Tag Archives: Giovanni Raicevich

Wrestlers At The Garden

The New York Times – December 25, 1911

 Zybszko to Throw Raicevich Three Times in 90 Minutes.

Madison Square Garden is to be the scene of another wrestling match tonight, when Stanislaus Zbyszko, the Polish Champion, and Giovanni Raicevich, title holder of Italy, will be the principals.  Zbyszko will undertake to throw the Italian three times within an hour and a half at catch-as-catch-can style.  Tom Jenkins, the former champion, who is now wrestling instructor of the Naval Academy at West Point, has been selected to referee the contest.  While the Italian persuaded Zbyszko into giving him a handicap, even the most ardent admirers of the Pole think that he is undertaking too much of a job, and the results is that Raicevich has been a decided favorite. Continue reading

Frank Gotch Throws Italian

New York Times – November 10, 1909

Chicago, Nov. 9. – Frank Gotch, champion wrestler of the world, defeated Giovanni Raicevitch of Italy at the Coliseum to-night in two straight falls, the first in 16 minutes 28 seconds, and the second in 5 minutes 28 seconds.

Zbyszko on Raicevich’s Trail

The New York Times – December 15, 1911

Zbyszko, the Polish champion wrestler, accompanied by his manager, is hurrying eastward from Duluth, Minn,. and is due to arrive in New York this afternoon, having cancelled his engagements in the Northwest to secure the match with Raicevich.  Herman has a proposition to offer the Italian champion which he says in his wire announcing his intentions cannot be refused by any one who means business, and his caustic remarks suggest that he is very sore because Gotch sent a representative here while he was away.  The outcome of the conference which will be held at Madison Square Garden tonight will result in a match being between Raicevich and Gotch, or Zbyszko’s proposition to Raicevich made by Jack Herman may be accepted by the Italian champion and Gotch will be asked to meet the winner of the match between Zbyszko and Raicevich if they can come to terms.

Zybszko Coming Here Today

The New York Times – December 20, 1911

Stanislaus Zbyszko, who is to oppose Giovanni Raicevich, the Italian champion, in the wrestling match at MadisonSquareGarden next Monday evening, will arrive in town today to finish training for the coming struggle.  His manager, Jack Herman, has cancelled half a dozen engagements, as he realizes that the Pole must be in the very best shape if he hopes to win from the Italian.  Zbyszko does a great deal of outdoor work while training, and he will reel off eight or ten miles every morning through Central Park to improve his wind, and then take on half a dozen big fellows at Cooper’s Gymnasium in the afternoon.  Since the Pole arrived in this country a couple of months ago he has been wrestling almost every night in towns throughout the East and Middle West, and it will not take much work to put him right on edge for a grueling contest.

Wrestling at Garden Tonight

The New York Times – December 6, 1911

Giovanni Raicevich, an Italian wrestler, will make his bow in the first big match of the Winter season at Madison Square Garden tonight.  He is to wrestle six giants, on after the other, and undertake to put them down within two hours’ time.  To any one of these six men whom he does not vanquish in twenty minutes he will give $1,000, so the promoters say.

Two Opponents for Raicevich

The New York Times – December 13, 1911

Two weeks ago Giovanni Raicevich, the Italian wrestler, could not secure a match with any men of note in this country.  Today it looks as if he could take his pick of a match with either Frank Gotch, the world’s champion, or Stanislaus Zbyszko, the famous Pole.  A couple of days ago Gotch sent word that he would send a representative to New York to talk business with the Italian and yesterday Jack Herman, the manager of the Pole, who was then showing in Duluth Minn., stated that he was ready to arrange for a contest to take place on a “winner take all” basis.  The Italian is anxious to give Gotch preference, as a victory over the Iowa fireman will not only man great honors in this country, but will insure engagements and matches that would net him a good sized fortune.  he has however, sent word to both Gotch and Zbyszko that he stands ready to sign articles on any terms that will be agreeable to them.  The Italian is training at the Italian-American Gymnastic Club, as he intends to make a tour of this country, meeting all comers, should he fail to clinch a big match within the next week or 10 days.

