The Daily Advocate – April 28, 1911
Famous San Antonio Grappler Defeats Abps in Six Minutes and Thirty Seconds – Mihovil Springs Sensation.
John Berg, the noted light heavyweight wrestler of San Antonio, defeated Otto Abps, alias Young Beel, alleged middleweight champion of the South and Germany, with ease in a handicap match before a fairly large celebration crowd here at Hauschild’s Opera House last night. Berg won the first fall in four minutes and fifty seconds with a crotch and half nelson. Abps was entirely outclassed and never saw Berg’s back. However, Abps might have stayed longer if he had not tried to mix things with the big fellow and kept in such close quarters. Even for the little tussle he gave Berg, the San Antonian was blowing like a porpoise at the end of the bout and seemed to be out of condition or laboring under great excitement. Tom Long, claimant to the middleweight championship of Arkansas, who wrestled Abps here last night, served as referee.
When the match was over William Mihovil of Galveston, undisputed middleweight champion of Texas, who was present on the stage defied Berg to enter the handicap match with him and Prof. Smithson, of San Angelo, Berg to throw Smithson twice and Mihovil once, all in one hour. Berg would not consent to this, and Mihovil said he knew Berg would not and the reason why and doubly dared him to by flashing a big roll of money, amounting, it is said, to $2000, in Berg’s face. Berg then offered to throw Mihovil three times in an hour or as many times as Mihovil would name, but Mihovil held to his own proposal, declaring that he himself could throw Smithson twice as much less than an hour that he understood perfectly well what Berg’s objection to such a match was. Mihovil then intimated that Berg did not care to ruin the wrestling reputation of his friend Smithson and charged Berg with being none other than Charles Hackenschmidt, a wrestler of worldwide note. The mention of Hackenschmidt’s name by Mihovil created a profound sensation. Berg blushed furiously and it was several minutes before he made a reply, and then it was not to deny Mihovil’s charge. However, he did deny it after he had retired to his dressing room, and also proposed to take on Smithson, Savini and Mihovil in a handicap match agreeing to throw all three once each in ninety minutes. The passages between Berg and Mihovil grew very heated and moved the audience to a high pitch of excitement. Abps, angered by the poor showing he had made and his opponent’s toughness, joined vehemently in the word war and also alleged Berg was Hackenschmidt.
Berg left last night on his return to San Antonio, where he will wrestle Walter Evans, of Knoxville, Tenn., Monday night. He came here under a heavy guarantee on a few hours’ notice from Floresville, where he was training for his match with Evans, to take the place of Joseph Savini, of Corpus Christi, lightweight champion of the South, in last night’s bout. Savini having withdrawn on account of illness.
Abps was quite seriously injured in his go with Berg and says he will not wrestle any more for at least two months. He will remain in the city and attempt to organize a first-class athletic club here. He and his manager had some words over the arrangements for last night’s match and have parted ways.
Mihovil left this afternoon for Yoakum, where he was scheduled to wrestle Savini tomorrow night, but on account of Savini’s indisposition will meet some other grappler substituted by Savini, whose identity he does not know. Mihovil will also wrestle Long in a finish match at El Campo Saturday night.