipper Watson's life. He paid in full to Jonathan for the latter's rash statement over television but Watson had outfoxed Jonathan by getting into his best possible physical condition for the bout. Jonathan was on the way to defeat after 45:36 in as wild-and-woolly action as the fans have ever seen in Maple leaf Gardens. The curfew halted the bout at 11 o'clock so it ended in a stalemate but Mr. Jonathan knew he had been in one of the most turbulent bouts of his career. The result was that Whipper Watson gained a host of new admirers for holding the Salt Lake City lad at bay." 
THE RING MAGAZINE December 1959 excerpted from 'The Mat World' by Earl Yetter


Promo from the dailies prior to the bout

Don Leo and Whipper had a good feud throughout Southern Ontario. We will look at the very exciting year of 1959 in the Almanac soon. 

During the summer break we will feature some more Classic Matchup's from the Toronto history. Hope you enjoy them. 
-AC

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