Chief Don Eagle

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Carl Donald Bell (August 25, 1925[1] – March 17, 1966), better known by his ring name Chief Don Eagle, was a Mohawk Native American professional wrestler during the 1950s and 1960s. Originally from Kahnawake, Quebec, Eagle became an AWA Boston World Champion in 1950.[2]

Chief Don Eagle
Chief Don Eagle - 1950.jpg
Statistics
Real nameCarl Donald Bell
Nickname(s)
  • Don Eagle
  • Chief - Hawk
  • Chief Don Eagle
Weight(s)Heavyweight
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
NationalityAmerican
Born(1925-08-25)August 25, 1925
Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada
DiedMarch 17, 1966(1966-03-17) (aged 40)
Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights20
Wins16
Wins by KO20
Losses4

Professional wrestling careerEdit

Eagle began a boxing career in 1945, after a brief time working in the steel and construction industry. He was trained solely by his father, Chief Joseph War Eagle, a former Junior Heavyweight Champion. In his first year, Eagle competed in 22 contests and won 17. He beat the established Red Dawson using a pinfall in just under 16 minutes. During the peak of his career in the early 1950s, Eagle became the first person to throw World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Primo Carnera off his feet. He fought Antonino Rocca in a 60-minute draw on May 19, 1951, at the Chicago Stadium.

Controversy over AWA World Title (Boston)Edit

On May 23, 1950, Eagle defeated Frank Sexton in a best-of-three falls. Sexton was just over a year into a near-four-year reign of the Boston version of the AWA World Heavyweight Championship.

Three days later, Eagle appeared on television without the championship belt to face Gorgeous George in another best-of-three falls match in the Chicago area. For the first fall, Eagle defeated George by submission. For the second, Eagle was counted out by referee Earl Mullihan. In the final fall, George managed to catch Eagle with a backyard cradle. Mullihan, who could clearly see that Eagle had a single shoulder off the mat, proceeded to administer another fast count and declared the match over. The crowd was furious and began to riot, throwing objects into the ring. Eagle punched Mullihan with considerable force while Mullihan hastened to leave the ring and the arena. As Mullihan ran up the aisle, Eagle hit him forcefully again between the shoulder blades. Eagle was suspended by the Illinois State Athletic Commission for putting his hands on a referee but managed to regain the title on August 31, 1950. The title was declared vacant in November 1950 due to Eagle's inactivity because of injury and was replaced by the AWA Eastern Heavyweight Title.

This Controversy and success earned him the respect of one of the biggest attractions in the early progression of televised wrestling.[2]

Semi-retirementEdit

During a 1953 match with the faux-Nazi Hans Schmidt, Eagle was thrown over the top rope and into the ringside chairs, damaging several spinal discs and breaking two ribs. Eagle took a year off to recover from his injuries, during which time he began training a teenage Billy Two Rivers. Eagle gave Two Rivers a further year's training after he himself had returned to wrestling, occasionally tagging with the young wrestler. Due to continuing back problems, Eagle became semi-retired and wrestled infrequently in various regions over the next three years. Eagle decided to retire permanently in 1963 at the age of 38.

Personal lifeEdit

Wrestling Revue reported Eagle's death on March 17, 1966, stating that it appeared the Native American had died from a self-inflicted gun wound.[3] Contemporary newspaper reports indicated that he had been despondent over some construction project setbacks: namely, a Logan County (Ohio) Indian village, an expansion program in the Zane Shawnee Caverns, and a $12 million Indian Center near Montreal. Worth noting, is people close to Eagle do not believe that his death was a suicide.[2] Billy Two Rivers being one of those people. Skeptics of his death noted that it could have been a murder, connected to the death of his wife, Jean Eagle .[2]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

BoxingEdit

  • Cleveland Golden Gloves Heavyweight Championship (1945)[1]

Professional wrestlingEdit

Professional boxing recordEdit

Professional record summary
20 fights 16 wins 4 losses
By knockout 10 1
By decision 6 2
By disqualification 0 1
Draws 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
20 Loss 16–4   Richard Hagan KO 4 (8) 9 Aug 1948   Marigold Gardens, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
19 Win 16–3   Henry Jones PTS 6 13 Jul 1948   Marigold Gardens Outdoor Arena, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
18 Win 15–3   Johnny Flanagan KO 2 (6) 10 May 1948   Marigold Gardens, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
17 Win 14–3   Al Hunter TKO 3 (6) 16 Apr 1948   Marigold Gardens, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
16 Win 13–3   Lenny Johnson TKO 2 (6) 19 Apr 1948   Marigold Gardens, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
15 Loss 12–3   Ocie Talbert PTS 6 29 Jan 1948   Coliseum Annex, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
14 Win 12–2   Al Timmons PTS 6 13 Jan 1948   Coliseum Annex, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
13 Win 11–2   Lonnie Morris PTS 4 6 Jan 1948   Coliseum Annex, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
12 Win 10–2   James Turner PTS 6 30 Dec 1947   Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.
11 Win 9–2   George Brown KO 2 (4), 1:18 25 Nov 1947   Coliseum Annex, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
10 Loss 8–2   Jackie Thompson DQ 1 21 Nov 1947   Minneapolis Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
9 Win 8–1   Bobby Marshall TKO 2 (4) 31 Oct 1947   Minneapolis Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
8 Win 7–1   Chief War Cloud PTS 4 28 Oct 1947   Coliseum Annex, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
7 Win 6–1   Joe Connors KO 2 (4) 22 Oct 1947   Coliseum Annex, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
6 Win 5–1   Jacques Carter KO 2 (4) 15 Oct 1947   Coliseum Annex, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
5 Loss 4–1   Gibbs Pike TKO 5 (6), 0:54 29 Aug 1947   Jefferson County Armory, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
4 Win 4–0   Al Small PTS 4 25 Aug 1947   Marigold Gardens Outdoor Arena, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
3 Win 3–0   Larry Chatman KO 2 (4) 28 Jul 1947   Marigold Gardens Outdoor Arena, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
2 Win 2–0   Len Billingsley KO 1 (4) 21 Jul 1947   Marigold Gardens, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
1 Win 1–0   Herb Jones KO 2 (4) 27 Jan 1947   Jefferson County Armory, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Chief Don Eagle Wrestling History". Professional Wrestler Information. Legacyofwrestling.com. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e Oliver, Greg. "SLAM! Wrestling Canadian Hall of Fame: Chief Don Eagle". Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  3. ^ Daily Gazette, Xenia, OH; 3-19-1966

External linksEdit