Showman (1937)

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SHOWMAN vorite wrestler. Wrestling has always been the most popular sport all over the Near and Far East. Forty years ago, with boxing still somewhat under a cloud, it was a genuinely international sport, very popular in the United States and a regular rage all over the con- tinent of Europe. I don't get the credit for importing Yousouf to this country. That was the contribution of a Frenchman named Pierre who, having failed himself trying to wrestle in America, had wooed Yousouf into letting him bring him over and manage his career. Naturally, he'd filled the poor devil full of how much money he had to back him with and how important his connec- tions were, and Yousouf had believed it all. When he got to New York, however, he found the Frenchman didn't have a cent. He got no publicity whatever. He was practically kept prisoner in a little furnished room off the Bowery and let out only to wrestle in cheap bouts. And his diet was so scanty that he was almost out of his head. It wasn't the Frenchman's fault that he couldn't do any better by him. Nor could you blame him for being scared to death that somebody would wean his prize away from him. The Turk knew no English and only a few words of French, so keeping him prisoner was comparatively simple. There's no doubt that Yousouf was one of the world's great wrestlers—he was never pinned to the mat—and it was only a question of time till somebody would get the Frenchman out of the picture and give the big fel- 211