Would Wrestle Local Ball Teams

Tacoma Daily News – April 13, 1908

Before he left for Portland last night Victor McLaglen issued what is probably the most unique challenge ever made public in this city.

The big wrestler-boxer authorizes the News to say for him that he challenges the Whitworth football team to a wrestling match. In short, McLaglen wants to arrange a handicap wrestling match with the football eleven which played such a clever game under Coach Rueber last season, and Vic says he will take on the entire team, agreeing to throw the eleven within one hour of actual wrestling time.

Nor does McLaglen confine his challenge to the Whitworth team. He also challenges the Tacoma Tigers baseball squad to a similar match, and says he will agree to flop the entire number of men on Mike Lynch’s payroll within an hour.

The conditions of the challenge are that should any member of whichever team he is to wrestle secure a fall McLaglen will lose. Should it take him more than one hour to throw the lot, one after another, McLaglen will lose. The challenge calls for catch-as-catch-can wrestling.

“I mean every word of what I have said,” remarked Vic, “and to show you that I am in earnest I will say that I have communicated with the Whitworth boys, and have also sent word to Mike Lynch, and if they will accept my proposition I will arrange the details with them as soon as I return from Portland.”

McLaglen arrived in Portland this morning to meet Dr. Roller on the mat at the Heilig Theater Wednesday night. The Tacoma man made a good impression with the local sports and showed that he was in fine shape when he stripped at Tommy Tracey’s gymnasium for his afternoon’s work-out.

He had a friendly spar with Tracey and did other exercise that will keep him on edge until he steps on the padded mat with the Seattle physician. Roller is expected to arrive tonight. He will be accompanied by a party of sports from Seattle.

Betting on the match favors Roller at odds of 10 to 8. Several bets of even money have been made that McLaglen will secure at least one fall. It is generally believed that Roller’s chances for winning are the better, but McLaglen can be depended upon to give him a hard tussle of it while they are on the match.

McLaglen has issued a challenge to “Strangler” Smith, the local wrestler. He says he will permit Smith to use his famous strangle hold. Smith is the wrestler who Dr. Roller has persistently refused to meet.

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