Giant Wrestlers Matched

The New York Times – December 16, 1911

Zbyszko Agrees to Throw Raicevich at Garden Christmas Night.

Stanislaus Zbyszko, the famous Polish wrestler, and Giovanni Raicevich, the champion of Italy, were signed up last night at Madison Garden to meet in a handicap match which will take place at the Garden on Christmas night, Dec. 25.   Jack Herman, the Pole’s manager, arrived in town yesterday from the west.  The conditions of the contest call for Zbyszko to throw the Italian 3 times within an hour and a half.  Should Raicevich secure one fall, the Italian will be declared the winner.  Raicevich expected up until late yesterday that Frank Gotch would have a representative on hand to talk business.  When he failed to materialize the Italian lost no time in getting down to business with Herman, as he knows that a victory over Zbyszko will mean a quick engagement with the world’s champion.

Jenkins May Referee Wrestling Bout

The New York Times – December 19, 1911

Tom Jenkins, the ex-champion wrestler, will probably officiate as referee of the match between Stanislaus Zbyszko, the Pole, and Italy’s champion, Giovanni Raicevich, which is to take place at Madison Square Garden on Christmas night.   The managers of the bout and Raicevich have agreed upon Jenkins as a third man in the ring, and the consent of Jack Herman is all that is necessary to settle that question

Zbyszko Is Willing to Wrestle

The New York Times – December 13, 1911

DULUTH MINN., Dec. 12.- Replying to numerous challenges issued by Giovanni Raicevich to Zbyszko, J. H. Hermann, manager for the pole, today stated that he is prepared to match his man against the Italian at any time to a finish contest, and just to show what he thinks of Raicevich’s ability Hermann States that he does not want one cent of the purse if his man does not win the required two falls within one hour.

Italians Break Up Big Wrestling Bout

The New York Times – December 26, 1911

Thought Raicevich Won, Swarm Around Their Idol and Carry Him from Mat.

The Wrestling Match at Madison Square Garden last night between Giovanni Raicevich, the Italian heavyweight, and Stanislaus Zbyszko, the giant Pole, came to a sudden end in the second bout, when the Italian’s enthusiastic admirers mistook Referee Tom Jenkin’s slap on Raicevich’s broad back as a signal for a fall.  Jenkins tapped the Italian because one of Zbyszko’s shoulders was off the mat.

Raicevich had Zbyszko pinned to the floor in the deadly clutches of a crotch and half nelson hold.  One shoulder was on the green mat and the other was on the white canvass.  The Italian knew he had his man down, and when he felt the referee’s slap he got up and walked to his corner.  This was the signal for an uproar.  Thousands of enthusiastic Italians jumped from their seats and rushed around the ring, and the special policemen were powerless to stop them.  Raicevich was grabbed by admiring friends and carried in supposed triumph around the Garden.  The big Pole Stood dumbfounded, waiting for the Italian to come back and wrestle some more.  Referee Tom Jenkins was besieged with questions.  He said it was no fall and that he slapped the Italian to make him get back in the centre of the ring.

Raicevich does not understand English and did not wait for any explanation.  By the terms of the match, one fall for him meant victory.  For half an hour after this happening the Italians, including Enrico Caruso, the Italian tenor, stood about and made the Garden shake with their cheers and yells.  They were satisfied that Raicevich had won and one of the officials of the show said that if any one had insisted on the Pisa giant coming back to get the fall over again he was afraid the Garden would be torn down in a riot.  So the match came to an unsatisfactory finish.  According to the referee, neither man had complied with the conditions of the contest, and therefore it was no match at all.  Zbyszko agree to throw Raicevich three times in an hour and a half, and if the Italian got one fall he was to be declared the winner.  Raicevich says he got his fall fair enough, and declares he was a winner.  The referee asserts that the fall was illegal because the victim, Zbyszko, was not on the mat.

The crowd didn’t number more than 4000, but it had the cheering power of 40,000, and it was very much in favor of the Italian.  There were many Poles there to admire the Polish lawyer-grappler, but their cheers were hopelessly drowned in the mad outburst of applause which occurred every few minutes for the Italian.

