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|Old School Stories|
|Don "Hard Boiled" Haggerty|
out in Amarillo, Texas.
Don "Hard Boiled" Haggerty came to Amarillo in the mid fifties. He had a reputation of being a tough guy, having played football with the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions but choosing pro-wrestling in those days because the money was better. Like most tough guys who came to town the fans wanted to see how Haggerty would stack up facing the local hero and superintendent at Texas' Boy's Ranch, Dory Funk Sr.
Funk Sr had proven himself against outsiders before in the likes of Wayne Martin, Roger Mackey, Tony Morelli, Leroy McGuirk, Lou Thesz, Bob Geigel, Ray Gunkel, Verne Gagne, and Frankie Hill Murdoch.
The promoter was Doc Sarpolis and the Booker / Manipulator (In today's lingo, writer) was Tommy Phelps. Tommy was also the referee in this match.
Haggerty was a big man in those days, 6' 1" tall and 255 pounds. His reputation had recently been bolstered because of a recent skirmish in the ring with one of the toughest of the day, Verne Gagne in which Haggerty stood his own.
As Dory Funk Sr. entered the ring, he could sense that Hard Boiled Haggerty was pissed. During the referee's instructions, Funk Sr. said, "Hey Hag, What's wrong." Hag responded, "This is a bunch of crap, I am not coming all this way to a one horse town to do a job so let's go."
Hag was a football player and a fighter and Dory Funk Sr. a wrestler, but few knew Dory Funk Sr. could punch too. Haggerty grabbed Dory Funk Sr. in a front headlock and was mauling him. Haggerty's next move was learned in his days of street fighting. He stuck his finger in Dory Funk's Sr.'s mouth as if to rip it open. Dory Funk Sr. took advantage of the situation and bit down hard on Haggerty's middle finger to the bone. Haggerty screamed and stood straight up releasing the front headlock. He was wide open and Dory Sr. hit him hard right on the chin. Six Foot One and 255 pounds of a massive man was knocked across the ring. Dory Funk Sr. made one big mistake in that when he hit Haggerty, he forgot to release the finger clinched between his front teeth. As Haggerty flew back, Dory Sr's two front teeth busted from his gums sticking straight out. Hag was on his butt and Dory Sr. thought he had lost two front teeth.
Both men realized just how tough each other were. Dory Funk Sr. reached to his mouth and pushed the two front teeth back up in his gums. Haggerty came to his feet trying to hide the bruised and bloody finger. Referee Tommy Phelps was in between not knowing what to expect. Haggerty stared at Dory Funk Sr still holding his two front teeth in place. Haggerty broke into a smile. Dory Funk Sr. was relieved he would not have to fight this one out and they worked one hell of a match.