Robert Risks Mat Crown To Bob Managoff

Houston Post – November 27, 1942

Yvon Robert, 228-pound French-Canadian heavyweight wrestling champion of the world, will make his first wrestling appearance in Houston Friday night at the City Auditorium when he risks his newly acquired title to young Bobby Managoff, Houston’s idol and the nation’s top contender for matdom’s top honors.

Robert, who had been knocking at the title for almost a year, won it in late October by downing “Wild Bill” Longson in two falls of a questionable Montreal bout that went four falls before it was over. Thus with the title hanging questionably on the heads of two claimants, Tom Packs, St. Louis promoter, matched Robert and Longson again in St. Louis last Friday night and Robert beat Longson decisively to take the crown without doubt.

On that same card, young Bobby Managoff faced Joe Dusek in the semi-final and beat the Nebraskan so handily that there was no question but what he was entitled to a shot at Robert.

Promoter Morris Sigel of Houston had a representative at that St. Louis ringside, and before the main event decision had gotten out over all of the news wires, he had already signed Robert to this local battle against the sensational young Armenian.

Not, however, before Robert had insisted upon one thing: That should Bobby win, he must agree to give Robert a return battle within 90 days. Managoff, advised by his father, who is also his coach, trainer and second, readily agreed. “If Bobby can beat him tonight, he can certainly repeat the beating any time within the next 90 days,” was Pop Managoff’s comment.

That Managoff has an excellent chance to take Robert’s title is attested to by most local mat fans and backed up by the statement of Louis Thesz, who has met both men at different times. “I have met and defeated Yvon Robert in Canada this year before he acquired the title,” says the man who has been twice champion himself. “And I think Bobby, whom I have also wrestled, will beat him.”

Texas’ wrestling commissioner, John D. Reed, and his able chief deputy, Bill Cummings, will be present, as probably will Col. Harry J. Landry, president of the National Wrestling Association. Hundreds of out-of-towners, anxious to get in their last big championship mat battle before gasoline rationing, have bought ducats.

The entire card is outstanding. In the semifinal slot, Louis Thesz will tackle Jim “Goon” Henry, making his last mat stand before being inducted into the United States Army. A special battle sends Mildred Burke, the world’s leading female grappler, in against the masked, mysterious Purple Flash, only young lady who has ever pinned her shoulders to the mat here. Prelims will include: Ray Eckert versus Dynamite Joe Cox, and Roy Graham versus Chief Joe Little Beaver. The curtain-raiser will begin promptly at 8:30 p.m.

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