Zbyszko won the first fall in 37:50, after he had let Raicevich wear himself out to an almost exhausted condition.  When the Italian was panting like a deer Zbyszko got a combination cross-arm hold, and with all the power and weight of his herculean body crushed the Italian to the mat in the irresistible grip.  Zbyszko weighed about 250 and the Italian 225.  The big Pole was as strong as a lion, and mauled Raicevich around the canvas easily.  Zbyszko doesn’t know many of the tricks and finer points of wrestling, for several times he had his opponent in a dangerous position when an ordinary wrestling hold would have finished him.  When Zbyszko saw that he could get no effective clutch on his opponent he took things easy and let Raicevich pull, maul, and tussle away at his big body.  Raicevich worked so hard trying to turn the Pole over that the perspiration poured off him in a stream.

Both wrestlers looked fat and anything like athletes.  They were bulky and clumsy.  Zbyszko seemed to have enough strength to push over a bridge, but he didn’t know how to use it. Raicevich’s arms were too short to get around the Pole’s great waist.  Zbyszko was barefooted, and Raicevich often tried to get a toe hold, and his efforts to extract pain from the Pole’s big toe would have made Frank Gotch chuckle with glee.

Raicevich was tired after the first but he was rubbed and revived by willing hands.  He cane out of his corner for the second bout with a spring step.  Rushing at Zbyszko he threw him to the canvas hard with a leg hold.  After a few minutes hard work he had a crotch hold and a half Nelson, and put every ounce of strength into a final effort to jam the Polish giant down.  Slowly but surely the Pole went down, and the crowd saw that his shoulder were both pinned to the floor.  They thought that Referee Jenkins’s slap meant a victory for the Italian, and they waited for no more. A wild scramble for the ring followed, men tumbling and falling over each otehr to climb to the ring and congratulate the Italian hero from Pisa.  Hundreds of fish horns joined in the noise-making and such a nerve jarring, ear-splitting racket the Garden has seldom heard.

The management was unable to check the outburst of Italian enthusiasm, and although the referee said it was no fall Raicevich was declared the winner by his fellow-countrymen.  When they finished cheering Raicevich they turned to Caruso and Scotti and kept up the noise until the singers had left the Garden.  It was a great night for the Italians, and they did not pay any attention to a little technicality like one shoulder not being on the mat, even if the rules of wrestling do say something about it.  Referee Jenkins was in a bad fix.  He tried to explain what he meant by slapping Raicevich’s back, but his explanation was lost in the racket.  Hats were thrown in the air, papers were sent flying, and everybody was so excited that the management could do nothing but let the excitement cool down and allow the people to file out of the Garden

Among the notable Italians present to enthuse over Raicevich were Enrico Caruso and Antonio Scotti of the Metropolitan Opera Company; Chevalier Barsotto, proprietor of Il Progresso; several members of the Italian Consulate of this city; Caesar Conti, the importer; Ernesto Ubertino, one of the Waldorf-Astoria chefs, and scores of others.  The two top galleries were crowded with cheering Italians and Poles, but the arena seats were not half filled.  Many of the boxes were occupied by parties which included many women.

The names of the wrestlers who took part in the preliminaries were assumed to fit the occasion.  Young Sharkey, alias McDonough, became Ignace Galewski.  He was thrown twice by Nicola Montagno, alias Young Monday.  Montagno tossed Galewski down for keeps after twelve minutes of wrestling.  Montagno, to show that he held no ill-will against his victim kissed him affectionately.  Then he threw him again in four minutes. Johnny McLaughlin, the Irish lad, threw Victor Pierce of Vienna with a half Nelson in eleven minutes and thirty seconds.

Jim Galvin, who is champion of something or other in Ireland, and Neil Olsen, the great Dane, had a real old-fashioned slugging, gouging match.  Galvin and the Dane are old actors at the game, and they made the emotional crowd believe they were going to tear their hair outb by the roots.  Galvin won the first fal in ten minutes and forty seconds, and Olsen took the second with a flying fall in six minutes and forty seconds.  Then Galvin wanted to fight—or made believe he did.  Referee Johnny Dunn was in the fray, too, and just ducked on of Galvin’s gate-like swings.  All this pleased the crowd.  It was a well-acted draw.