K.O. Ken Yates

One of the most colorful "enhancement talents" that came through the Dallas territory in 1965 was "K.O." Ken Yates. Ken had a gimmick of being a former boxer which I read online that he was. He had good ring psychology and held his own until the babyface made the comeback and won. I do not know what his finish was because I never saw him win a match.

I saw Ken wrestle Kanji Inoki on July 19, 1965 in Fort Worth. It was my first time to see wrestling in person. I turned eleven that day and my dad took me to matches for my birthday.

Ken started out being pretty rough to Inoki and got the upper hand. When this happened, he went outside the ring and showed his boxing stance and did some shadow boxing in front of the fans. This gave Inoki time to recover and make a comeback. Yates submitted to Inoki's armpit claw. This hold should have been called the "pit stop" because the match stopped quickly once the claw was applied. Inoki changed his first name to Antonio and became one of the most successful wrestlers and promoters in Japan.

Yates went on to work in the AWA and other territories. He had two sons that wrestled in Minnesota in the 1990s.

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