Joe Savoldi’s Surprise Win Over Londos Upsets Mat Interests

Associated Press – April 8, 1933

CHICAGO – Professional “rasslers” may go on a long vacation as far as further competition in Illinois is concerned.

That appeared to be certain tonight as Joseph Triner, aggressive young chairman of the Illinois State Athletic Commission, began to assemble the bewildering facts surrounding the victory “Jumping Joe” Savoldi scored over Jim Londos in their match advertised as for the world’s heavyweight championship at the Chicago Stadium last night.

If there is any proof of wrong doing, or any suspicion of it, punishment will follow with the possible suspension of wrestling in the state, chairman Triner indicated tonight. Triner will make his findings known on Monday, when he and other members of the commission, Packey McFarland and George Getz, finish their investigation.

There also will be a ruling Monday whether Savoldi’s victory entitled him to whatever claim he had on the championship, so far as Illinois is concerned. The match was advertised as a championship affair but on whether the Illinois commission recognized Londos as the titleholder depends upon the decision of the athletic board.

Ed White, manager of Londos, insists the match was not a championship affair, because Londos was not recognized as the titleholder in Illinois and therefore not title was at stake. General John V. Clinnin, former chairman of the Illinois commission, ruled several months ago that because Londos had refused to meet Ed “Strangler” Lewis, Illinois would no longer recognize him as titleholder. Then Lewis was granted recognition, but later the commission withheld recognition from any wrestler as champion, ruling that the bouts were merely exhibitions and not contests.

Savoldi, who used to gallop the nation’s gridirons as a backfield star for the late Knute Rockne’s Notre Dame elevens, became a very important individual today proclaiming himself a champion. He sent telegrams to sports editors asking them to call for a statement on how he defeated Londos.

The swarthy, black-haired, muscular Savoldi said: “The referee held up my hand and that makes me the world’s champion, doesn’t it?”
To which the interviewer responded: “You can search us.”

“What? Has that got you down, too,” Savoldi exclaimed. “Don’t let it worry you.

“I think I won fairly and squarely. I held him to the mat for the required time. Londos says he was tangled in the ropes. He was not.”

Savoldi, who says he has been managing himself in recent weeks, is at his home in Three Oaks, Mich., before starting a campaign. He says he will wrestle them all, including Ed “Strangler” Lewis.

“I won’t ask for no $250,000, either,” Savoldi said, “like some of those so-called champions. I’ll take mine in the percentage.”

The former Notre Dame football star said he would give Londos a return match, but not right away.

A few predicted there would be a return match at Soldiers Field, during the World’s Fair, with a tremendous gate in prospect.
Wrestling is that way.


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