Chicago Tribune – April 8, 1933
By George Strickler
The wrestling industry, which for years has not been regarded seriously by the sports public, developed a new mystery before 6,800 at Chicago Stadium last night when
Joe Savoldi, former Notre Dame football player, threw Jim Londos, claimant of the world’s championship and popularly recognized as the greatest of present day wrestlers, in 26 minutes and 20 seconds.
The surprising outcome brought forth a variety of confusing and conflicting opinions from regular patrons. Many felt that Savoldi had double crossed his opponent. Others felt it was a gambling coup. Not a few predicted there now would be rematch at Soldiers’ field before a larger gate. A few loyal Savoldi supporters claimed he was a better wrestler than Londos. There was no evidence to prove any of these assertions. Wrestling is that way.
The climax of the match started in the 25th minute when they went to the mat and Londos applied the Japanese jackknife. This hold is a recognized wrestling grip and can be gotten only when the victim is on the floor, although, as Londos explains it, one must get a wrist lock first, flipping the opponent on his back. As the men hit the floor the aggressor grabs the arm inside the elbow, and locks his legs over the bent arm, putting it in a vise. He pulls on the elbow to prevent the opponent from jerking the arm out of the vise formed by the leg scissors.
Writhing in the grasp of the jackknife hold, Savoldi rose up, taking Londos with him, and while the Greek heavyweight clung to his hold, Savoldi stood over him, standing Londos on his head and rolling his shoulders to the mat.
Referee Bob Managoff, once a heavyweight wrestler, tapped Savoldi on the shoulders, the official signal to stop. The men were near the ropes and Savoldi stepped back into a corner, apparently ready to continue, when Londos got up. When
Managoff walked over to him to lift his hand in victory, Savoldi appeared to be the most surprised man in the Stadium, unless it was Londos.
Londos got to his feet, stared around the ring to where his manager, Ed White, was mounting the steps to protest, and walked to his corner.
Immediately after referee Managoff and Savoldi had posed for pictures the referee hurried from the Stadium and rushed away in a taxi. He seemed anxious to get as far away from the scene of combat as possible. Members of the state athletic commission likewise left immediately and were not available for questioning after the sudden and unexpected termination of what was regarded a certain Londos victory.
Later Chairman Joe triner, reached at his home in Oak Park, said the commission would make a thorough investigation and would have a statement to make Monday.
Referee Managoff was a heavyweight wrestler ten years ago. Since then he has refereed windup wrestling bouts here, alternating with Emil Thiry and Walter Evans. When not refereeing Managoff tends his variety store in the vicinity of Milwaukee and Grand avenues. He is an Armenian and is married. He has three children. He is about 36 years old.
The spectators, who paid $11,850, cheered long and loud for Savoldi when it finally dawned on them that he had thrown Jim Londos, the unconquerable.
Londos and his manager, Ed White, stated after the match that Londos’ title was not at stake. The Illinois athletic commission recognizes no heavyweight title claimants, but the National Wrestling Association, the sport’s controlling group in 18 states, concedes the title to Londos. The match was billed in the Stadium’s advance publicity as for the championship.
Londos claimed that he was not on his shoulders, and there was no count, as required by the rules. According to the rules, one must be held down for three seconds.
White will present a protest to the commission tomorrow.
It was the first time in four years that Londos had been beaten. In the last three years only three men – Jim McMillen, Ray Steele and George Zaharias — had thrown him. In each case, however, it occurred in a two out of three fall match and Londos always won the match.
It seemed to have been no secret among the sporting crowd that Londos was going to be thrown, but the wise ones were silent until after Savoldi actually achieved his victory. All who professed to have had advance information said they had ignored the tip because such rumors are always prevalent before a Londos match.
Results of the preliminary matches:
Jim McMillen, 220, Chicago, threw George Zaharias, 235, Pueblo, Colo., with a crotch hold in 20:28.
Joe Stecher, 226, Dodge, Neb., threw Lou (Blue Sun) Jennings, 212, Seattle, Wash., with a body scissors in 12:32.
Gino Garibaldi, 215, Italy, threw Tom Marvin, 202, Oklahoma, with a cross body hold in 16:40.
Abie Coleman, 205, Los Angeles, threw John Katan, 240, Toronto, with a flying tackle in 13:55.