Shikat Wins In Court, Now Tackles Ali Baba

Detroit Free Press – April 24, 1936

Cheered by the assurance that the federal court at Columbus will not allow opposing wrestling moguls to interfere with his defense of the newly won world mat title, Dick Shikat will place his crown on the block at Olympia Friday night with Ali Baba, the “Terrible Turk,” as the first big bidder.

Baba, who has been sporting a clean record for some time, both here and in Chicago, will be the first to get a crack at the laurels which Shikat captured recently from Ireland’s Danno O’Mahoney and which the federal court says Mr. Shikat has a right to call his own.

The new champion will enter Olympia an odds-on favorite, but the Turk has made so fine a showing here in recent weeks that fan interest is sharply divided and with the court proceedings out of the way the argument of Baba’s championship ability can be settled once and for all.

There was some chance earlier in the week that the match might be called off because of a federal injunction issued against Shikat by a Boston promoter. But the way was paved for the bout here when Judge Mell Underwood, of the United States District Court at Columbus, Thursday lifted the temporary restraining order against Shikat.

Mat addicts here are basing their predictions for Baba to win on the “Terrible Turk’s” tremendous strength and also because Shikat is finding the title a big source of trouble. Injunctions and suspensions have harassed the German titleholder from the time he won the crown from Danno O’Mahoney last March.

It is pointed out that, in 19 matches in Detroit and throughout the state, Ali Baba has pinned his foes in one hour and 14 minutes, an average of six minutes a fall. The addicts also argue that the suspensions pinned upon Shikat during the past eight weeks by wrestling czars in several states and the injunction slapped on him by persons who are termed by Shikat and his handlers as “members of a disgruntled trust” will have an effect on the champion’s showing here.

Shikat’s admirers maintain the 30 pounds in weight Baba must spot the champion and the five-inch height advantage he must concede, together with Shikat’s wrestling experience, will carry him through to victory. The Baba-Shikat match is a one-fall bout.

In the other bouts, Alex Kasaboski, billed as the “Pitiless Pole,” takes on clever John Swenski in the 30-minute semi-final. Frank Sexton, 230-pound behemoth, tangles with 280-pound Pat McCleary in another 30-minute match. Jim Heffner, Texas cowhand, opposes Bill Kief. Frank Malcewicz, Utica, New York, takes on Ernie Peterson in the 20-minute opener.

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