Strangler Lewis In Title Campaign

Seattle Times – January 11, 1933

Ed (Strangler) Lewis, many-time heavyweight champion wrestler of the world, is campaigning for undisputed possession of that title once again, in “wrestling matches” rather than the present-day “exhibitions.” The veteran heavyweight made that declaration here yesterday.

He arrived in Seattle by United Air Lines plane, wrestled Bob Kruse in Tacoma last night, Abe Kaplan in Portland tonight and Tiger Daula in Vancouver, B.C., tomorrow night, before flying back to California. He’s the same old fly-about. He headlocked his way to victory over Kruse last night.

A month ago he met Ray Steele, so-called “policeman” for Jim Londos, in New York. The result of that bout was his recognition as world’s champion by the New York Athletic Commission.

And now he wants to meet Steele – and Jim Londos – in the same ring on the same night.

“Londos first, Steele second,” said Lewis. “My end of the gate to any recognized charity.”

He branded as entirely inaccurate reports he had been signed to wrestle Londos in Los Angeles in February, then launched into reminiscence about his campaign into New York state, a campaign which saw Londos unseated as the New York Athletic Commission’s heavyweight champion and the establishment of himself as the recognized ruler of all the phat ones.

“Have you heard that story of the man who started a rumor that there was an oil field, watched the crowd start running for it, then joined the procession himself because ‘there might be something to it’?” he asked.

“I read so many papers telling me I was aged and infirm and blind I began to believe it. Then I stopped short. I decided to find out if I was old, and weak, and aged, as I had been painted.

“I took on seven heavyweight wrestlers whom I believe to be the best next to me, in the world. I wrestled them in succession – twenty minutes to a man. When that two hours and twenty minutes were over they were exhausted and I was fresh. I was better than they were. You know some of them: Marin Plestina, John Evko, Dan Koloff, Charley Hanson, Bull Komar, Jim Browning, Joe Malcewicz.

“So then I knew I was better than Steele. Any of them can throw Steele.

“I wrestled Steele. Upon my word of honor, it was an honest match. At the end of thirty minutes Steele whispered in my ear, ‘Ed, I’ve had enough. I’m going to foul out.’

“I said, ‘Don’t do that. Can’t you take it like a man?’

“The answer I got was a slug on the chin from his elbow. He popped me three times. Evko, who had been my trainer until two days before the match, jumped into the ring. He had no business in the ring. It wasn’t his party. But even his jumping into the ring didn’t prevent Steele from being disqualified. I wish Steele hadn’t taken that way out.

“But the only thing I can do now is challenge both Londos and his policeman. I don’t like ‘challenges’ any more than you do. But that seems the only way to get them both into the same ring on the same night.”

Lewis reported that Floyd Musgrave, former Coast Athletic Club matchmaker here, was doing a swell job of promoting in Philadelphia.

“The last time I wrestled there we filled the auditorium,” said Lewis. “It holds 15,000 people. ‘Musty’ is the only promoter who has been able to crash the opposition there.”

Lewis has lost twenty-five pounds. His eyes, afflicted for years with that malady peculiar to wrestlers, trachoma, have improved immeasurably, he said.

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