The Referee Magazine – March 4, 1939
By Lew Porter
Promoter Joe Malcewicz and Jack Wagner, the referee, were reminiscing the other day. They argued over the mighty mat deeds of Stecher, Caddock and Lewis for a full two hours and had just about reached the conclusion that “Old Ed” was the king-pin of ’em all, when Hal Bruntsch walked in and put the fuse to a ton or so additional conversational dynamite.
“How,” asked Mr. Bruntsch, “do the present crop of heavyweights stack up in comparison with the old- timers?”
“It depends on whom you ask,” answered Joe. “Old- timers swear that Lewis and Stecher and that bunch were the best. The younger generation of course finds it hard to believe that any of those chaps could beat the top-notchers of the game today.”
“What do you think” Bruntsch queried.
“I must be an old-timer,” replied Malcewicz, shaking his head. “I think Lewis and Caddock could beat anyone in the game today except . . . except . . .”
“Dean Detton,” snapped Joe. “I rank him with the greatest. He has proven himself time and again on the mat.
“Detton is a throwback in mat warfare. He not only is well versed in the fundamentals of grappling, but is right at home against the present-day grappler, who employs such spectacular weapons as the drop-kick and flying tackle.
“Dean is what you might term the streamline type of athlete. He is the antithesis of the old-timers in build. They were mostly short and chunky, with short, powerful arms and bull necks. Then along came Don George and Savoldi, great college stars.
“Years ago, college wrestlers were the laughing stock of the mat world. Now they come close to dominating the field. Detton, Nagurski, Sonnenberg, Don George and Savoldi are but a few of the boys who gained fame and fortune on the pad after graduating from college.
“Another thing I like about Detton,” continued Malcewicz, “is his clean wrestling. No kneeing, gouging or low punching for that boy. He’s rough and he has a slam-bang attack, but the dirty stuff is out. Heaven help the guy who starts anything, though. Detton really goes to town then. Why, he body- slammed a ‘dirty’ opponent in Australia so hard that the guy went through the floor of the ring.”
“How would you bet on a Lewis-Detton match?” questioned Bruntsch, getting ready to leave.
“I wouldn’t bet,” shot back the Dreamland promoter. “I’d give a thousand bucks, though, for a ringside seat.”