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STELLAR WRESTLERS FOR TONIGHT'S SHOW (The Globe, May 4, 1929): Ivan Mickailoff, a World War veteran, who swerved in the Russian, French and United States armies, is a wrestler of prominence in past years, being the winner of the Olympic championship in 1908 in London, England. He has followed wrestling as a professor for over fifteen years, and will try to put the game back in good standing in Toronto. For his opening show tonight at the Arena he has arranged three of the best possible heavyweight bouts.
Not sparing expenses for the opening night, Mickailoff has secured the leading men in the game. Jack Taylor, the Canadian heavyweight champion, who has met the best in the game, meets the young Wyoming cowboy, Jack Rogers, who is known to the sports followers as a headliner. Rogers made a big hit in New York last winter and reached the top by being selected for the main bout in New York to meet the Italian champion, George Calza. Rogers has the advantage over Taylor in weight, height and years, but Taylor depends on his experience of fifteen years of wrestling. They will meet in two best-of-three falls.
In the second bout, Wladek Zbyszko, the great Pole, known the world over, present Graeco-Roman champion, and former catch-as-catch-can world's champion, will meet Abe Kaplan in a one-fall match, 45 minutes limit. Both men are 6 feet 1 inch in height, but Zbyszko has the advantage of 10 pounds in weight, as Kaplan's weight is 215 pounds and Zbyszko's 225 pounds.
In the third bout of the evening, Henry Deglane, world's Olympic champion of 1924, will meet Karl Oscard. Both are headlinrs, so that there what be termed three main bouts.
Toronto ON: May 4, 1929: (Arena Gardens, att. 500) ... Jack Taylor beat Jack Rogers (2-0) ... Wladek Zbyszko beat Abe Kaplan (45:00, dec) ... Henry Deglane beat Karl Oscard (25:00)
FROM THE TORONTO DAILY STAR (By Lou Marsh, Tuesday, May 7, 1929): This wrestling stuff is all right as long as the promoters bill it for just what it is -- an exhibition of wrestling.
But it isn't anything more than an exhibition -- at least it wasn't last Saturday night -- just a lot of rough and tumble mat acrobatics which could just as well be on a Hippodrome or Pantages bill.
It is great to look at -- if you like that sort of stuff -- but it should not be billed to the public as real contests.
The boys slipped a hundred holds up there Saturday -- but they gave the crowd plenty of entertainment. A real honest-to-goodness heavyweight wrestling contest is as slow as a mud turtle derby -- but an exhibition of wrestling by these professionals is as interesting as a star act of ground and lofty tumbling.
And the grunting, and the groaning, and the facial contortions are a scream. Go up and take at least one peak.