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The Natioal Boxing Association and Pro Wrestling in 1930

 
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2279
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2016 2:09 pm    Post subject: The Natioal Boxing Association and Pro Wrestling in 1930 Reply with quote

This is an attempt to explain the NBA involvement with pro wrestling and the Londos/Shikat break off from the “in ring” champion Gus Sonnenberg in 1929 and 1930. I've been working on a pro wrestling time line for a Almanac project I'm doing with James Dixon (author of TITAN SINKING). We are going to do a time line project covering every major match and event in pro wrestling history. I'm going to be doing 1840 to 1983, and he will cover the rest of history. I started this over a year ago and I'm at around 1930, and I still need to go back & work on things.

Last year I had a discussion with Ken (where are you Ken?), and I don't think I covered it well enough in my Lewis Book, mainly because it's confusing. In doing this, I'm using research from me, Luce, JMK, and Tim's National Wrestling Alliance book (as always). I went thru all my clippings & stuff . This is from my time line project, but only covers three pages of what is at 300 pages as I speak (Ok write...or type). Covers the 2nd & 3rd Londos/Shikat match in Philadelphia, The National Boxing Association involvement with wrestling, the Illinois State Athletic Commission tournament and banning of heavyweight wrestling, and the creation of the National Wrestling Association. At least I'm going to try.


1929
July 12, 1929--Philadelphia Stadium, PA: Dick Shikat defeated Hans Steinke in 1:04:29 to win a match with Jim Londos for the world title recognized by the Pennsyvania Athletic Commission. Shikat used Sonnenberg's tackles, called butting, to weaken Steinke for the pin. Steinke lost any claim he had in New York as world champion. Also Wladek Zbyszko defeated Tony Rocco, and Kola Kwariani defeated Jack Ledoux. Report said that Toots Mondt had retired to manage Shikat. Just about every wrestling promotion under the jurisdiction of the National Boxing Association was present. There was a capacity crowd at the arena. Promoter was Aurelio Fabiani. The promotional rights to the Londos/Shikat match was open to biding and a message from Tom Packs of St Louis offered $12,000 to Shikat.

Aug. 7, 1929--Philadelphia, PA: AWA World Champion Gus Sonnenberg was stripped for his title by Pennsylvania State Commission for refusing to meet the winner of the Londos/Shikat match on Aug. 23. Sonnenberg wanted the winner to defeat Marin Plestina, Ed Lewis and Joe Stecher before getting a title match. The Commission then said it would recognize the winner of the Londos/Shikat match as World Champion.

Aug. 23, 1929--Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, PA: Before an outdoor crowd of 25,000, Richard “Dick”Shikat defeated Jim Londos to become the World Champion sanctioned by the Pennsylvania and New York Commissions. At the hour mark, Londos launched a vicious headlock attack, but Shikat game back on him. The German body slammed Londos twice and got the pin at 1:15:20. Londos was unable to get to his feet and had to carried from the ring. Referee was Billy Hermann. It rained during the match. The NBA ( National Boxing Association) name had been used in the setting up of the tournament and the removal of Gus Sonnenberg, but it did not recognize Shikat as world champion. The Pennsylvania Commission endeavored to secure the support of the NBA in their elimination tournament, but the organization refused, saying they were not interested in pro wrestling. In 1930, the NBA would change it's mind. Shikat was managed by Toots Mondt. Promoter was Aurelio Fabiani. The 25,000 fans was a Philadelphia Attendance record.

Aug. 27, 1929---Albany, New York, NY: The New York State Commission joined Pennsylvania to recognize Dick Shikat as World Champion.

Dec. 21, 1929--Chicago, ILL: Promoter Al Haft appeared before the Illinois State Athletic Commission with a check for $10,000 to challenge Gus Sonnenberg to a match with John Pesek. With Haft was Jack Reynolds who called out Sonnenberg, saying Gus was a “palooka” who didn't know how to wrestle and the flying tackle was all hooey. Seems that Al Haft had also got the National Boxing Association interested in pro wrestling and the championship argument. A move was then made by the Illinois Commission to hold a heavyweight wrestling tournament to decide the true champion. The three world championship claimants were Gus Sonnenber, Richard Shikat, and John Pesek.

