The Oregonian – November 2, 1927
Football has its Red Granges and baseball its Ty Cobbs, boxing its Dempseys and wrestling also boasts of some colorful athletes, pre-eminent among whom is Ira Dern, Salt Lake sheik, who meets Mike Romano in a muscle-grinding tilt at the Heilig Theater tonight. Of comparatively slight build for a heavyweight, the vivid Utahan is catlike, his every movement and his face shines with a deadly battle light when he is on the mat. He is rough and strong and extremely popular with Portland fans. Dern has appeared here in more sell-out engagements than any other visiting wrestler.
In the past two years he has won from such nationally known mat stars as Ted Thye, Al Karasick, Pinky Gardner, Heinie Engel, Mike Yokel, Billy Edwards, John Kilonis and Louis Pergandas. He lost twice in that time, in hairline decisions, to Clarence Eklund and Ted Thye.
One of the most spectacular holds in the mat sport – indeed, the most spectacular – was first used by Dern and has been highly perfected. It is called the airplane spin, in which the wrestler lifts his opponent over his head and whirls the luckless grappler around until he becomes dizzy, then slams him on the canvas. Few victims of this punishing fall ever go back on the mat the same night.
Romano, in his first appearance on a Portland stage, won from Casey O’Dale, herculean Irishman. Romano, who claims the Italian championship of Chicago, has wrestled all the leading heavyweight stars, including Strangler Lewis, Joe Stecher, Earl Caddock, Max Orlando, the Swedish champion; Stan Zbyszko, Gobar the Hindu, Toots Mondt and Howard Cantonwine. He wrestles barefooted.
The bout starts at 9 o’clock. There will be a heavyweight preliminary. Chet Wiles, Portland traffic cop, will referee.