Zbyszko, Ancient Polish Wrestler, Wins

The Spokesman-Review – July 9, 1925

“Grow old along with me;
The best is yet to be…”
— from “Rabbi Ben Ezra”

Taking the above little text from Robert Browning, Stanislaus Zbyszko, 58-year-old Polish wrestler, last night demonstrated his point by expeditiously taking two in three falls over Leo LeHereux, an ambitious young star youthful enough to be his son at the S.A.A.C. gymnasium, while 1,000 fans shouted for the stocky heavyweight wrestlers.

Bronzed by romping in the sunshine, the Polish master presents a strange figure. His legs are round pillars and his muscular arms come from the shoulders of a barrel chest. He has a little gray grizzle of hair on a shiny, bald head, which fits on his neck with scarcely a curve.

When LeHereux tried to clamp headlocks over Zbyszko’s shiny pate, he discovered that Stanislaus was as hard to grasp as a greased pig at a country fair.

Zbyszko learned wrestling by first mastering defense, and last night he showed his marvelous protection against the attack of the Canadian, who was as frisky as a colt and as fast as an express. The Pole wriggled out of headlocks, toeholds, wristlocks and head and arm scissors. After each escape he leaped to his feet, swelled his huge chest and romped around in the manner of a genial pachyderm.

The first fall came suddenly, after the Canadian had hurled his brown, pudgy rival to the mat with a flying mare. Zbyszko’s crimson trunks flashed through the air as the crowd howled for the youthful aspirant. Even as he fell, the Pole reached in with his huge arms and took a half-nelson and crotch hold which pinned his rival. Zbyszko leaped over the ropes, while LeHereux lay panting on the floor.

The Canadian aspirant came gamely back for the second fall and frisked about his aged rival, then surprised the mob by taking the second fall. Several Japanese arm scissors weakened Zbyszko’s left arm. Time after time the youth applied the hold, while the old man suffered as patiently as Job. His eyes were calm as he remembered the painful holds which he had somehow escaped in the many battles of his long career.

Finally, the Canadian tumbled his rival with a headlock, dropped the hold, whirled and took the Japanese wristlock, forcing the Pole to the floor for a fall after 19 – minutes. He lay exhausted while Stanislaus walked around the ring, rubbing his tingling forearm.

In the last fall, Zbyszko forgot his defensive attitude, wishing to put a quick end to the match. LeHereux wiggled away from several holds, with the browned veteran taking the role of a cat toying with a giant mouse. After eight minutes, Zbyszko reached his arms back over his shoulders and whirled his rival to the floor with a flying mare.

Fans crowded about the ring to shake hands with the veteran who had proved that age could not wither nor custom stale his infinite variety and promoter Tom Freeman grinned with joy at the close of a successful card. Zbyszko weighed 225 and his rival 210.

Young Sampson took the only fall of a 30-minute preliminary match with Mel Porter in six minutes, having the lead most of the way. Porter applied several punishing scissor holds, but unlike his biblical namesake, Samson escaped before the scissors had weakened him. They weighed 160 each.

C.C. Miller won the decision over Ted Brown in a 15-minute preliminary at 150 pounds. The preliminary battlers were Spokane men.

Herb Sutherland was announcer and Joe Adams timer. Dr. Charles Olson refereed the main event and Lloyd Williams the opening bouts.

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