1930
Jan 10, 1930--Cincinnati, OH: The National Boxing Association, under President Stanley M. Isaacs, sends letters to Gus Sonnenberg, Jim Londos, Dick Shikat, John Pesek, and Pete Sauer telling them that they are invited, as the leading contenders, to enter the NBA World Heavyweight Championship Tournament. The plan was to have Shikat, Pesek, Londos, and Sauer start the tournament wrestling each other, and then have Sonnenberg to meet the winner. To officially enter, each invited wrestler had to post a $5,000 check with the WBA by the deadline date of Feb. 1, 1930. If the forfeit wasn't posted, the wrestler refusing to participate would be banned in the 32 states controlled by the WBA. This tournament was being pushed by the WBA, a boxing organization, and the National Wrestling Association (NWA) wasn't in existence until Sept. 1930. So a pro boxing association was taking a position of authority over matters pertaining to pro wrestling, and these unknowing people were trying to induce pro wrestling performers into real “shooting” contests. The WBA also set up tournaments for the light heavyweight, middleweight, and welterweight titles under the same conditions.

Jan. 15, 1930--Memphis, TN: Dick Shikat's manager, Toots Mondt, held a conference with the Shelby County Athletic Commission, and held a press conference following the meeting. Mondt made it clear that Shikat would not post a forfeit check to join the NBA heavyweight tournament. Shikat resented the idea of Sonnenberg being given a bye, and felt that as NY/PA World Champion he didn't need to re-win his title. The Shelby commissioner then said that regardless of Shikat's intentions, the Shikat/Sauer match to take place the next day, would be consider the first elimination match of the NBA tournament, and the loser would be out of the series.

Jan. 16, 1930--Memphis Auditorium, TN: Dick Shikat defeated Pete Sauer to defend his NY/PA World Title claim and eliminate Sauer (Ray Steele) from the NBA tournament. In the first fall after 1:43:00, Sauer had Shikat in a bad way throwing the German three time with flying mares. On the last one, Shikat's leg hit the referee, Charlie Rentrop in the head and knocked him down. Sauer then pinned Shikat, but Rentrop was dazed and couldn't count. Shikat then reversed the pin, as the referee looked around to see Sauer pinned, and made the 3 count. The crowd in 1930, who had never seen the finish used every night in the 2016 WWE, went nuts, and the local commission protested the referee's call. The decision made was that there was “no fall” and the next pin would win the match. This didn't make the pro Sauer fans happy, because they felt Pete had won the fall. The match continued and Shikat won the fall after reversing a flying mare into a back body drop in 4:00. Sauer protested, but it was ruled that he was eliminated from the NBA tournament. There was a large crowd present. Promoter and referee was Charlie Rentrop. Leon Balkin was called assistant matchmaker.

Jan. 20, 1930--Memphis, TN: After a big fuss was made by the Memphis Athletic Comminsion reinstated Pete Sauer into the NBA wrestling tournament, but I don't think Sauer (Ray Steele) ever post a forfeit check and never actually enters.

Jan. 21, 1930--Boston, MA: In a letter from James G. Brown, manager of Gus Sonnenberg, to the WBA he stated that Sonnenberg refused to be part of the the WBA's world heavyweight championship tournament. Said that Sonnenberg defeated the true champion Ed Lewis and there is no way he should be asked to win his title a second time. Also disagreed with the contenders named, and felt that the only fair world tournament should allow any pro wrestler willing to post a forfeit to enter.

Jan. 21, 1930---Chicago, ILL: The Illinois State Commission, under chairman Gen. John Clinton, banned heavyweight wrestling in the state until championship contender agree to enter a elimination tournament to decide a true champion.. The wrestler were supposed to enter by Jan. 15 but they either didn't consent or had major qualifications. Jim Londos, Ray Steele and Hans Steinke entered only if Gus Sonnenberg was a contestant. Sonnenberg said he would just meet the winner of the tournament & not enter. Others involved were Ed Lewis, Marian Plestina, Stanley Stasiak, and Joe Malcewicz and a few others who would put up a $2,500 bond. The commission said the heavyweights wrestlers would be banned until all appeared before the commission.

Feb. 2, 1930---Cincinnati, OH: The NBA announced that only two heavyweight posted forfeits to enter the world title tournament. The two men were Jim Londos and John Pesek. Those who entered the light-heavyweight tournament were Hugh Nichols, Pinkie Gardner, and Joe Banaskie, and the middleweights were Gus Kalio, Ralph Parcaut, and Ray Carpentier. Welterweights were Jack Reynolds and Charlie Grip. Those wrestlers banned in NBA's 34 states were Gus Sonnenberg, Dick Shikat, Ted Thye, Clarence Eklund, Charies Fisher, Bobby Myers, Billy Halias, and Robin Reed. A NBA meeting was to be held Feb. 3 to pick the sites and dates.

