Karl Pojello was born Karolis Antonovičius Požela
Karl Pojello picture found here: http://genickbruch.com/index.php?befehl=bios&wrestler=16526

Karl was the born to Antanas Juozas Požela(b. June 11, 1845 - November 14, 1931) and Julijona Kiršanskaitė - Poželienė(b.1858 - d. May 18, 1914), into a Catholic family, on January 31st, 1893 in Steigviliai, Šiauliai County, Lithuania.

Karl was baptised February 7th, in the church of St. Aloysius, in Lauksodis village.  This is approximately 5 km. away from Steigviliai. His godfather was his uncle, Vitoldas Požela. 

The following original baptismal record of Karl is from the parish register of Lauksodis church, births and baptism records from 1878 to 1909 and is written in Tsarist Russian.
(Note - Karl's death certificate & headstone detail his birth as Feb. 14th, however as this is the original record, it wins!  Also Karl's naturalization record also shows Jan. 31st )
Special thanks to Aleksas J. Pasuskevi for this record & his research.

Karl wrestling in 1939 in Italy against Charles Manoogian, very likely Karloff Manoognan, the Armenian Champion

Karl was raised with his siblings, Antanas aka Anthony (b.1881), Juozapas (b.1883), Motiejus (b.1885), Felicija Poželaitė - Ramanauskienė(b.1887), Dominykas (b.1890), and Petras aka Peter (b.1896). 

Long before Karl was known for his training and management of Maurice Tillet, The French Angel, Karl was a Olympic / Amateur wrestling international champion, later entering and becoming a successful professional wrestler.
Picture from: A DP (Displaced Person) Finds American Dream By Valentine L. Krumplis

When Karl was 13 years old he was wrestling with older kids. He also enjoyed acrobatics.  Two years later, in 1908, Karl moved to St. Petersburg, Russia working in a pharmacy owned by his brothers Antanas and Motiejus.
In 1911, at the age of 18, he started training at the Sanitas Club where El-Champliskus was wrestling.  He was shortly thereafter considered one of the best. Karl's trainer became the legendary wrestler A. Valfas.  

When Karl was 19, in 1912, he started winning championships.  (History or Westling - Page 242)

Karl's 1912 Sanita Club 4th Place medal.

Later in 1912 Karl became Russia’s classical wrestling middleweight champion at 82.5KG winning the first prize and championship of Russia at St. Petersburg.

In June 1913 he was the first Russian Olympic Champion at Kiev, Russia.

In July 1913 in Breslau, Poland Karl won the International Tournament and was awarded a diploma and large Silver medal as champion. (Schäfer - Gannon list page 244)

In this same year he became Russian Champion and took 1st place heavyweight division, and received Sanitas medal. 

Karl's 1913 Sanitas Sports Holiday Heavyweight Medal

On 02/16/1914 in Riga, Latvia he won the welterweight 3rd prize.
On 07/06/1914 in Riga, Latvia wrestling 75kg he won 2nd prize.
Later in 1914 he won the Russian Championship.  

1914 All-Russia Olympic Games Nikolai Lapchinskii and Karl
Picture originally from the Lithuanian Sports magazine called Sportus, out of Kaunas, Lithuania in 1923.

1914-1917 Karl was Russian soldier.
Picture originally from the Lithuanian Sports magazine called Sportus out of Kaunas, Lithuania in 1923.

During the course of WW1 Karl served in the engineering division and was twice wounded. Once reportedly having been shot in the arm on Feb. 28th 1916. Later a shrapnel injury April 15th 1916 to his knee that ended his active service.  (Dates provided by Aleksas J. Pasuskevicius taken from original documentation.) For Karl's service he was awarded three St. George Cross medals

“Lithuania Past and Present” by Ernest John Harrison P196
 From E.J. Harrison -

A number of pictures of Karl in this era indicate, what he looked like, and how successful he was.
Pictures of him were found here - http://lachi1.narod.ru/2-rus.pozello.karl.html

In 1915 Karl became a full-time wrestler.  In this year receive a 1st place medal wrestling in the Hercules Club and received Sanitas medal as a middleweight division.
His 1915 Hercules Championship Medal
His 1915 Santitas Middleweight Championship Medal 

In 1916 he won Russian Championship in St. Petersburg.

On 07/21/1917 he won the Petrograd Welterweight Russian Championship 1st prize. He lived in Leningrad/St. Petersburg and continued to study sports. He still lived close to his brother Antanas.  In his year he started his own championship medal and one of his students won it, A. Andri-Konis.

