Elks Go Limit To Sign New Champ For Tilt

The Deseret News – April 19, 1922
By Walla Rey

Grappler Who Beat Dern Is Secured For Bout At Orpheum, Apr. 28.

“WHAT is your figure?”

Such was the interrogation put to Waino Ketonen.

And the reply came in a firm tone.  The middleweight wrestling champion stuttered not as he asked the largest amount that has figured in intermountain mat history for some time.

But the demand was met and this afternoon Waino Ketonen and Ira Dern are signed to engage in a finish wrestling bout to be held Friday, April 28 at the Orpheum theatre.

Some few weeks ago Ketonen, the Boston Finn invaded Salt Lake and hurled Ira Dern.  The result was the greatest upset of many a season for the local man had demonstrated marked superiority over his other opponents throughout the winter and Ketonen was at the time regarded as a stepping stone to fame.


Dern while not of a recalcitrant nature is a difficult proposition to fatham.  He engaged in the busiest three weeks of his career prior to the Ketonen bout.  First it was a match in Idaho, then a jump to some place in Utah.  All the while losing just enough of the strength and endurance necessary to cope with serious situations.

Then to top the fireworks came the defeat.  It was a bitter, disappointment, a shock to all and a setback that appeared most disastrous for Ira.  Like all titleholders, who have just annexed laurels, the return match is the bugabear of the challenger.

Ketonen prepared for an eastern invasion, planning to meet Joe Turner in Washington and to engage in other contests in New England.  But when he discovered that his terms could be met by the B. P. O. E., under whose auspices the bout will be held he immediately signed on the dotted line.  Waino apparently is a firm believer in that axiom, “He who hesitates is lost.”


And the B. P. O. E. by staging the contest expect to add to the charity fund despite the fabulous guarantee necessary to bring Ketonen to terms.  The Elks donate the proceeds of their shows, whether it be athletic or otherwise to a worthy cause.

The athletic committee of the B. P. O. E. which is directly in charge of the event are: Jack McDonald, chairman; A. G. Gunn, M. M. Warner, Jr., J. D. McAdams, Pete Romney and Steve Maloney.

And the Elks have declared themselves, one and all to do their utmost to bring the world’s championship back to Salt Lake.  For they expect to acclaim to some 200,000 others of the antlered herd at the annual convention next July that Ira Dern, member of the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks No. 85 is the kingpin.

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