Feb. 3, 1930--Cincinnati, OH: At a special NBA meeting match ups and referees were decided on for all tournaments. The Association then sent out offers to promoters, saying they were accepting sealed offers for each match, with the high bid getting to promoter the match. The NBA president Stanley M. Isaacs said that their investigation of pro wrestling had found startling instances of fake advertising, corruption of many interests, and a amazing perpetration of frauds on the public, press, and athletic commissions. Col. H. J. Landry was selected as chairman of the wrestling championship committee. The ban on wrestler Dick Shikat was producing problem in the state on Tennessee. The local commission in Memphis was threatening to drop out of the NBA because it's bans were blocking the booking of a Shikat/Sauer rematch in the city. Both Londos and Pesek said they accepted the match with the intention of meeting either Gus Sonnenberg or Dick Shikat soon after.

Feb. 7, 1930--Philadelphia, PA: Promoter Ray Fabiani stated that he had bid $15,000 for the Londos/Pesek NBA finals match. Says Tom Packs of St Louis was planing on a $12,000 bid. Thinks that his greatest opposition will come from Al Haft, promoter on Cincinnati and Columbus, who is a good friend and manager of John Pesek. He also says that champion Dick Shikat was willing to meet the winner of the NBA tournament. It seems a Shikat/Londos card was already being planed in Philadelphia.

Feb. ?, 1930---Cincinnati, OH: Al Haft (using a front man named Herman H. Hamer) won the biding for the NBA final match of Pesek vs Londos with a bid of $20,001. This wasn't without controversy, since Tom Packs of St. Louis had bid $20,000. Haft, promoter in Cincinnati and Ohio, seems to have been the major wrestling mind behind the tournament from the beginning. The NBA was centered in Cincinnati, and the fact that the light weights were included seems to be a give away. Al Haft was the only major promoter interested in the lighter divisions and no one else cared much in 1930. The tentative date for the heavyweight match was set for March 12, 1930 in Columbus.

Feb. 21, 1930---Cincinnati, OH: Jack Reynolds defeated Charlie Grip ti win the NBA Welterweight Tournament and the NBA World Welterweight Title. Promoter was Al Haft.

March 3, 1930--Memphis, TN: At a NBA meeting, Jim Londos (managed by Ed White) and Johen Pesek (managed by Al Haft) agreed to NBA terms and would meet in a wrestling contest in Columbus, Ohio on April 2, with the winner being named NBA World Champion. It was also agreed that Charlie Rentrop would be the referee. The match date was later moved to April 7. Londos and manager Ed White had been refusing to sign because the promoter was trying to divide the $20,000 purse so that Pesek got $12,000 and Londos $8,000. But the NBA stepped in, and it was agreed that the money would be $10,000 each.

March 20, 1930-- Columbus, OH: Al Haft announced that John Pesek had broken a collar bone following a fall at his training camp, and the April 9 NBA Tournament final match with Jim Londos would be postponed. The NBA requested a x-ray and a physician's report.

March 22, 1930-- Lincoln, NB: After an exam with Commissioner Ira Vorhles present, John Pesek was found by two physicians to have a dislocated collar bone. The exam was a result of a request by Stanley Isaacs, NBA president. It was ruled that Pesek would not forfeit the $5,000 bond. So this Pesek/Londos never took place, but later the NBA ruled that the winner of the Shikat/Londos rematch in Philadelphia would be champion. Many years later, Pesek revealed in a interview that he faked the injury, because he had found out that Londos was booked to win the match.

April 3, 1930---Cincinnati, OH: Word coming out of the NBA is that many of the member are disgusted with pro wrestling and the heavyweights in particular. Claims it will recognize no champion in the heavyweight division. Says there are “wrestling trusts” and “combines” with intimates and it was impossible to unscramble the alleged rotten conditions pervading the mat game. Many of the members wanted to wash their hands of the affair.

April 4, 1930---Cincinnati, OH: In a tournament final for the NBA World Light Heavyweight Title, Hugh Nichols defeated Joe Banaski. Promoter was Al Haft. When this tournament was set up by the NBA, Clarence Ekland refused to participate because he was already the rightful Champion. Ekland retired soon after as champ.

April 8, 1930 --New York City, NY: The NY State Athletic Commission put pro wrestling into the classification of being a theatrical event, except in isolated cases. It ruled that wrestling promoters had to bill their shows as exhibitions, unless they had the permission of the commission to do otherwise. William Muldoon and John J. Phelan were commissioners.

