Edwards Defeated In Terrific Bout

The Oregonian – July 18, 1925

For the second time within three nights, Ira Dern of Salt Lake knocked out Billy Edwards, the headlocking caveman from Kansas City, in their wrestling match at the Heilig theater last night – knocked him so cold by catapulting him from the air backwards onto his head, after Edwards had clamped a body scissors onto Dern and Dern had clambered to his feet and locked Edwards’ legs with his hands so that he could not slide free, that Billy had to be carried from the mat, through for the night.

The other night when Dern lost his temper and stowed Edwards away with a left book to the jugular vein, it was a foul and Edwards took the decision. But the knockout last night, while fully as savage and as premeditated, was within the wrestling rules. Dern won.

The bout went only 39 minutes 40 seconds, but no two-hour match ever was more crowded with action. It was plainly a grudge bout. Each wrestler was out to commit modified manslaughter on his opponent, and both succeeded. They kept within the rules, but used every punishing hold in the wrestling category with evident attempt to maim.

Edwards took the first fall in 25 minutes 30 seconds with his chiropractic headlock after he had grabbed Dern five times by the head, thrown him heavily and kneaded and grated viciously the nerve over his eye.

Dern managed to wriggle out of the first two headlocks, but the second weakened him. Edwards charged him madly. Dern tried to stave off the murderous hold, but each time Edwards threw him harder, grated more ferociously over the eye.

With the fifth successive headlock, the house was in an uproar. Dern was so weak that he could no longer kick. Edwards seemed about to pin him or to let him up to headlock him again, when Dern’s seconds threw a towel into the ring to save their man from being seriously injured.

Even when referee Robin Reed patted Edwards on the back and told him he had the fall, the Kansas City grappler seemed reluctant to stop the punishment. Reed had to pry him loose. Dern tottered up, clear out of his head, staggered through the ropes and almost fell into the orchestra pit. He was so addled that when helped back through the ropes he began to flail out with his arms at the referee, Edwards and every one near him. It took several men to pinion and half drag, half carry him off the stage.

Dern took the 10 minutes and an extra five. His remarkable recuperative powers and the fact that the towel was thrown in before Edwards had him entirely unconscious saved him.

Edwards dashed at him as the second fall began, but Dern sidestepped and they went down in a tangle with Dern clamping on a flying toehold as he fell. Edwards managed to free himself, only to fall into a succession of punishing shortarm scissors.

Edwards was trying for another headlock but the nimble Dern kept his head out of the way. They punished each other in a furious succession of holds, with first Edwards down, then Dern, and back again.

Once, Dern almost got Edwards with his famous airplane spin, but Edwards saved himself by sprawling on outstretched hands. Then Edwards clamped a body scissors on Dern from sitting posture. Dern rose and went backwards with Edwards. The latter fell heavily but was little hurt.

That might have warned Edwards what Dern would risk to finish him, but apparently it didn’t. Again, Edwards applied a body scissors from sitting posture. Again, Dern clambered to his feet, rose clear upright this time, seizing one of Edwards’ legs with each hand as he did so to lock them so Edwards could by no possibility slip off.

Then, with Edwards’ legs clamped around him and his own arms holding Edwards’ legs in place, Dern deliberately flung himself backwards – jumped clear up off the mat and back – so you could see light between his feet and the floor. Backward he shot, a full eight feet, and fell with all his 173 pounds on Edwards, whose head hit the mat a frightful thump.

Then Dern twisted like lightening and pinned Edwards’ shoulders. He could have stood up and taken the fall by default, had he wished. Edwards was out. After 15 minutes he tottered to the ringside, but his handlers, on a doctor’s advice, would not let him continue.

The time of the second fall was only 14 minutes 10 seconds.

In a preliminary, Sailor Jack Wood beat Mart Mortensen in 21 minutes, 20 seconds with a double wristlock and head scissors.

Mortensen’s two youngers, a boy of 9 and a girl of 7, gave an interesting exhibition of youthful wrestling development. The crowd liked it so much that it showered the kids with silver.

Reed, the O.A.C. and Multnomah Club boy and Olympic lightweight champion, did a fine job of refereeing.

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