View single post by DaClyde
 Posted: Sun Jul 8th, 2018 08:52 pm
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Jason Presley

Joined: Mon Apr 3rd, 2017
Location: Huntsville, Alabama USA
Posts: 68
A very small update. I was digging through the Commercial Appeal archives, looking for articles on an amateur tournament in Memphis that Joe Gunther participated in, and saw a reference to a card in Somerville, Tennessee, featuring Freddie Knichel. Checked the Fayette Falcon, that covered Somerville and found these three shows:

Somerville, TN: Tuesday, April 28, 1931
(Opera House) ... George Shannon beat Andy O'Neil (2-0, 29:00) ... Freddie Knichel beat Buddy Wilkerson (2-1)

Somerville, TN: Tuesday, May 12, 1931
(Opera House) ... Freddie Knichel beat Jack Hogan ... Bald Eagle [Jimmy Austin] drew George Shannon (1-1, 2:00:00)

Somerville, TN: Saturday, May 30, 1931
(Opera House) ... Edward Bonham drew DeWitt Lemster (1-1, 60:00) ... George Shannon beat Freddie Knichel (2-1, 55:00) ... Referees: W.M. Hardwick, George Shannon

At this point, Knichel and Shannon were both probably about 18 years old. W.M. Hardwick (or Hardwich) was listed as the matchmaker. Somerville is about 46 miles east of Memphis. As it turns out, Freddie Knichel was also in the amateur tournament, under his given name Vernon Knichel. The May 12 card in Somerville was actually the day before the finals of the tournament on the 13th. Freddie was competing as a light heavyweight, and won his division, and would be called the Tri-State Light Heavyweight Champion in several subsequent news pieces when wrestling elsewhere. Joe Gunther, in from Nashville, was competing in the welterweight division, but lost in the first round, in an extra period. My guess is this is when/where Gunther and Knichel first met. Also in the tournament was Andrew Lawo, the younger brother of West Tennessee wrestler Tony Lawo.