Mat Game Has Boom In Detroit

Associated Press – January 23, 1934

Jack Sherry, New York heavyweight wrestler, meets Bull Komar of Chicago tonight in the Detroit Light Guard armory – and thereby hangs a tale, for the bout is the first of a series marking the entrance of a third major promoter into the current wrestling picture here.

All winter Detroit has rained a shower of gold about the ears of its two veteran wrestling promoters such as none here ever dreamed of before.

The clatter of the turnstiles began with the first snowfall and grew steadily to a crescendo when last week Jim Londos, world’s heavyweight title claimant, attracted a crowd officially estimated at over 16,000, while hundreds more milled about outside the doors.

Promoter Nick Londes reported a gross gate of $16,139 paid by fans who fought each other for the privilege of seeing the Greek philosopher evade the strong but aging legs of Joe Stecher, Nebraska scissors artist, in Detroit’s Olympia.

Last night, a record-breaking crowd of 5,600 fans packed Arena Gardens to set a new high there and watch a series of lightheavyweight bouts which involved no title, actual or otherwise.

Now promoter Londes says that, for a return match between Londos and Stecher, slated Friday night, the advance sale of tickets has doubled over that of the previous match.

The memory of oldtimers here records no similar record of the past. No one attempts to explain the phenomenon – least of all the mat promoters, who, long scorned by backers of the leather pushers, now chew an honest-to-goodness cigar while the dollars – debased or otherwise – roll into the till as never before.

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