April 9, 1930--Columbus, OH: In the NBA tournament final for the NBA World Middleweight Title, Gus Kallio defeated Ray Carpentier to become new champion. Promoter was Al Haft.

April 25, 1930--Philadelphia, PA: Jim Londos defeated Matros Kirilenko in 50:36. Londos claimed it was his first defense of the NBA world title, but either the promotion, newspapers, or the NBA took his claims serious. Also Ray Steele defeated Jim Clinstock in 31:30, and Hans Steinke defeated Jack Taylor. Attendance was 4,000. Promoter was Ray Fabiani. Rummer had Dick Shikat wanting to travel back to Europe.

June 2, 1930--Philadelphia, PA: Colonel H. J. Landry, member of the Mississippi State Athletic Commission and Chairman of the National Boxing Association's wrestling championship committee, wrote a letter to Philadelphia promoter, Ray Fabiani, telling him that the winner of the Dick Shikat—Jim Londos match at the Phillies' ball park the next Friday would be recognized by the NBA as world heavyweigh champion. A claim was made that NBA President Stanley E. Isaacs had investigated and discovered that John Pesek had not been injuried before the Londos match in Columbus, and had run out of the match. Landry had consulted with other members and he would be in Philadelphia to pronounce the winner champion on June 6.

June 6, 1930---Phillies Ball Park, Philadelphia, PA: Wrestling through a rain storm and soaked ring, Jim Londos defeated Dick Shikat to win the NY/PA World Title and recognition as World Champion from the NBA. After injuring Shikat with a Japanese leg lock, Londos reversed a Shikat attempt at a body slam into a rolling headlock, and then pined Richard using a Japanese headlock in 1:23:11. Ringside were officials of the NBA, including head of the wrestling committee Col. H. J. Landry and President Capt. Stanley N. Isaacs. Both were in the ring following the match to acknowledge Londos as the World Championship. This was the first time that a wresler's world title claim had ever be supported by a semi- national organization (over 30 states), plus the strongest state commission in the country (New York). Also Rudy Dusek defeated Jim McMillan by a 30:00 decision, Tiny Roebuck defeated Jack Washburn, and Ray Steele defeated Pat O'Shocker. Referee was Herman Wolff. There was 15,000 in attendance and 13,115 of them paid $43,622.20 to gain admission. Promoter was Ray Fabiani. Londos promised to be a popular champion and had a victory party at his manager's headquarters at the Ritz-Carlton. Shikat just went home.

Sept. 16, 1930--Omaha, NB: At the National Boxing Association convention, the boxing representatives remove all association with the worked sport of pro wrestling. From the very beginning President Stanley N. Isaacs had been against the attempt to regulate wrestling, but had gone through the motions because the members had requested it and it was his job. After all the problems in 1930, most of the member wanted nothing to do with the worked sport. So the boxing organization voted to no longer had anything to do with pro wrestling. Isaacs also was replaced by John V. Clinnin of Chicago as NBA president. They did form a separate organization to deal exclusively with pro wrestling. It was named the National Wrestling Association or the NWA. The group named Colonel Harry J. Landry as their first president and moved it's main office to New Orleans. The NWA also announced that they recognized Jim Londos as World Champion. The organization controlled the major title claim, mostly under the influence of Tom Packs of St Louis, until the National Wrestling Alliance replaced it's function in 1949. It continued to hold conventions through the 1960's, and was abandoned in 1980.

Oct. 1, 1930---Chicago, IL: Londos' manager Ed White went before the Illinois Athletic Commission in a effort to secure a title unification match with Gus Sonnenberg. He offered $10,000 to any person who could secure the match.

Oct. 3, 1930--Chicago, IL: A newly elected Illinois Athletic Commission, lead by commissioner John V. Clinin, removed the ban on heavyweight wrestling in the state, and also lifted the suspension of Gus Sonnenberg. Promoters in Chicago were to be Doc Krone, Joe Coffey, and Ed White. There was still talk of a title unification match between Londos and Sonnenberg.

Dec. 21, 1930--Columbus, OH: Al Haft and promoters in the mid-west recognize or created the Midwest Wrestling Association and use it to determine their champions. John Pesek had been billed as the common law world heavyweight champion in the area and it seemed like the MWA was going to recognize him as champion. Seems Al Haft dealings with the WBA didn't work out for him or Pesek.
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Ken Viewer



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 296

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Yohe posted above:

...Last year I had a discussion with Ken (where are you Ken?)...

I'm the same place I was yesterday; here.

