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Gamefowl Fighting Styles!

February 4, 2014       Gamefowl Circuit



Gamefowl Circuit readers always want to know how each bloodline fights, and how each may match up against each other.  Most gamefowl breeders won't even tell you which rooster bests another because each pit fight is different and the odds are always even.  Some underrated breeds have lucky come from behind wins and they really occur over even the winningest gamefowl.

But knowing how each bloodline fights gives you a heads-up on what you might want to breed or how you may enjoy your entertainment when you go to your next pit fight.


The Sweater is that winning breed that brawls its opponents into submission.  They have excellent gameness and power that their relentless attacks simply overwhelm their opponent.  Sweaters used to lack endurance, but infusions into their bloodline made them the most feared opponents they are today.

In the air they are a match with almost any air slashing fighter but on the ground, they literally trample their opponents to submission.  They have very long feathers, especially at the tail.  They are red breasted and are yellow legged.

Brown Red

The Brown Red is a speed cutter, a showboat of a multiple hitting fighting fowl known for razzle-dazzle  shuffling action type of fighting.  Coming dark-legged, dark-eyed and with characteristic black and burgundy feathering, the only weakness of this strain is a seeming lack of gameness and stamina. 

Many breeders have overcome this with infusions with the Asil and other strong birds.  In the drag fight, the infused Brown Reds are defensive and very calculating which is uncharacteristic of a typical Brown Red.  If you want a fast killer to add to your breed, the Brown Red is ideal.

Lemon 84

This is the old Duke Hulsey breed from the 70s that the legendary Paeng Araneta and a few Bacolod breeders have bred into a champion fighter. 

The, Lemon 84 has become the base gamefowl broodstock used by most Bacolod breeders that still  wins
consistently even against modern gamefowl breeds.  Originally sired from the Hatch-Butcher-Claret blends of the late Duke Hulsey, Paeng created subfamilies from the original stocks.  

Lemon 84  comes lemon hackled, peacombed or straight-combed and yellow and green-legged. and pumpkin feathered.  A medium stationed gamefowl known for its smart fighting style, and an offbeat sense of timing where it catches its opponent off-guard with powerful single stroke killing hits.  It is known as a vertical flyer, and is known to sidestep and counterattack. 

Some say it lacks gameness but crosses with Albanies, Kelsos and Sweaters have made it a modern gamefowl killer to reckon with.


The Claret is one of those pure stock bloodlines that the Old-Guard-of-Sabungeros love to rely on as base pure broodstock that can match up with ANY gamefowl as a fighting cock when it comes to deadly cutting.  Clarets come straight combs, black breasted and have wine red feathers hence their name.

They also possess wings and tails that have white streaks and are usually white legged.  Clarets are very accurate cutters, fast and clever. They are also known to break high, and possess deep game.  As pit fighters they are very clever; fighting with hard hitting single strokes.  Clarets are very aggressive in the pit.  They are one of the few straight (pure) breeds that can go head to head with the swarming Sweater.


Considered an Asian fowl rather than an American breed because of its roots, Roundheads have black spurs and are peacombs.  They come ether yellow legged or white legged and have red eyed and pale yellow hackles. The gamefowl are medium to high stationed with an average weight of 2 to 2.4 kgs. 

Roundheads are smart fighters with weaving abilities or the often prized evasion trait of side-stepping because of their natural agility. They are also very aggressive, and superbly fast cutters. Roundheads are known to possess devastating leg power and are characteristically flyers that break high. 

The most famous among the many Roundheads is the Lacy Roundhead, originated by Judge Lacy.

There are other Roundhead families like the Bruners, Sheltons, Allen and Boston.  They cross well with Clarets, Butchers, Greys, and of course, Hatches.  Roundheads are rather tricky to condition because they tend to mature or peak early as stags, so you must fight your best bird according to its state of readiness.


Regarded as the most beautiful gamecock of its time, and even today the Whitehackles is a classic base gamefowl that is favored for breeding strong hitting fighters.  Whiehackles have straight combed, are red-eyed, are 90% yellow-red in color, and the remaining 10% are spangled, mustard colored hackles.  Whitehackes have nice broad shoulders, compact build and heavy plumage. 

Whitehackles have an average weight of 2 to 2.4 kgs.and are medium stationed fighting cocks.  They are also as beautiful when seen fighting in the pit. 

The Whitehackles are regarded as a ring generals, fighting tactically and engaging its enemy from any position available due to their agility and shiftiness. As strong and power-hitting gamefowl, the birds also have deadly cutting strokes and evade harm by breaking high.  They can last a drag fight having deep game as well as fighting smarts.  The most sought after strain is the Kearney Whitehackle and the Morgan Whitehackle.


The Talisayin or off-color rooster to unfamiliar sabungero fans is the Grey.  Grey roosters are straight combed and medium stationed which have silver hackles and saddle feathers, and either black or grey speckle breasted. 

Talisayin used to be regarded as an aberration or dehado when matched up with any red rooster or 'Texas.'  But the modern Greys of today are some of the best fighting cocks anywhere.  Greys are aggressive and hard hitting game cocks that are as deadly as any red rooster in cutting and gameness.


