Wichita Eagle – April 18, 1925
CHICAGO, April 17 – The $60,000 purse for a Decoration Day match for the heavyweight wrestling championship at Michigan City had almost vanished tonight because of the surprising defeat of the title holder, Wayne (Big) Munn, by Stanislaus Zbyszko in Philadelphia Wednesday night.
Ed (Strangler) Lewis, the former champion, had signed up for the return match with Munn, who threw him out of the ring in Kansas City, and Munn was holding off while he was trying to land a $100,000 European tour contract.
Efforts to sign up the new champion Zbyszko with Lewis, in place of Munn, have met with little success so far, and this has revived talk in wrestling circles of “the wrestling trust” war between the eastern and western groups.
The apparent ease with which the 55-year-old Zbyszko slammed Munn to the floor twice in less than 15 minutes has mystified wrestling circles, because Munn, a few weeks ago, had defeated Zbyszko, “Toots” Mondt, Mike Romano and others among the topnotchers.
As a drawing card for the Decoration Day match, Munn, the young collegian of immense size, was regarded as a great attraction – until Zbyszko took his title away in 15 minutes.
While the negotiations for the Michigan City match were under way in Chicago last week, Munn’s manager, Gabe Kaufman, was tendered an agreement providing that neither Lewis nor Munn should wrestle anyone else prior to Decoration Day. Kaufman refused to sign. Munn, out of condition because of tonsilitis, continued east on a wrestling tour and lost his prize.
Floyd Fitzsimmons of Michigan City, who offered the $60,000 purse, said he had no reply from Zbyszko to his offer to take Munn’s place in the Decoration Day match. Half of the amount is on deposit in a Chicago bank. Lewis and Zbyszko have met six times and five times Lewis won. Once Zbyszko took the title but lost it back again a year later to Lewis, who surrendered it to Munn.