Fair Bouts Could Kill Wrestling, Official Fears

Associated Press – December 17, 1955

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The one way to kill wrestling in California is to require that all bouts be fair, Norman O. Houston of Los Angeles, chairman of the state athletic commission, said today.

Requiring wrestlers to quit their pseudo-wrestling and put on strictly scientific shows would kill the sport, agreed commissioner Dan O. Kilroy of Sacramento.

The two testified at a hearing of the assembly governmental efficiency and economy subcommittee on boxing and wrestling.

Chairman Frank G. Bonelli (D-Huntington Park) said the state is going to have to make some corrections on the way wrestling is conducted “or the governor is going to take over.”

Perhaps wrestling should be taken from commission control or even banned, he added.

Referee Joe Woods of Los Angeles testified that he has “lost a lot of work – a lot of money” since testifying before the committee in October that the bouts are fixed in advance.

“I told the truth,” he said, asking for an investigation to determine whether other referees told the truth when they said they knew nothing of decisions decided upon before matches.

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