Browning Wins Nod From Savoldi At Stadium

Associated Press – June 12, 1933

Yankee Stadium, NEW YORK – It took Jim Browning, champion of one wing of the wrestling party, almost two full hours tonight to gain a decision over Joe Savoldi, title pretender from Notre Dame, in a rain-soaked ring in the American League ballpark. The match went one hour, 58 minutes, five seconds, before the curfew law brought relief to 6,000 drenched spectators and the decision to Browning.

Hailed as the match that would bring forth one generally recognized king to rule the heavyweight groaners, the affair started to peter out as soon as a sudden squall of rain descended on the park a few minutes before 9 p.m. As the ringside customers rushed for the covered stands, Browning and Savoldi rushed for the ring.

It was several more minutes before they were discovered in there, locked in each other’s arms. Then, alternately, through the remainder of the show, until the bell stopped proceedings at 11 p.m. in accordance with the state law, the crowd raced from the field to the stands and back again, dodging a series of sudden downpours, while newspapermen tried as best they could to find out what was going on from dry spots under the ring.

Savoldi, who threw Jim Londos suddenly and unexpectedly a couple of months ago and thus succeeded him as the perennial heavyweight championship claimant, had much the better of the early going. He rolled Browning, recognized as titleholder in New York state, around the sodden ring in a series of arm locks, gave him the old flying tackle that worked so well for a couple of Knute Rockne’s last Notre Dame elevens, and wound up kicking the Missouri farm boy in the face. This maneuver, a new hold christened a “drop kick,” was wildly hailed by the dripping crowd.

Browning then took charge of the proceedings and punished Savoldi with a variety of scissor holds, including his own invention, the “airplane scissors,” in which he lifted Joe with his legs and threw him here and there about the premises. They punched each other freely and repeated themselves several times during the second hour. Browning had a slight edge in throwing Savoldi from the ring with an even dozen while Joe, though he bounced the local champion through the ropes only a half a dozen times, knocked him down oftener, the last few times, as the hour grew late, with well-timed rights to the jaw. Savoldi also was the “louder” of the two in punishing holds, and the crowd booed the decision heartily, believing it should have been a draw.

Jacques Curley, promoter of the show and master of all the wrestlers, promised that the two would meet again, when the weather was better and the crowd larger, warranting a more conclusive ending. Browning, whose title claim comes down through victory over Strangler Ed Lewis, weighed 220 pounds, Savoldi 202.

There was time for only three preliminaries. Paul Boesch of Brooklyn threw Steve Znosky of Poland in 10:05 with a body slam; Benny Ginsberg of Chicago won a 20-minute decision over Sid Westrich of Hungary, and Stanley Sokolis, former Pennsylvania football captain, threw Cy Williams of Florida in 10:03 with an arm lock and body hold. All are heavyweights.

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