Thesz, Rocca In Nontitle Tilt Tonight

Los Angeles Times – September 10, 1952
By Don Snyder

King Louis Thesz, heavyweight champion of the wrestling world, puts all but his title on the block tonight at Olympic Auditorium where he risks his reputation, his health, his pride and other vital valuables against Argentine Rocca.

And the house will be as crammed as sardines in the can.

This is the one the fans, fanettes and fanatics have been demanding a match between two of modern matdom’s he-men, neither of whom ever approached a beauty parlor.

The match will not be televised or broadcast.

There will be no monkey business tonight, unless the barkers decide to sell monkeys instead of popcorn. Thesz and Rocca are two of a serious kind.

Thesz, a Missourian who stands 6-2 and sclaes 230, is a grappler groomed by one from the old school, his manager, Ed (Strangler) Lewis. But even before he and Ed became partners in the trade, St. Louis Louie knew well the difference between a headlock and a padlock. He was indoctrinated in Graeco-Roman wrestling techniques long before as a teen-ager by his father, who himself wrestled in his native Hungary.

Thesz is nobody’s lollypop, hard to fool and rarely maps strategy before elbow shows. He is a super craftsman of crunch with quick reflexes and builds his own schemes of attack during the course of the occasion.

Lou’s standout weapons are dropkicks, flying scissors and, most of all, airplane spins. This latter, however, could prove Thesz’ undoing if he doesn’t employ radar tonight. For Rocca is a high flyer and hard to shoot down.

Argentina, a 6-footer with 225 pounds to carry on takeoffs, is in the air more often than not.

The match will be two out of three falls.

Thesz isn’t putting up his title since he insists he’s entitled in an outdoor match for his next defense. Even so, Rocca will undoubtedly claim the crown if he wins, which sounds reasonable.

One thing for sure, two real honest-to-gosh grapplers will be grunting and groaning tonight. Only the lady fans will wear perfume.

Preliminary matches: Mr. Moto vs. George Becker, Krippler Karl Davis vs. Rito Romero, Kola Kwariani vs. Bobby Becker, and Lone Eagle vs. Pepe Pasquale.

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