In 1918 he won Sanitas Club 1st place medal, Heavyweight division. Earlier that year on 01/22/1918 also won the Welterweight 1st prize.

Karl's 1918 Sanitas 1st place medal.

In 1919 he was the champion of Siberia at Tomsk, Siberia August 1919.

In 1920 he was the National Mongolian Champion, Urga, Mongolia.

According to Karl's family, in the early 1920's Olga Morasse, Karl’s future wife, pursued him around Russia, Mongolia, and China. Karl was not initially smitten with her. Then one rainy night she showed up on his doorstep with no-where else to go, and he took her in. It was from then on they were together. 

Karl and Olga:

In February 1922 Karl was 1st Place Champion International Tournament in Harbin, China.
Karl's 1922 Harbin China 1st place championship medal.

In March 1921 Karl Pojello won International open tournament in Harbin, Manchuria China. (The History of Wrestling Page 68 (Tom Gannon - Gerhard Schäfer list))

In April 1922 Karl was champion at the International Tournament Champion in Peking, China.  (History of Wrestling page 33)
It is important to note here that Karl studied Judo under a Japanese instructor for 18 months while residing in China, before moving onto Japan.

In August 1923 Karl was first place champion in Yokohama, Japan at a Jiu Jitsu Championship.

Demonstrations of Karl's strength:
Karl, and his future wife Olga Morasse, left Yokohama Japan, aboard the SS. President Madison, arriving in Seattle, Washington in United States August 9th 1923.  In his collection were 400 different pieces of wrestling memorabilia including silk scarves, cups, medals, etc., 48 of the medals were gold medals.  He impressed U.S. wrestling spectators in the United States, and never failed to mention he was from Lithuania.   Kaunas, at this time, was the temporary capital of Lithuania during the Polish occupation.  In this year, Nov. 2nd 1923 – Sportus magazine issue #1 Magazine reported on Karl Pojello winning his matches over in America.  There was additional information reported on Karl the issues #10 and #11 and jos childhood friend, Paul Pozela.

In America, one of his first wrestling matches was in Chicago at the Hall of St. George Parish against wrestler, Bon-Savage-chum. The hall was completely full and people had to look through doors and windows to see the match.

Chicago IL: November 22, 1923 (Ashland Blvd. Aud. - Carl Pojello beat Nick Bihun (dec)).

In 1924 Karl organized the collection of monies for the Lithuanian sports people so they could participate in the Olympics.

Chicago IL: January 3, 1924 (Ashland Blvd. Aud. - Carl Pojello beat Pete Kobloski)
Chicago IL: January 7, 1924 (Cicero Athletic Club - Carl Pojello beat Paul Leman (54 min.))
Chicago IL: January 8, 1924 (1st Reg. Armory - Carl Pojello drew William Demetral (Draw declared by referee after 1.5hr and another 20 minute attempt to break tie.)

 - JANUARY 10th, 1924 - According to Olga Morasse-Pojello citizenship application, this is the date she and Karl married.  According to this record she was born March 14th 1891 in Tobolsk Russia.
Chicago IL: January 22, 1924 (1st Reg. Armory - Carl Pojello beat George Walker (dq))
February 12, 1924 (Ashland Auditorium - Carl Pojello beat John Kilonis in two matches 1:05:30 and 00:13:45 - Grecco Roman rules called by Pojello.
Chicago IL: March 12, 1924 (1st Reg. Armory - Carl Pojello beat Louie Pergantes)
Rockford IL: April 16, 1924 (Mendelssohn Hall - (G-R) Carl Pojello beat Fred Mierzwak (44:00))
Rockford IL: April 28, 1924 (Mendelssohn Hall - Carl Pojello beat Gus Anderson)
 - On Oct. 27th 1924 in Boston Karl wrestled Lad-bieksma in front of 1200 spectators. He then went onto wrestle in Worchester, Laurence, then Hammermill, Massachusetts, before returning to Chicago.

In 1926 Karl won the Wisconsin State heavyweight wrestling championship.

January 20th 1927
WRESTLING Armory G Appleton Karl Pozella vs Jack Roberts TONIGHT Good Preliminaries Preliminaries Start at O'clock Sharp Tickets War Tax Included A. TOMASUN, Promoter.

