Tuesday, 4 March 2014
Billy Robinson. RIP.
Wrestling historians never tire of unpicking the tangled web that is the relationship between the bizarre, make believe world of showtime wrestling and the genuine competitive sport. One man who earned respect as both a wrestling entertainer and as a 100% real deal "shooter" was Manchester's Billy Robinson who passed away yesterday at the age of 75. Building on a successful amateur career that culminated in winning the 1957 light heavyweight championship, Billy was also schooled in the wonderful, almost lost art of Wigan catch as catch can and he made the most of his genuine skill when he turned professional. Recognised as the British Heavyweight Champion before decamping to the USA and Japan,Billy would have a long and successful career and brought an air of dignity to the sometimes tawdry world of pro-wrestling. He was a first class athlete by any standards. When Mixed Martial Arts arrived on the scene it was to Billy Robinson that many top cage fighters turned to for coaching. The man was a walking encyclopedia of submission wrestling knowledge and a true credit to the mat game.