The New York Times – March 3, 1893
He Out-Wrestles Roeber at the New-Orleans Carnival.
NEW-ORLEANS, March 2. – The Olympic Club opened its fistic carnival to-night with a finish fight between “Billy” Hines of Providence, R. I., and “Billy” McMillan of Washington. The fight, while of but little importance so far as prize fights go, preceded the event of the evening, the wrestling match between Evan Lewis, the strangler, and Ernest Roeber. The failure of the club to bring off the Ryan-Dawson fight acted as a damper, and not more than 1,500 spectators occupied seats in the immense arena, calculated to seat 6,000 people.
McMillan forced matters from the start and soon landed smartly on Hine’s left eye. Another blow floored Hines. In the second round Hines became utterly defenseless, resorting to clinching and foul fighting to save himself. He stood severe punishment till the fifth round, when he was knocked out, and the fight was awarded to McMillan.
As soon as the fighters and their seconds left the ring the canvas was spread over the river clay forming the floor, and with but little delay the wreslers Lewis and Roeber were ushered into the ring and introduced to the spectators. Lewis looked a little trifle soft, owing to his lack of training during his wife’s illness. He was accompanied by his trainer, Duncan McMillan, the heavyweight wrestler; Dr. J. J. Davis of Chicago, and Joe Choynski.
Roeber, trained to the minute and not a bit too fine, was cared for fy Martin Julian, Fitzsimmons’s backer, and Frank Gosworth, the red-headed freak’s sparring partner.
The first bout was catch-as-catch-can. Lewis’s favorite style. Roeber weighed 178 pounds. Lewis tipping the scales at 185pounds. Prof. Duffy, who acted as referee, announced that the strangle hold was barred, at which Lewis smiled, while Roeber looked as if a great load had been lifted from his mind. Both men locked arms, and Lewis tripped Roeber to the floor. He at once went to work to secure his famous hammer lock and half-Nelson, from which Roeber squirmed with the agility of a cat.
Lewis lost a crotch hold, but secured a half-Nelson, which brought the big German over to a bridge, breaking the hold. Roeber acted on the defensive, lying flat on his stomach as Lewis tried in vain to secure the hammer lock. After two trials the Strangler secured the hammer lock successfully, the German squirming out of it only to find himself in the embrace of a full Nelson and leg hold, which brought him to a bridge. Exerting his ponderous strength, the Strangler slowly, but surely bore Roeber to the mat, securing the first fall in 7 minutes and 6 seconds.
Both men, at the expiration of ten minutes’ rest, lock arms for the Graeco-Roman bout. Roeber secured a double-arm hold and Lewis went to the floor to escape a flying fall. He wriggled out of Roeber’s attempt to get a half-Nelson, and with wonderful agility the Strangler regained his footing, but lost a good opportunity to throw the big German when the latter fell to his knees.
At the expiration of ten minutes both men were perspiring freely and a hold of any kind was difficult to retain. Roeber slipped to the floor, Lewis taking a stomach clasp, pumping the German’s wind. Roeber took a neck hold, but could not maintain his advantage, and the Strangler, slipping away threw Roeber to the floor, the latter landing on his knees and hands. When the strangler, with a body hold, swung Roeber over to a bridge, the latter did a pretty piece of head spinning, slipping away, leaving the Strangler underneath.
A full Nelson gave Lewis the opportunity of showing how neatly he could bridge, turn, and get away. Both men worked like demons – first one on top and then the other. Roeber secured a firmly-locked half Nelson, and gradually working the Strangler to a bridge, wore him down with a shoulder tug, securing the Graeco-Roman fall in 28 minutes 12 seconds.
The third bout, catch-as-catch-can style, was clearly Lewis’s victory in less than thirty seconds. He secured a neck hold, and with the grapevine gave Roeber a flying fall, landing him squarely on his shoulders. Referee Duffy was not prepared for such sudden action, and, failing to see both points down, disallowed the fall.
With a crotch-and-neck-hold Lewis threw Roeber over on the mat as though he was only a child instead of a steel-hardened piece of humanity, but failed to get both points down. With a half-Nelson Lewis again brought Roeber to a bridge, and, making a leg hold, crushed the German’s two points down in 12 minutes and 9 seconds.
Roeber won the fall in the fourth bout, Graeco-Roman, in 24 minutes and 43 seconds.
The Strangler having secured the quickest fall had the selection of the deciding bout, and chose his favorite style, catch-as-catch-can. In the preceeding bout Roeber’s seconds claimed a foul, which was not allowed.
Lewis magnanimously admitted having fouled the Teuton, but declared it was unintentional. Lewis went at Roeber like a madman, and, securing a neck hold and hip lock, gave Roeber a flying fall in 1 minute and 3 seconds, winning the final bout and the match, which was for the championship of the world at mixed styles. At the conclusion of the bout Roeber challenged the world at Graeco-Roman style.