February 15, 1927  - Oshkosh Daily Northwestern from Oshkosh, Wisconsin · Page 14 GRAPPLERS WILL MEET IN MATCH HERE/THURSDAY.  Karl Pozella and Joe Bonick Slated to Clash in Fast and Furious Mat Bout at the Armory. Anthony Tomasun, the Valley wrestling promoter, will stage an indoor wrestling show at the Armory in this city next Thursday evening with the windup bout to feature Karl Pozella of Chicago and Joe Bonick of Marshfield, Wls..

February 17, 1927 - Oshkosh Daily Northwestern from Oshkosh, Wisconsin · Page 14 - According to the promoter. Anthony Tomasun, there is no title real or merely claimed at stake.. there is a personal animosity between the two principals .... Karl Pozella has wrestled all over Europe and in many parts of the United States ever since he was a youth...  Consequently his string of mat victories is long and unbroken.  Joe Boniek of Marshfield (is his opponent).

March 11th 1927, The Post-Crescent from Appleton, Wisconsin - POZELLA WILLING TO BATTLE HAMEY …

The stage is all set for a finish grappling match between. Karl Pozella, claimant of the light heavyweight championship of Wisconsin, and Hassan Hamey, the Terrible Turk, as the result of challenges that flew back and forth in the sport columns of the Appleton- Post-Crescent.

Pozella opened fire by challenging George Hill, former Appleton matman, to a title battle because George had conquered Hamey.  Hamey(Himself) came back and accepted Pozella's challenge.  When no word was heard from Hill, (HAMEY) said that when Hill beat him he was not in the best of condition, but he went into the bout rather than disappoint the spectators.  He said, "I am not only willing, but anxious to meet Mr. Hill or Mr. Pozella at any time for any amount for which they care to wrestle.”  Anthony Tomasun, wrestling promoter, accepts Barney's answer as manager of Pozella.  Mr. Tomasun says his man will meet Hamey in a finish, best two out of three falls, at Armory G in Appleton as soon as arrangements can be made to get the armory and bring the two men together…….Pozella'says that "'while his challenge was aimed at Hill, on account of his victory over the Turk, that he is just as willing to meet Hamey, and if by chance Hill should also be there that evening, he will take on Hill after he has finished with Hamey. In order to make sure that Hamey will know about the acceptance of his challenge I am sending him a copy of this letter.”
April 26, 1927 Appleton WI (Armory G) Karl Pojello (as Karl Pozella) beat Hassan Hamey (2-0)
December 16, 1927 - Oshkosh Daily Northwestern from Oshkosh, Wisconsin · Page 26  MATCHES TO BE STAGED AT ARMORY TONIGHT Wrestling Fans Will be Treated to Triple Bill.  Pozella / Buroff Tilt Heads Card. Oshkosh wrestling fans who will trek to the armory tonight to witness the Indoor wrestling show will have a triple "bill of fare" offered for their approval, according: to A. Tomasun, who is promoting the event. First and outstanding is the Pozella / Buroff windu'p match...

His career took a drastic turn, when in 1927, he met a Lithuanian wrestling promoter A. Tamašiūnas (Tomasun in the above mentioned matches). There he beat Canadian wrestling champion Carl van Wurden in under 3 minutes. But it wasn't until he beat Johnny Meyers in 1928 in Chicago, another Lithuanian wrestler, considered to be middleweight champion of the world, when he came to fame and recognition. At the time he was one of the most popular professional wrestlers in the United States. 
Only identified picture of A. Tamasiunas aka Anthony(Tony) Tomasun:
This poster from the late 1920's.
The following was detail was obtained from the family of "T. Neuros", or Theodore Nuera, who hosted the match. From A. Nuera - "My father was Theodore Neura who owned the farm... My dad would tell me about wrestler at the Neura Picnic Grove which my parents rented out for years while we were growing up." 

English translation of the poster:
"Extraordinary wrestling show and picknic, on first of June, at Mr. Neura's garden. Brunswick Ohio. K.Požela (Pojello) vs. F.Yushka and Andy Ladyga vs. foreigner. Dances start Early, Tamošiūnas's Band will play. Picknic starts at 9 o'clock in the morning. Entry costs 75 cents, kids under 12 are welcome for free. Organizer - S.L.A. 136 coy."
 - Wednesday, May 2, 1928, Armory- Oshkosh, WI, Promoter: Tomasum, Karl Pozella beat Joe Bonick 2-1.

