Detton Still Rules Roost As Heavy Mat Champion

Los Angeles Herald-Express – December 24, 1936
By E.W. Krauch

The old noggin — brainwork to youse — counts a lot in this hectic business of two guys trying to tie each other into torturing knots.

Dean Detton, the world’s heavyweight wrestling champion, gave a very excellent exhibition of this noggin business last night at the Olympic auditorium as he successfully defending his title by defeating Sandor Szabo, the best looking gent in the industry, in straight falls.

And at the same time, Szabo learned a little lesson that he shouldn’t soon forget. It’s just a simple rule, too, consisting of one sentence — “Never argue with the referee!”

Here’s what took place:

The boys had been banging each other around, hither and yon, swapping arm and leg holds, visiting customers out in the front row seats and going through other playful tactics for some 25 minutes, when Szabo suddenly clamps on what he calls his newly invented grip.

It consists of placing the right forearm firmly against the opposition’s Adam’s apple and then flipping said opposition to the canvas for a bouncing body slam. The main idea, however, is that the grip on the Adam’s apple is aimed to do more damage than the slam.

Well, Szabo performs this cute little trick several times and he apparently has Detton in condition to call it quits and yell for a stretcher when referee Dick Rutherford steps in and decides that Szabo’s hold is illegal.

“Stand back, my good man!” shouts referee Rutherford. “Those foul tactics shall not pass!”

That, of course, causes Szabo much anguish.

“So I can’t, can I, we shall see, we shall –.”

And just as the argument reaches its hottest point, Detton’s noggin swings into action.

He makes a dive at the referee, knocks him out of the way and before poor Szabo has had time to collect his wits, the champion has grabbed a leg and secured a clamp over leg scissors. Needless to say, the clamp over leg scissors hurts poor Szabo to such an extent that he gives up and loses the first fall in 26:33.

Now, if he hadn’t argued with the referee — what? Maybe they’d still be down there wrestling yet.

The second fall lasted less than five minutes. Szabo hobbled from his corner, apparently still in great pain from that leg hold in the first fall, and proceeds to drop the second and deciding heat to the same clamp.

The referee played Santa Claus to some of the other contestants, too.

Chief Little Wolf won from Man Mountain Dean and his whiskers when the latter was disqualified for kicking below the belt. But Dean, even in defeat, was happy. He managed to click with one running broad jump on the Indian as he reposed on the canvas in a painful attitude and then for a good measure he delivered a second one — this time on the back of referee Don McDonald as the latter leaped over Chief Little Wolf seeking to render first aid. The time was 4:48.

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