Moorhead Daily News 14 March 1931
There has been a little excitement in sport circles lately. There was the case of Mr. Savoldi, ex- Notre Dame football star, who hopped right into the middle of the limelight, all of a sudden, as one of those "beeg strong fellers." Mr.Savoldi, according to advance notices, had been under cover as a wrestler at Notre Dame, taking a great interest in it and grappling around more or less with the notion of sometime taking up the sport and becoming a champion.
Mr. Savoldi made his start in San Francisco at the Dreamland arena, which is the Madison Square Garden of the far west, unless you prefer to consider Jack Doyle's Olympic club in Los Angeles as the Madison Square Garden. The Dreamland arena seats about 10 thousand people. Three thousand turned out to see Jumping Joe—and as 10 times that number had recently turned out to see him play football it may be guessed that the grappling fans were wise.
Savoldi grappled with a gent appearing under the poetic name of Howard Cantonwine — wot a name for a grappler!
There was no grappling at all. Mr. Savoldi, coached to do a Sonnenberg, dived at Cantonwine head first and butted him in the tummy until he folded up and roled over on his shoulder-blades all by himself.
The referee had warned Mr. Savoldi about the rule against butting, but Jumping Joe must have thought he was trying to call signals or something, as he paid no attention. The affair was remarkable, in a way, as the first wrestling match on record in which neither man even tried to take a wrestling bold. Mr. Cantonwine went to the hospital and Mr. Savoldi was suspended for 30 days for using too much headwork, not so much to punish him as to give him, time to leam a little about wrestling.
Savoldi showed tremendous strength and agility and all that sort of thing, and if he learns a wrestling hold he may yet be heard of in the mat game. Jumping Joe hasn't yet learned the fine points of showmanship that make wrestling what it is instead of what it is supposed to be.
Mr. Sonnenberg was a real genius in his way. He originated the trick of going at his opponent with a furious rush, head down, missing, and catapulting through the ropes into the crowd. This always was a thrill and got a great laugh from the galleryites, who were up there out of reach and could appreciate the honor of it when Sonnenberg used some fat party in a boiled shirt and tuxedo as a landing mat.
Walker Serious Threat to Heavies
It's a long jump from the grapplers to such a fighting man as Mickey Walker. Three years ago Jack Kearns said to me: "Mickey Walker is the best fighter in the country right now and he can lick all the heavy - weights." i took this for one of Jack's comic lines, but he meant it and he knew what he was talking about.
When Kearns came out with his challenges to all the big husky lads I remembered his bombastic challenges to Dempsey for a green novice Kearns named "Napoleon" Dorval, and his wild claims that Dorval was the greatest heavyweight ever seen in a ring.
Under the heavy handicap of such advance notices Dorval never got anywhere,although he wasn't so very bad at that. I figured Kearns boosting of Mickey Walker was 90 per cent hot air, although Mickey ,undoubtedly is the best middleweight champion we've seen in a lot of years.
But Mickey has made good consistently against the best heavies Kearns has been to sign up with him, and he has scared out all the rest who have any chance at all to dig into championship company.Mickey failed by an eyelash to beat Loughran, when Loughran was lightweight champion. Loughran couldn't stop Mickey's rushes, but he did poke a lot of
gloves at him while circling around out of danger. But Walker can make his mark in a real fight with a real fighter. He has whipped several of them, probably his best performance is two decisive wins over Johnny Risko.Johnny is husky, has all the courage and endurance in the world, and always tears in fighting.
This is what Mickey likes. It's his own game. In Miami a few days ago Mickey met a Risko who had trained a long time to get him and who fought to get him from the start. Mickey beat Risko with terrific body punches round after round after round and had him in bad shape at the finish, winning the decision with plenty to spare.
This is the same Risko, if you remember, who whipped Paul Berlenbach, Jack Delaney, Paolino Uzcudun, Jack Sharkey and big George Godfrey. Give Mickey credit due — he's a menace among the best of the heavyweights. He was only six pounds over the middle-weight limit when he fought Risko — gave battling John 29 pounds weight advantage and beat him. He's some fighters!
Fitz Did it
Compare Walker with Bob Fitzsimmons, another fighter famous for ability to give away weight. Fitzsimmons weighed 156 ˝ pounds, according to Jim Coffroth, who weighed him, when he knocked out clever Jim Corbett, 183 pounds, for the heavyweight title. Walker is 10 pounds heavier than Fitzsimmons was in that fight. Little Joe Walcott, 142 pounds and only five feet one inch tall, fought a lot of heavyweights, ranging up to 90 pounds heavier and 15 inches taller — and gave every one a tough fight.
Sam LangŁord, starting as a welterweight and gradually growing up into the heavyweight class, fought big Jack Johnson when only a welter, and Johnson was wise enough never to give him another chance when he grew up. One of Battling Nelson's early fights was against a heavyweight, and when the big fellow got arm weary knocking him down Bat won the fight.
One thing I like about Mickey Walker, and it's a thing that hasn't been a noticeable asset of most of the beefier men is that he always fights every second of the way from start to finish. He is not a staller. He won't hold and wrestle. He knows how to box and he's a great walloper. Mickey's career has been long. He has been a. world's champion, welter or middleweight, for nearly 11 years. If he has enough left he may give the big fellows a lot of trouble — if they'll fight him and not dodge him. And from his recent fight seems that Mickey is at the top of his form. (Copyright, 1931, by Robert Edgren)