Otago Witness – April 17, 1886

The “catch-as-catch-can wrestling match between Matsada Sorakichi, the Japanese, and Evan Lewis, appropriately named “The Strangler,” took place at Central Music Hall, Chicago (Ill.), on February 15. The hall was crowded, and when the wrestlers faced each other for the first bout 3000 people cheered them. After a couple of unsuccessful manoeuvres on both sides, Lewis got the Japanese on his stomach, and placing his knee on the calf of the Jap’s leg seized his foot with both hands and began bending the foot in such a manner as to wrench the ankle out of the socket. A shout of indignation rose from the crowd at this inhuman treatment. The Jap., compelled by the pain to give in, was turned over on his back, and lay there unable to rise to his feet, and was carried off the stage in the arms of his trainer, Edwin Bibby. The referee (Mr Palmer) awarded the match to Lewis. Lewis appears to have no science, and relies solely on his superior weight and brute force to carry his point. Though no bone is fractured, one of the chords of the Jap.’s leg is broken, and all the muscles are so strained and twisted that Sorakichi is more badly hurt than if the limb had been actually broken. He will not be able to use the limb for some weeks.

Evan Lewis, who in the match with Matsada Sorakichi, at Chicago, disabled the Japanese wrestler, appeared on February 23 at the Olympic Theatre, Chicago, in an exhibition wrestling match with Edwin Bibby. The immense audience greeted the introduction of Lewis with groans and hisses, calling on Bibby to “break his leg.” Lewis bore the hissing calmly. When he threw Bibby the hissing was renewed. After the performance Lewis said to Charles E. Davis that time would change public opinion, and that lovers of sport would at least give him credit for being honest in his matches and doing his utmost to win in accordance with the rules under which he was contesting.

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