Chatsworth strongman at the heart of growing wrestling in Africa

JOSHUA “The Bull” Chetty with WAWSA CEO Mark Beale. | Supplied

JOSHUA “The Bull” Chetty with WAWSA CEO Mark Beale. | Supplied

Published Feb 20, 2024

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WRESTLING is not many people’s idea of a professional sport, let alone for an athlete of Indian descent who hails from a cricket stronghold in Chatsworth.

Joshua Jesse Chetty with WAWSA World Heavyweight Champion Mr Wrestling
JOSHUA “The Bull” Chetty will be the only Indian wrestler in the upcoming Wrestle Monster event. | Supplied
JOSHUA Jesse Chetty with WAWSA World Heavyweight Champion Mr Wrestling. | Supplied

But that is the case with Durban’s very own strongman Joshua Chetty who goes by the name of “The Bull” in wrestling circles across South Africa and the continent.

Yes, the continent. That will be manifested on March 29 when Chetty breaks yet again more boundaries as he will be the only wrestler of Indian descent to partake in the event where over 20 000 spectators are expected to turnout.

The event will be hosted in Port Elizabeth and “The Bull“ is sharpening his horns and waiting for the name of his opponent.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the event and yes, I have been confirmed as the only wrestler of Indian descent in the line-up. That will not be the first time I deal with that, it has happened in many other tournaments and there are titles which I have also been the first Indian to compete for and win,” said the soft-spoken 31 year old.

“Wrestle Monster is the biggest wrestling event in Africa but we are still far behind Wrestle Mania which is the biggest under WWE. The sport of wrestling in general, in Africa and South Africa, is still far behind the US and Japan where wrestlers make a living out of it.”

The 91kg wrestler who stands at 1.71cm says he has been enjoying the support of his family since his professional debut in November 2010, the date he clearly will never forget as he mentioned it more than three times in a 45 minutes interview.

“Like most young boys, I was also taken into the sport by the love of the WWE stars like Goldberg, The Rock, Undertaker and others. The difference with me is that in my area there were wrestlers and I used to tag along and assist them with setting up the stage-ring when there were tournaments,” Chetty says.

“Since then I have been involved with sports that require physical strength like rugby and discus. I used to win gold medals in discus. Even today I spend most of my time in the gym because I work there while I also give myself a fair amount of hours working out.

“My ring debut in November 2010 was very special for me since the tournament was part of the celebration of the anniversary of Indian Settlers in South Africa. There I met legends like Tiger Ellepan.

“In 2016 wrestling under the WWP, along with Camron Papiah we were the first Indians to win the tag-team title.

“From then on I went to win the Champions of War Tournament also in PE. The most gruelling though was the Champions of War Tournament - the Arnold Classic which was held in Johannesburg. I had to endure five matches in two days. That can take its toll on the body and mind. Wrestle Monster is perfect for celebrating my 14 years in wrestling.”

Chetty says the beauty of it all is that unlike other athletes, “a wrestler does not have to watch what they eat. I personally do not subscribe to that but believe in eating healthy as everyone should. I do not believe in diets but in a good lifestyle. Just give your body what it requires for nutrients”.

Chetty fights under the World Association of Wrestling South Africa (WAWSA) which is headed by Mark Beale as owner and CEO.

“We are on course of making the WAWSA to be the WWE of South Africa, infact even Africa. We host many tournaments but Wrestle Monster is our flagship and it is the biggest wrestling event on the continent. So it is really big,” said Beale.

Speaking about Chetty and his achievements in the sport of wrestling, Beale said:

“Wrestle Monster is our flagship tournament and guys like Joshua, we are relying on them to grow the tournament and the sport in general. Guys who are passionate about the sport, who love what they do and who are willing to do the work.

“Right now we are self funded and are in great need of sponsors. We are appealing for funding from business people and lovers of the sport of wrestling in the country and they can find me on 074 339 6235. It has the potential to grow into a big industry. Wrestle Monster is going for the sixth year after Covid19 interruptions.”

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