S: Jack Sherry
Number 1 1930's Overseas Visitor
Ivan Seric was born into a Yugoslavian farming family and later moved to Alaska. He went on to become Jack Sherry, one of the greatest World heavyweight champions of this century.
He went on to become Jack Sherry, one of the greatest World heavyweight champions of this century.
His remarkable strength and natural aptitude for wrestling was discovered by Stanislaus Zbysko, himself a former great wrestler and later one of America's leading wrestling promoters.
In 1934, shortly after losing to world champion Strangler Lewis, Sherry came to Britain. He stood 6 feet tall and weighed 17 stones. One of his first opponents was Karl Reginsky, the unpopular German heavyweight who would enrage fans by goose-stepping around the ring.
Throughout the decade Sherry darted across the Atlantic, though his world championship credentials were recognised only in Europe. He is said to have defeated opponents so quickly that few were willing to enter the ring with him. In less than three minutes Sherry is said to have twice pinned the great Karl Pojello.
Belle Vue promoter Kathleen Look brought over 17 stone Guillaume Estelles, champion of Switzerland, to meet Sherry. Estelles had only lost on two occasions, once to Karl Pojello, and once to Atholl Oakeley. Atholl Oakeley claimed that within seconds Sherry pinned Estelles, no one could live in the same ring as the Alaskan.
Each year in Britain an allcorners tournament was promoted by Kathleen Look, in which no one was barred from entering. During the whole time he was in Britain from the mid-thirties onwards Sherry entered the tournament, and every year he won without even losing a fall.
Sherry met and defeated just about every big name in British wrestling, including Bill Garnon, King Curtis, George Boganski, Dave Armstrong and Douglas Clark. Throughout the world Sherry was almost unbeatable - it was said that he "killed" the audiences in South Africa because he won every bout so easily, and that he very nearly did the same in Britain.
In 1936 William Bankier lost a libel action brought against him by Bill Garnon and Jack Sherry by questioning the legitimacy of their Word Heavyweight Championship Contest. In May, 1937, Bankier appealed against the decision on the grounds of new evidence that had come to light. Bankier contested that Sherry had claimed he was World Champion by default because American champion Strangler Lewis was not there to oppose him! Strangler Lewis had subsequently filed an affidavit stating he had defeated Sherry on the four or five occasions they had met, the last occasion being in New York in 1932. Lewis asserted that at no time was Jack Sherry the World Heavyweight Champion. Lord Justice Greer dismissed the appeal, describing it as a “hopeless application.”
World heavyweight champion and the Wrestling Heritage Number 1 Overseas Visitor of the 1930s, Jack Sherry.
Ivan Seric died on October 11th, 1939.
Related article: On The Trail of Jack Sherry on www.wrestlingheritage.com