Harkovsky, Nobleman, Wrestles McKay Tonight

Seattle Times – September 31, 1931
By Ken Binns

There seemed something fitting to the matchmakers of the Coast Athletic Club that Pat McKay, the gum-chewing man-from-the-masses, should introduce to Seattle Count Harkovsky of the nobility. He does it tonight in the semifinal bout of the Coast Club’s wrestling show at the Ice Arena, and the club deplores the necessary fact that the Count can’t come into the ring dressed as he does for the street. This identification of the Count, of course, is sheer hearsay. But he’s been in the movies, and not as a wrestler.

He has a mustache, but it’s not like that of Omar (Ferocious) Yousoff, the bearded Turk. The Count carries his with something of a defiant flair. He waxes it. He wears a cane. Spats. He has a resonant talkie voice. He walks like Jack Dempsey, which IS something. He takes his tea, neat. They’re mad about him in Vancouver, where he put Dr. Karl Sarpolis well-nigh to shame. Well, not to shame. You can’t shame Sarpolis, main eventer tonight with Dan Koloff.

The Count comes from Russia and gets mad when anyone questions the authenticity of his noble heritage. He can brandish papers, says Floyd Musgrave, Coast Club promoter, that prove he was a count.

Tonight, though, he meets Pat McKay, whose railroading eye has been cast at kings and queens perhaps as much as Harkovsky’s, though he swears for the life of him he can’t draw to a nobility flush. “Just pairs and now and then a full house,” he complains.

McKay gets bounced by the elite of wrestling fraternity, but not by the lesser lads. If the Count excels him at a game preferred to railroading, he’ll be on the upward trend, no fooling.

There remains but one unknown on tonight’s Coast card. Harold Rumberg, identified as either from Holland or Germany, and new to the Coast, meets Ernest (Joe) Bickerton, onetime Rugby player at McGill University, of recent months an habitual wrestler about Vancouver, B.C.

Their bout is for three ten-minute rounds. Harkovsky’s is for five ten-minute rounds.

Dr. Karl Sarpolis, the Cleveland surgeon converted to the wrestling game five years ago, lost in his last bout to Joe Savoldi, heralded perhaps a bit prematurely as the coming heavyweight champion. They had wrestled one draw.

They met again last week in Los Angeles and Savoldi took the giant doctor in two straight, smashing falls. But Sarpolis figures Dan Koloff, his eight-round opponent tonight, easier pickings than Savoldi.

“He’s fatter,” said Sarpolis. “More sluggish. A veteran wrestler is a doggone sight harder to stop than these kids fresh out of college. They haven’t had time to get tired.”


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