Savannah Morning News – September 6, 1962
By Neal Ellis, sports editor
If someone were to tabulate the truly great wrestlers of the world and pinpoint one particular area which produced the majority of them, it would be St. Louis, Mo. – home town of the present world’s heavyweight champion, Fred Blassie.
Almost from childhood, Freddie’s career has been a colorful one. No bully in the neighborhood dared to take him on.
While attending St. Louis University, he held the boxing and wrestling championships and was undefeated.
Later, while serving his time with the Navy during World War II, he was district boxing and wrestling champ.
After turning professional, he came up through the ranks the hard way – always willing and ready to tackle any man, regardless of size or reputation.
When Blassie defeated Edouard Carpentier in the Los Angeles Sports Arena June 12, 1961, for the title and the diamond-studded gold belt, wrestling found itself with a fighting new champion ready to battle any opponent worthy to challenge his laurels.
That is one side of the 238-p;ound champ, who risks his kingdom against Chief Crazy Horse tonight on the first program of pro wrestling in the Savannah Sports Center.
He is eager, ambitious, hard working, talented and fearless. But there’s another side of him, too. He’s a showman first class. He’s cocky and – like Jack Dempsey – he’s a killer in the ring.
If modesty is a virtue, then classy Blassie isn’t virtuous.
“The American man today is a pencil-neck geek,” Freddie says. “He is pitiful, scrawny, poorly dressed, bad mannered and hen-pecked.
“It’s no wonder Blassie just wows the women.”
By his own admission, the champ is God’s gift to women.
“When Freddie Blassie walks down the street, women just can’t resist admiring me,” he comments. “And if they are with one of those skinny, pencil-neck geeks – all men are, compared to me – they fall in love with a real he-man . . . me.
“To bad there are so many ugly women chasing after me because I outclass all the guys they know.”
Blassie may be considered obnoxious outside the ring but, in it, he’s a real villain. He subscribes to Leo Durocher’s theory that “nice guys don’t win (pennant) matches.”
“Sure,” he says, “I’m tough, rough and ready. Being a nice guy don’t put you on top in the wrestling business.
“Just being a nice guy can’t buy Continentals, $350 suits and $50 shoes. I’ve got such a wardrobe that I have a tough time finding places big enough to hold it.
“I like the finer things in life and the only way to be on top and win is to hit your opponent first with the most.”
Besides being rugged and heartless in the ring, Blassie can use every scientific hold in the book. His favorite goes by the colorful name of “the reverse spinning neck-breaker.” And Blassie doesn’t care whose neck it is.
Like the majority of good wrestlers, Freddie has a fine education. In addition, he has the intelligence and personality to mingle with presidents or hobos.
There may be some who dispute his opinion of how to win friends and influence people, but very few doubt the effectiveness of his style in the ring. It has earned him the topmost honor – the world’s heavyweight championship.
Fred Blassie is as good as he says he is.