Highly prized in South Asia as the perfect rooster bloodline and even a revered icon of Indian mythology, the Asil breed was sourced from the countries India and Pakistan.

The Asil is pea-combed, has short feathers, is black and red, has yellowish-white skin and yellow legs, it has broad shoulders and a short beak, and very prominent wings.  Due to its heavy build from 4lbs up to 6lbs, the Asil is a very hard hitting rooster and can maim an opponent just on bare heels alone. 

However, these roosters are considered very slow by themselves for long knife fighting which is popular in the Philippines and these South Asian roosters are only used to infuse endurance  and power traits into another bloodline.  In India and Pakistan however, where  gaff-blade (pointed spurs) fighting and bare spurs are the popular form of cockfighting weapons, exclusive Asil versus Asil pit fights are the national pastime.


This gamefowl is tops among the so called Black gamefowl.  A rooster with a smart counter-attacking style that is offbeat, yet on its own it has produced one of the most popular and successful fighting fowl in long-knife slasher fighting that was popular in the U.S. in the 60s to 80s. 

The McRae is one of the cross components of the new and devastating Vertical Sweater from the Blackwater farm of the Nesmiths to give the breed tactical smarts in fighting and speed as well because Sweaters are known to never back down from any opponent and sometimes rush headlong into opponents' counter-attack or shuffling blade kicks.

Sid Taylor Black

Another outstanding fast cutting Black gamefowl in a class all its own.  Often sought on its own as a pure stock battlefowl by fight aficionados who prefer Black fighters.  Some say that among gamefowl pit fighters, Once you go Black, you don't go back.  Same gamefowl traits as the McRaes as black pit fighters go.


Radios are very aggressive fighters, and this is often both their advantage and their death knell.  As Johnny Jumper says, they aren't very smart fighters because they have only one direction--forward for the kill, win or lose.  If the opponent is a superior fighter they lunge into the knife and die instantly.  But more often than not,

Radios get the first hit because of their sheer aggressiveness.  Sometime in the 80s and 90s, Radios put together a winning streak so admired because the birds won in fast fashion for their aggressive nature. 

Nowadays, compared with modern gamefowl, the Radio is a tad slower so breeding with a smart and speedier bloodline might help improve its fighting chances in the pit. 

As a Whitehackle and Kelso hybrid, the Radio has a tendency to cut too much.  After fighting in the pit they either leave very injured from too much shuffling or clean and alive because Radios can win super fast against unwary offbeat gamefowl.  Radios can break high with the mortal slash, when their opponent is down the Radio is too fast with multi-shuffling hits on top of its enemy.  The Radio has a medium-high station.

Wilkens Typewriter (Blue)

Typewriters fight high in the air and break high too.  They can shuffle hit in the air and also on the ground without a bill hold.  The Blue stags and cocks are serious dead game.  The Judge ( a popular American breeder) lucked out on breeding them off the Phil Marsh line and Oakley Blues, when these gamefowl were still at the top of their game. 

After all these years, the Typewriters still retain their traits as the best among the Blues.  They were notorious for being 'one round or first buckle killer' fighting birds being as deadly as they were.


Albanies are mostly light red with black breast streaked with ginger color, while majority are yellow legged, around 90%., and are mostly pea combed.  This gamefowl is one amazing cutter, possessing deep game too. 

The Reb Williamson Albany is a power hitting rooster that is very active in the ring.  The straight comb Albany is said to be the smarter fighter because it waits for its opponent to make the first move before it reacts, either evading by ducking under the airborne charge or making a counterattack before the enemy rooster can connect.

They are said to be the perfect cross for the Lemon and the Kelso.  To make fighting instincts keener for a counter-attacking style gamefowl.

Pierce Wisconsin Red Shuffler

Pierce Wisconsin Red Shufflers are popular for being deadly when cornered, capable of making the killing blow from any angle, in the air or on the ground.  They were very game and relentless fighters and were popular because they never let up even when cornered, often stealing a come-from-behind win against better odds.


Phil Marsh is credited for creating the Butcher bloodline, which is a blend of Grove Whitehackle and some Spanish fowl called the Speeder Greys. Calling them Butchers because of his occupation, Phil Marsh often fought under the entry name “Butcher Boys”. 

Butchers are straight-combed red that often come white-legged with some coming yellow-legged.

They are known for their accurate cutting ability and brainy fighting style, leading many experts to say “when a Butcher hits you, you are hit.”  Medium to low-stationed, Butchers sometime come spangled and brassback in color, with the latter presently called Black Butchers.


Pyle is a plumage color that denotes one that is not red, grey or black. Pyles come white, blue, dom, off-white, off-grey or off-red colors.

They are white-legged or yellow-legged and straight or peacombed.  They are known for their high flying style and accurate cutting.

Many are not deep game as Hatch or Whitehackle, but there are Pyles that are as game. Currently, they are crossed with the sturdy and hardy lines to hopefully strike the perfect blend of fighting.

