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WRESTLING IN ENGLAND.

[From Our Co__es_on__nt.] LONDON, April 22. The wrestling boom in the Old Country may die out with the advent of summer, but at the present time public interest in this form of athletics shows no sign of flagging. Night after night the halls in which the multitude of *' champions" give their displays are crowded, and anything in the nature of a genuine money match between men with any claims to be considered first-rate wrestlers is good enough to produce a bumper matinee house. Arising out of an infinity of bombastic challenges and counter challenges and wordy newspaper warfare, we have had decided during the past ten days two genuine money matches. The first was a one-sided affair between the Russian Lurich, who, five years ago, threw Hacke_-chmi<_t, and on the strength of that victory and ensuing Continental successes, came to England prepared to " wipe the floor" with Madrali, Codjali and the rest of Antonio Pierri's troupe, one after the other, for an evening's a_ Misement. His tall talk finally resulted in an offer to forfeit £100 if he could not throw Ernest- Siegfried three times in an hour in the- Gr_ coRoman style. Siegfried, a big young German in Pierri's troupe, was quite willing to test the merits of Lurich on these terms, and at the Alhambra last Thursday easily won the Russian's money. Lurich, a man built and furnished on the lines of Hackenl schmidt, was giving weight away to"- the extent of perhaps a couple of stone, several inches in height and reach, and something in the matter of condition, whilst, as events proved, he had no advantage over his antagonist in the matter of knowledge of the game played. For a full hour the pair wrestled and sweated, but at no time did Lurich seem likely to throw his big rival, and towards the end of the bout the question was not so much whether Lurich would fell, his man as whether he would be able to prevent Siegfried gaining a fall. Hawing made sure of the Russian's money by clever defensive work, the German became the aggressor and nearly accomplished Luricl _ s downfall on several occasions. Indeed, it was only the greasy state of his body through profuse perspiration that enabled Lurich to escape from several locks that looked like proving fataL Another genuine money ma^ch was that between Jim Mellor, the English lightweight champion in the Lancashire style, and Yukio T_ni, the clever little Jap, which was decided at the Tivoli on Monday. Tani, failing to get on a match in his own style, agreed to venture his long deposited £100 in a match with Mellor in the catch-as-oatoh-can •method, and won. was lucky, no doubt, in getting the decision, for Mellor was the cleverer man at the game, and seemed to have the Jap fairly down on two occasions before the referee gave him the first fall at the end of hali an hour's strenuous work. Having been the aggressor throughout this period, Mellor, who is getting perilously near middle age, was naturally a Uttle distressed when the pair can ne together. But, instead of husbanding his strength, he onoe more crowded on full sail and soon had the eel-like Jap on the floor. Tani 's defence, however, was perfect, aoad, taking advantage of a slip by Mellor, the Jap fixed on an arm lock from, which the Lancastrian could not escape, and, pressing

his man down, Tani secured the second fall in a little over fifteen minutes. The third bout was even shorter, for Mellor was rapidly weakening, and the Jap, after escaping j a dangerous body hold, brought his man to I the floor. Mellor niade a bridge, but had not strength enough to withstand t&e pressure exerted by Tani, who pinned his man fairly down in ten minutes, and so won the match.

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WRESTLING IN ENGLAND. Star, Issue 8029, 6 June 1904

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