New York Daily News – March 7, 1950
By Hy Turkin
Antonino Rocca, who shelved his university degree to enter professional wrestling, made more money in three-quarters of an hour at the Garden last night than many college professors do in a year. For kicking and embracing and twisting and tumbling to a draw with Gene Stanlee, Rocca collected exactly $6,161.26.
Fluent in six languages, the native Italian muscleman started yelling, “We wuz robbed!” in all of them when the officials voted the main event a standoff. Rocca didn’t draw much sympathy from the near-capacity house of 16,979, however, because his foe is a popular blonde who goes under the pseudonym of Mr. America . . . and how un-American can one dare to be?
Statuesque Stanlee, who had bowed to Rocca in two earlier “exhibitions,” literally was saved by the bell. In the last minute leading up to the 11 p.m. curfew, Rocca had sent Gene reeling with a series of six flying kicks (barefoot) to the head and chest. Then Rocca picked up his 225-pound foe — now lying limp across Tony’s shoulder — and proudly paraded around the ring with his trophy. But the bell clanged just before Rocca could dump his man into the resin.
On our scorecard, Rocca had the edge and should have been given the verdict. He had his man down 44 times and was knocked to the canvas only 37 times. But the judges saw it differently, and thereby interrupted a winning streak that had gone past the 250 mark. The last time Rocca had failed to win was Nov. 12, 1949, when he also drew with former world heavyweight boxing champ Primo Carnera.
In a house scaled up to $5, the rabid fans poured $51,962.81 into the till ($41,075.05 net) for the untelevised card. They saw . . . in addition to the Rocca-Stanlee workout of 46 minutes, 21 seconds . . . a colorful prelim card in which Marvin Mercer threw Francois Miquet (11:29), Frederic Von Schacht slammed Kola Kwariani (7:38), George Becker decisioned Mike Mazurki (20 minutes), Johnny Barend downed Rocco Colombo (9:18), Lord Carlton stomped on Wally Dusek (17:01) and Chief Don Eagle felled Gino Martinelli (14:11). P.S.: No one was hoited.