Akram Pahalwan

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Akram Pahalwan
Amritsar, Punjab, India
Died12 April 1987 (aged 57) Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Akram Pahalwan
Iki Pehlwan
Billed height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Billed weight220 lb (100 kg; 16 st)
Trained byThe Great Gama
RetiredDecember 12, 1976

Akram Pahalwan (1930–12 April 1987), also known as Iki Pehlwan was a well-known Pakistani wrestler and a part of the Bholu Brothers Tag Team in professional wrestling during the late 1960s. Some of his well-known opponents are Haji Afzal (1963), George Gordienko (1967), Anton Geesink (1968) and Antonio Inoki (1976).

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Pahalwan was initially trained in Lahore as a student of The Great Gama. Akram started his professional wrestling career in 1953 wrestling Ugandan and Kenyan wrestlers in East Africa. He defeated Mahindar Singh in Nairobi with a submission hold in a match where Singh’s elder brother was the referee. The East African public named him “The Lion” when he defeated the Ugandan Champion Idi Amin.

Pahalwan participated in around 280 major wrestling events during the 1950s. In 1958, Akram was proclaimed the Champion of Malaya in Singapore when he defeated the wrestler Hari Ram.

During the 1960s, Pahalwan also remained a part of the Bholu Brothers wrestling team. In 1965, Pahalwan defeated Indian wrestler Hardam Singh at the National Stadium, Karachi in the third round. In 1967 he toured UK. The Bholu Brothers were rated 10th in the 1968 Tag Team world ratings.[2] In 1968 Akram wrestled in Suriname, South America where he was beaten unconscious by Anton Geesink. Later in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) he injured his left arm in a match against Bill Verna of Australia.

In 1976, the Bholu Brothers claimed to be the world champions and slated Pahalwan to fight Antonio Inoki. On the day of the match Inoki defeated Pahalwan with a chicken wing armlock. Pahalwan did not submit, but the referee stopped the match because his left arm broke under the submission hold. Pahalwan's wrestling career ended after his match with Inoki.


  1. ^ "Bholu Brothers wrestling Information". Archived from the original on 2009-10-25.
  2. ^ Ring Wrestling Magazine, "Official World Ratings for December 1968"