Yellow-legged Hatch

One of the most popular of the Hatch family for its proven winning ways.  The YLH is 100% yellow legged, it is 70% straight combed and 30% pea combed, with light red feathers and is black breasted.  These gamecocks are deadly cutters, have deep game and possess very powerful legs and has good endurance for drag fights. 

They are a cross between the already proven line of Blueface Hatch of renown breeder Sandy Hatch, Whitehackle and Boston Roundhead for one truly murderous gamefowl. 
Hatches are aggressive, fast fighters and deadly cutters. Considered as ground fighters and low headed. Hatches hit very hard and are known for their deep game.

Blueface Hatch

Modern Hatches are high flying, faster, and very smart fighters. Their usual characteristics like power and gameness, though, are still there, their blows often packing a wallop. They are basically medium-stationed and peacombed with some coming straight combed.
At any rate, Sweater and J.D. traded some Hatch fowl, and in 1958, J.D. was advertising Blueface for sale.

So Sweater tried various crosses with those "damned blue face chickens." The one cross that seemed to add just the edge he was looking for was with Karl Bashara's Shufflers.  Mixing these with his other bloodlines developed the Blueface as we know it today. - See more at:

Blueface Hatch are fast, terrific bucklers, hard hitters, deadly cutters, and aggressive finishers. Their legs reached out a mile with every stroke, they deliver their blows with a snap and every punch lands where it counts most.

Sweater took one of the strange cocks in his brood, an "Old Blueface" to mate to some hens of Madigan Gray and Leiper Hatch.  Sweater didn't like those "damned blue faced chickens" but he didn't give up on them. He checked with some poultry experts at Texas A&M College to see what was wrong. After some tests, they told him the chickens were perfectly healthy.  (The blue face is a genetic trait from the Brown Red and Black Sid Taylor)  Along with the Yellow-Leg Hatch, the Blueface is known as among the better Hatch bloodlines.

McLean Hatch

McLean Hatches did not win all the time, they were admired by many for their aggressive, no-holds barred attitude and suicide attack mode.
  McLean Hatches were rather poor cutters, low-headed dumb fighters, that usually fly into two or three hits before throwing one of their patented haymakers at their opponents. They either won spectacularly or lost as incredibly as well.
When modern gamefowl became faster, a pure McLean Hatch became less of a threat, and they are now considered at a disadvantage if fought pure. Their value today is as base stock or to produce battle cocks infused with the 'straight stuff' Hatch traits: gameness, power hitting, and toughness.

While the first McLean Hatches did not win all the time, they were admired by many for their aggressive, no-holds barred attitude and suicide attack mode.

Fighting Style

The McLean Hatch were rather poor cutters, low-headed dumb fighters, that usually flly into two or three hits before throwing one of their patented haymakers at their opponents. They either won spectacularly or lost as incredibly as well. When modern gamefowl became faster, a pure Mclean Hatch became less of a threat, and they are now considerd at a disadvantage if fought pure. Their value today is as base stock or to produce battle cocks infused with the 'straight stuff' Hatch traits: gameness, power hitting, and toughness.
- See more at:

The Hatch blood came form Sanford Hatch who blended, as story goes, a Kearney Whitehackle with a Kearney Brown Red, mixing in other bloods like the Herman Duryea Boston Roundheads, Jim Thompson Mahoganies, among others, to come up with his signature Hatch fowl. From the Sandy Hatch stocks came Ted McLean’s version of Hatch that came both yellow and green-legged. Supposedly, these were the better Hatches that gave rise to the other variants of the McLean like Gilmore Hatch, Blueface Hatch, Jack Walton Hatch, Kentucky Hatch, Oakgrove Hatch, etc.


Brassback fowl do not run from a fight, even with a broken wing or leg or a blinded eye, they will chase their opponent until they kill it, even in a drag fight. 

Sometimes, this fighting spirit is what sustains a Brassback and lets it pull off a win in spite of injuries sustained during a fight.  They can outlast even modern gamefowl opponents. 

Despite being extremely hostile to other roosters, Brassback are very tame with humans and are gentle and very easy to handle and train.


Democrats fight like their Kelso-Hatch bloodline roosters:  intelligent and accurate cutters like Clarets and powerful hitting like the Hatch.  Like the Hatch, they also got the notoriety of ‘killing an opponent in one blow’ even while just sparring with bare spurs or leather put-ons. 

Payton Democrats break well and fight like Lemons, ducking overhead attacks and side-stepping an incoming rooster, waiting for it to recover and attack again, then letting it all out as they come in.  They fight smart even when they initiate combat,  hitting accurately and powerfully.  But more often, they watch their opponents for an opening before they attack.

Some recommend crosses with modern Kelso’s like the Out-and-Out for Philippine-style knife fights for a winning rooster.  Crossed with Lemons (Hulsey’s) gives the Democrat better counter-attacking instincts and agility.  Cross with McRae Black-Hatch gives them speed attacks.


Eerie looking because of the feathers on its face, the Muff is known for its aggressive frontal fighting style. Muffs throw a barrage of blows with no let up or bill hold.  Although low-stationed, Muffs have an unerring sense of accuracy when it comes to the cutting department. Basically red in color, they come yellow-legged and pea-combed.


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