Szabo Claims He Was Given Short Count

Los Angeles Evening Herald – April 28, 1938
By E.W. Krauch

“I could see under his right shoulder!” yelled one fan.

“See under ONE shoulder,” howled back another. “Say, Mister, you could have put Boulder Dam and Austria under that vacant spot!”

All of which leads up to the fact that of some 7,500 fans who witnessed last night’s wrestling matches at the Olympic Auditorium only 7,499 agreed with the referee – Mr. Dick Rutherford – when he decided that Sandor Szabo was down for the deciding fall in a contest of grunt and groan with Dean Detton.

The gentleman who failed to vote in favor of Mr. Dean Detton was none other than Mr. Dean Detton.


But, down in the dressing room, we bumped into an interesting offer.

It came from Sandor the Szabo himself.

“I am not the kind to quibble over matters of this sort,” said Szabo. “As long as I have been wrestling, and it has been for many years, I have never found a referee who could count three like that fellow Rutherford – especially when I was not down.

“Now, Mr. Krauch,” went on Szabo, “if you would be so kind, I am willing to make the following offer:

“First – I will give two front-row seats and second, an autographed photograph of myself – or Detton – to the person who will write into your paper the BEST letter on the subject of ‘how to make a referee, or rather force a referee, to not only count three full seconds, but also make certain that both shoulders are down on the canvas.’”

And there you are, you mat enthusiasts.

If you don’t think that Szabo was serious last night after losing to Detton, just write in those letters.

“Sometimes,” said Szabo, “I think they are giving me the run-around.

“Sometimes I wish they’d put me in a room alone with some of these wrestlers that are always winning from me in some way or another and just let the two of us have it out alone. I know what would happen!:

Maybe so.

Anyway, here’s what DID happen last night:

Detton, he wins the first fall with a step-over toe-hold. It took some 19 minutes with some rough stuff mixed in. That was okay.

Szabo, he wins the second session with a series of simplex holds and body slams in 6:15. That was okay.

But in the third fall, just as Szabo is about to toss Detton with another series of simplex slams, Detton suddenly switches his grip and drops Szabo with a backward body-slam.

Well, Szabo appeared to be on one shoulder.

Referee Rutherford looks over the situation.

But Rutherford immediately climbs on top of both wrestlers and gives Detton three of the shortest second counts on the back that you can imagine.

All the while Rutherford cannot see, as far as the customers are concerned, whether Szabo is actually down or whether the Chinese have retaken Shung-Ki-Shung.

And, maybe being in a hurry to get home, referee Rutherford climbs off both grapplers and hoists Detton’s arm.

That, my friends, is the story – as we saw it.

As for the other bouts, well, a merry evening, as usual, was enjoyed by the ringside customers with more grunt and groan guys in their laps than poppies in a California flower field.

Babe Zaharias and Del Kunkel staged a mammoth contest outside the ring that had even third-row spectators scurrying for cover. But nobody won because it was a draw.

Bolo Garcia lived up to his name by slugging Bronko Valdez into submission in some 1 minute and 7 seconds. Crusher Al Billings defeated Rusty Westcoatt after a lot of funny stuff in the front-row seats, while Jimmy Sarrandos, victim of a serious automobile accident several months ago, started on the comeback trail by beating Tom Zaharias with an arm press.

Shuniki Shikuma, the Japanese, proceeded to use his usual hold, which should be barred, inasmuch as it has nothing to do with wrestling, to subdue Vincent Austeri. If it’s jiu-jitsu let the boys wrestle jiu-jitsu but that neck grip of the Nippon’s is really not okay – so let’s have some more letters from the fans . . . What do you think?

Maybe I can get Jack Daro to put out two tickets for Wednesday night in my name if I can get some suggestions on the Japanese ace and his holds which remind me of George Zaharias and his strangle, only worse.


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