Wrestling Match Ends In Knockout

The Oregonian – July 16, 1925

Ira Dern of Salt Lake City knocked out Billy Edwards of Kansas City last night in the second round of a bout that had been advertised as a wrestling match, which proved to be a Donnybrook for two. If it was a wrestling match then Dern played in tough luck, for he took two falls in jig-time and lost the decision.

Emil Klank, who used to manage Frank Gotch, was the third man in the ring. He gave the bout to Edwards on a foul amid loud booing from the spectators, after Dern had punched Edwards in the chin 25 minutes from the start of the second chukker, period, inning, half, quarter or whatever you might call the interval during which the two muscle twisters were in the ring.

Dern felled his opponent for the first time with a hold that was new to most of those present in 8 – minutes. The grip is called a leg strangle.

The Salt Lake athlete threw Edwards all over the mat from the very start, shifting from one hold to another with chameleon-like rapidity. Dern seemed to be in the best condition of his career, being even faster than when he appeared here last year, and a great deal stronger. He outclassed Edwards in every department of the game, even turning the tables on the side-burned Kansan by using the headlock and knuckle-kneading specialty of the latter, frequently to Edwards’ ill-concealed chagrin.

When the wrestlers came on the mat for the second frame, Edwards rushed at Dern, sputtering, fuming and waving his arms like a South Sea islander about to consign a plump missionary to the iron kettle. He grabbed Dern four different times with his powerful headlock and bore him to the floor, only to have the Utahan wriggle out and plaster something even more painful in the way of a nerve excoriator on Edwards, who retaliated by gnashing his teeth, wrinkling his nose and pushing Dern through the ropes repeatedly.

However, even this was not rough enough for Edwards. Finally, he began what had every appearance of deliberately butting Dern under the chin with the top of his head. He did this three or four times, evidently to Dern’s rising anger.

Finally, after 25 minutes of the rough and tumble stuff, and about the fourth head-butting by Edwards, Dern grew petulant, for he stepped back of a clinch and shot his clenched right gracefully forward. His fist met Edwards’ chin and Edwards fell over backward on the floor. The referee could have counted a hundred over him.

He lay there until accommodating ringsiders carried him out of the ring and to his dressing room.

The referee ame back after viewing the remains and announced that Edwards was still out. Dern, meantime, had stepped back into the ring as if ready to go on with the match.

“I have been wrestling for 31 years,” declared referee Klank, “and I have never seen a more deliberate foul than Dern committed. He hit Edwards in the face with his clenched fist. Edwards is still unconscious. So I declare Edwards the winner.”

Edwards has the faculty in the ring of provoking his opponents to fisticuffs and manslaughter. Sailor Jack Wood retaliated for some of the butcher boy’s eye-kneading and head-butting in a match not long ago by knocking Edwards cold for the count. Chief of Police Jenkins once barred Edwards from wrestling here because of his roughness, but relented and let him go on again.

Jatrinda Gobar, champion of the heavyweight division of the British Empire, will wrestle Stanislaus Zbyszko, ex-heavyweight champion of the world and the grand old man of the mat, at the Heilig tonight. Zibby is touring the country by way of preparing for a title bout with Joe Stecher, present champion.

2 responses to “Wrestling Match Ends In Knockout

  1. My father, Charles Ray Felt was a friend of Ira and his brother Floyd Dern in Salt Lake. Dad apparently beat Ira in a practice match in the old Deseret Gym. That made Ira, a great athlete, mad and he returned the favor using his vaunted ‘airplane spin’. I took Dad to visit with Floyd many years after Ira had passed away and the two repeated a couple of stories of their youth. Ira apparently beat the world champion on one occasion. I think that was ‘Strangler Lewis’.

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