Originally Published In The Ogden Standard, Ogden, Utah, Friday, March 14, 1919, Page 8.

The right of Jack Harbertson to claim the title of the light heavyweight wrestling championship of the world is disputed by Ad Santel, the San Francisco mat artist. In a letter received in Ogden yesterday, Santel claims that he is the undisputed champion of the world and that Berg had no right to claim the title.

In his letter, which was written before the results of the bout held in this city last Wednesday were known, was contained his card, which reads:

“Ad Santel, undisputed champion light-heavyweight wrestler of the world. Open to meet any man in the world, barring none. Weight, 176 pounds.”

Santel must have had his cards printed before he ever learned of Harbertson or Berg for he is not the undisputed champion of the world and his claim to the title will be disputed by either of the latter men. It looks as though Harbertson will be called to take on Santel to settle all doubts as to who is the rightful claimant.

Following is Santel’s letter:

“I observe in the papers that John Berg is going to wrestle Harbertson on March 15, for the light heavyweight championship. I wish to say that I am the only undisputed light heavyweight champion wrestler of the world and I am always ready to defend my title. I wish to challenge Harbertson to a finish match at catch weight, or, if he wants me to wrestle him at 175 pounds, I’ll make weight and wrestle him winner take all.”



Ad Santel was formerly a very popular mat artist in San Francisco. He was the agent who succeeded in restoring the popularity of the game in that city, but lost all the popularity he had gained in that city and made the sport a joke and also himself in that city when he pulled off a fake wrestling match for his own gain, as was claimed by his opponent.

This page is part of Fake ... Working Through Wrestling's Past, a virtual library of pre-1920 newspaper articles that address or allude to fakery, fixes, or "hippodromes" in pro wrestling. For more information about this project, click here.


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