Freberg Tries Speech After Losing Match

Seattle Times – September 29, 1931
By Ken Binns

Two heartily thrown chairs bounced off John Freberg’s legs last night as he lost to Steve Savage, attesting in a measure the intense interest aroused amidst the citizenry over that long-discussed bout for the championship of the challengers.

The chairs were thrown by two irate fans. While one was being admonished by Freberg’s seconds, the other let fly. Both chairs connected. Freberg, however, not to be checked in a bit of oratory negating the Savage victory, continued a discussion which was drowned in what the moderns once termed the razzberry, but which now is just “the bird.”

John won the first fall of the Coast Athletic Club main event – a really pleasing main event – with half a dozen synthetic rabbit punches and a body slam.

Savage won the second on a foul, induced by too many Freberg punches on the ropes, followed by a fusillade of half-rabbit socks behind the ear. Referee Harry Listman, finally accepted by Savage after the Slav had first demanded Jimmy Arbuthnot, University of Washington wrestling coach, awarded the fall to Savage. That was in the third round.

The bout – some claled it an exhibition, some a match and some didn’t know – ended in the fourth. Freberg picked Savage up, to throw him in a devastating body slam. Savage twisted on the way down.

As Freberg swung to pin his shoulders, Savage slid out, rolled on Freberg and pinned him flat. It concluded a bout doubtless the most spectacular of the year.

Savage jumped up laughing, grabbed for Freberg’s hand in high glee, bounced out of the ring, and immediately became the focal point of a Jugo-Slav influx. They hoisted him to their shoulders, to carry him out in the Lindbergh manner, while Freberg began his curtain talk.

Freberg was protesting as the first chair came whirling through the ropes to smack him in the knees. He moved over a pace and began gesticulating again. The seconds began uttering low but sincere sounds to the first chair thrower, as the second chair-thrower made his swing. Freberg resumed his speech.

But the continuity was somewhat shattered, and besides, no one seemed to be listening. The second chair scored a direct hit, and John gave up. After all, it was just a wrestling match.

Pat McKay outpowered the dogmatic Bob Kruse, disciple of the wrist-lock school, but unable to make that effective offensive weapon work.

They wrestled five rough and frequently inspiring rounds to a draw, yanked from the class of ordinary by McKay’s chase of Kruse with a Kruse bedroom slipper, and a tag-you’re-it scamper at the final bell, which saw them do a tap dance about the ring stratosphere.

Marin Plestina gave the first round but a brief chance to open. He picked up Joe DeVito, portly Italian heavyweight, slammed him in one booming blast to the canvas and won the bout.

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