Los Angeles Times – June 12, 1961
By John De La Vega
This is it, he-man fans and little old ladies. For the world’s rassling champeenship, Edouard Carpentier of France against Freddie Blassie, the Georgia peach.
They match “holts” at the Sports Arena tonight starting at 9:45, marking the first time the groaners have invaded the plush sports palace. And why not? They’ve had everything else there, from circuses to home shows.
It’s such a hot one that a full house of some 15,500 fanatics is expected. Coughing up from $5, $3.50 and $2.50, a new Southland indoor record of some $40,000 is a cinch. Carpentier and Lou Thesz set the mark of $31,000 in their showdown at the Olympic last summer.
Bring the kiddies. They don’t let the writers in on the format but we have a hunch the good guy will predominate.
It all depends. If the Pasadena gals stir up enough animosity, maybe Blassie, who vows that his career will be climaxed “when I kill a man in the ring,” will win.
Then we can have a rematch in midsummer. Carpentier, unbeaten in seven years since he switched from a graceful Olympic Games gymnast to grappling gyrations, is too good to lose twice to this guy. Maybe not even once.
Since Cal and Aileen Eaton have set aside three dates for “summer spectaculars” at the Arena, we’ll guess that Lou Thesz, from whom Edouard captured the crown, will be next up for the grabs.
How good are tonight’s gladiators? Well, all kidding aside, they’ve got to be pretty fair. In this dodge, going through the routine at least twice a week, sometimes you have to lose. Even fanatics get tired of a winner.
Carpentier’s slate is perfect. Blassie, no substitute for Lassie, claims a streak of five years without a setback. Obviously, it wouldn’t be much of an upset if Freddie should flatten him.
Edouard is a nephew of Georges Carpentier, the party of the second part in that historic heavyweight title fight against Jack Dempsey. Edouard even started out as a fisticuffer.
But Carpentier keeps hammering that he’s a clean wrestler. “My job is to pin this man and nothing else. Now, if he wants to try other stuff…”
IF? Please, dear fans, do not stay away thinking Freddie will try to win without foul tactics. That’s all he knows.
It’s a curious thing, but Blassie has requested that besides the usual referee, two judges also work the match.
So it shall be. But doesn’t Freddie realize that while the ref might miss some of his underhand methods, the judges will see all? Ah, we think he goofed there.
The card will be hypoed by the presence of practically all the top mat names in action this generation and last. There will be eight preliminary one-fall matches starting at 8 p.m. The prelims:
Lord Blears vs. Sam Steamboat. Reggie Parks vs. Stan Holek. Ramon and Alberto Torres vs. Mr. Moto and Mike Sharpe. Zebra Kid vs. Gene LeBell (judo). Ricki Starr vs. Don Duffy. Big Daddy Lipscomb vs. Hans Hermann. Wild Red Berry vs. Count Billy Varga. Lou Thesz vs. Cowboy Dick Hutton.