I don't post any longer at the WCMB because some roach friend of CM's there suggested I set myself on fire and others joined in. I pulled that post down when no one came to denounce such behavior, and that included CM, who was part of the thread and later told me he thought it was funny.

Maybe it was funny, but not to me after a couple of days in the hospital.

Life goes on and that board can do just fine without me. After I left, it temporarily turned in to a playground for the mentally ill -- which CM seems to have gotten under control -- but the same nut case who Mark Nulty had banned for years also trashed the other board-administrator and dared that moderator to kick him off the board, which didn't happen, and his gang of trolls were still there when I left.

If I can answer any questions you have, you can reach me by email or here.

Ken
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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://mirc.sc.edu/islandora/object/usc%3A28626

Ken
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1931
Oct. 1, 1931---Baltimore, MD: A report by the Associated Press said that the National Wrestling Association, a subsidiary of the National Boxing Association, recognized Jim Londos as world champion. In making the announcement, it served notice that it planned to control wrestling like the WBA controlled boxing. It stipulated that the champion had to post a $5,000 bond as evidence of good faith and defend his title once every 6 monthes against a challenger selected by the NWA. It also listed 16 states as members of the NWA: Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Mississippi, Indiana,Tennessee, Louisiana, Missouri, Michigan, Connecticut, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, and Oregon.

Oct. 18, 1931-- Baltimore, MD: The Associated Press reported a quote from NBA Commissioner John Clinnon. “In order to clarify the situation and acquaint the public of the NBA's stand on wrestling, let it be known that the NBA at it's 11th annual convention at Omaha in September, 1930, refused to ratify the report of it's wrestling committee and tabled the report, which recommended the establishment of certain NBA champions. The NBA further released itself from all obligations and with reference to the conduct of wrestling contest and exhibitions and left the control of same to the athletic commissions of the various states, etc. The NBA is in no way affiliated with, or part of, the National Wrestling Association, and, therefore, assumes no responsibility for the acts, doings, or communications emanating from the NWA.”
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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Perhaps the rarest sound-film of a wrestling match now publicly available.)

Reedited, recut, and chronologically presented 18 minutes of footage of Fox Movietone News's full film of Jim Londos defeating Dick Shikat to win the National Boxing Association's one-and-only world's heavyweight wrestling championship. There doesn't seem to be any championship belt that night.

Raw footage courtesy of the University of South Carolina as owner of the silver nitrate 35 MM film and preserver of the Londos-Shikat Fox Movietone News's outtakes. Credit for putting that footage, which consisted of non-chronological cuts of raw footage, back together goes to, and courtesy of RagingBull1935. Listen carefully to that speech at the end-- "...wrestling has come back..." The reference is to 'honest wrestling.' Huh?

Scott (first name missing from cheat-sheet) ran the cameras crew and Dodge ran the Movietone (version one)-process sound-recording crew. The radio speech at the end of the footage is significantly distorted by the re-editing process -- it's a problem of the first version of the Movietone process -- but the guy with the Greek accent is Londos and the NBA's Isaacs and Young -- the Secretary of the Pennsylvania commission, are known to be in the crowd.

Someone had tipped Fox Movietone News that the title would change hands and Movietone News sent out the whole gang, including catering for the film crew by a local bootlegger. The ring is wet but there's no rain seen coming down in these cuts. The rain probably passed by earlier. If the UofSC had the spare money, reprocessing the raw footage could substantially brighten the images.

Raw footage discovered by Steve Yohe, Kit Bauman, Raging Bull and myself, and purchased as converted to digitized format by Steve, Kit and myself. Footage of the speech-portion shot from the right side of the ring, so we could see who was talking as we're hearing them, may not exist or is unavailable.

Until Raging Bull posted the properly-edited 85-year-old footage, that view was not known to exist, and one might say it's actually Raging Bull's own, best version:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUINQAgH1j0

Ken
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Steve Yohe



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Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've added this:

Nov. 25, 1929-- Cincinnati, OH: In a special session of the National Boxing Association, delegates decided to take control of pro wrestling. Steps were taken to investigate conditions and to standardise the sport. NBA President Stanley M. Isaacs appointed Paul Prehn as chairman of the wrestling committee, and a report would be made on January 1. Chairman Prehn, former president of the NBA, said that wrestling was expanding at such a rate that it would be no easy task to get the sport under complete control, but that every effort would be made to put it on the same plane as boxing in the United States. Al Haft, manager of John Pesek, and promoter in Cincinnati, was present and offered Isaacs a check of $10,000 to set up a Pesek match with world champion Gus Sonnenberg. He place the setting up of such a match in the hands of the WBA.
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