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 - Ashley Parrish

In Amarillo, a brass knuckles match meant one thing: a bloody brawl. You wouldn't see a host of scientific moves or graceful acrobatics on display. Rather, two combatants with taped fists would square off in a bout where closed-fisted punches were legal and proceed to pound the hell out of each other. Sometimes the bout would have a series of rounds like a boxing match. On other occasions the match would have no time limit. A brass knuckles match was often booked to settle or enhance a feud. The participants were the toughest of the tough.

The brass knuckles belt in Amarillo was spectacular. In addition to having a prominent identifying plate at the buckle, several pairs of brass knuckles were attached to the leather waistband. The list of champions reads like a hall of fame roster from the territory: Dory Funk, Sr., Dory Funk, Jr., Terry Funk, Cyclone Negro, Dick Murdoch, Thunderbolt Patterson, Killer Karl Kox, Ray Stevens, etc. For current fans, I would compare it to the hardcore title. However, I would assert that the brass knucks belt in Amarillo had more significance.

I'm not sure about the origins of the match. If anyone knows, post a message on the board. I assume it was a match created to cater to those fans who felt boxing had been emasculated by the introduction of gloves. I'm also unsure of the first champion in Amarillo. Again, anyone who knows, post a message. In the book Wrestling Title Histories, Duncan and Will's first entry for the belt is Thunderbolt Patterson in October, 1967.

T-bolt had a great run in the territory. Usually the heel, although occasionally a face, he feuded with the top names in the territory. He had great matches with the Funks. He also made the save for Terry Funk in a great Russian Chain match against Pak Song. Patterson held the title on four different occasions from 1967 to 1970. He successfully defended the title against foes like Alex Perez, the tough veteran who would later become a ref in the promotion. T-bolt "knocked out" Alex in the fifth round of a title match in Amarillo in January 1968. Kurt von Brauner ended T-bolt's second reign with the belt (Dr. Blood ended the first), but T-Bolt would regain the belt before the end of May. T-Bolt also had a habit of using brass knucks in his matches. He gained victories over Ricky Romero and Nick Bockwinkle with the help of his favorite foreign object.  More...

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