Chicago, July 20 (A. P.)  Instead of a wrestling match, about 1,000 spetators saw a flit fight when Johnny Meyer, former middleweight mat champion, and Karl Pojello, the Turkish strong man, met tonight, When it was all over the referee awarded the match to Pojello.  From ringside it appeared that Meyer, who was making his light heavyweight debut, pushed his hand into Pojello's mouth. His opponent counter attacked with a bite. Then Meyer started fighting and before the referee and police could interfere the wrestlers were exchanging rights and lefts.  As the referee tried to pry 1 them apart, Meyer started to attack him.  The police strong-armed the former champion, however, and led him and Pojello out of the jeering crowd. Meyer's purse was ordered for forfeited and the referee said he would recommend to the State Athletic Commission that Meyers license be revoked.

Karl was a naturalized United States citizen on January 10th 1929.

In 1929 Karl went to New York with Billy Bartush and Dan Blodjush.

-- Baltimore, Maryland: January 7, 1930 (104th Medical Regiment Armory) Tony Rocca and Karl Pozella 
-- Baltimore, Maryland: January 14, 1930 (104th Medical Regiment Armory) Karl Pozella b. Carl Vogel (25:00) ... (referee: Cyclone Burns) 
-- Baltimore, Maryland: July 9, 1930 (Carlin's Arena) ... Karl "Pozella" b. Paul Jones (45:00) ... Billy Bartush and George Calza drew (30:00) (3,000 fans)  Notes: "Pozella," as it was commonly spelled by the Baltimore press, was Karl Pojello.  Bartush was Pojello's pupil, and formerly wrestled as the Masked Marvel. This was said to be Davis's "second professional bout." He stood 6'6" and weighed 230. He reportedly won 60 straight matches during his college career at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. This was "Pozella's" first main event match in Baltimore. 
-- Baltimore, Maryland: July 23, 1930 (Carlin's Arena) ... Jim Londos b. Karl "Pozella" (1:10:00) ... Billy Bartush and George Manush drew (30:00) ... (promoter: John Contos) ... (referee: Frank Lynch) ... (large crowd)

In 1931 and 1932 Karl challenged Ed Strangler Lewis, former World's Champion, to wrestle for charity(The unemployed). Strangler Lewis definitely refused, and the Chicago State Athletic Commission awarded the refusal to Karl Pojello on August 10th.

Sometime after 1923, and before 1931, Karl served as a United States Athletic Instructor for the 131st Infantry, out of Chicago. This detail is is listed in a direct response to E.J. Harrison's book, page 196 mentioned earlier.

Karl Pojello wrote the following letter January 7, 1931 to E.J. Harrison. The letterhead read "Hotel Manger, Seventh Avenue, Fiftieth to Fifty-first Sts., New York.

The following found here: http://ejmas.com/jalt/2005jalt/jcsart_Svinth2_1205.html  
"Honorable Sir: -- Perhaps this letter may seem as a message from the dead, but being that you may have already noticed the name of the writer, I'm going on with my story. One of the greatest surprises of my life occurred last week while looking over some books at the Newark, N. J. Library. I came across your wonderfully composed history of "Lithuania" and it goes without saying that it had a ringing appeal and stirred my blood more than once while digesting it. Not a page was left unread. From cover to cover I scanned every paragraph, hungry for just that sort of food, like a hawk. And when I turned to page 196 -- Oh Boy what a jolt. I had to reread that page several times to re-assure myself I was not in a trance. Mr. Harrison, I wish to thank you most sincerely, and directly from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful manner in which you placed the name of Pozella before the eyes of the world. Just that one page alone (196) has proved a source of comfort and peace in these trying, depressing days. I shall never forget your great favor as long as I live. As I do not have your address, I am a bit wary about writing much for fear this letter may go astray. However I have hopes it will reach you safe and sound. And when it does, I certainly hope you will acknowledge it for I would be very pleased to communicate with you later. Since the last time of our meeting in Petersburg, it has been my good fortune to travel through many lands. My living, traveling and other expenses were covered by purses which were won by wrestling. After leaving Petersburg I found myself in practically every larger city of Siberia, Manchuria, Indo-China. I was compelled to turn professional wrestler, to my regret, and even today I would be glad to wrestle in the amateur ranks, could I afford to. I departed from the above mentioned countries in 1922. 1923 found me in Japan where I met and defeated all Jap grapplers having a desire to test my ability on the mat. Right here I would like to mention the little tip you refer to in the book saying I would become a "topnotcher" if I could learn the art of Judo. Well Sir, I did learn this great Japanese art from a Jap instructor in China, prior to my trip to Japan. Said instructor took a liking to me and during the 18 months of scholarship under his strict orders, I discovered that my ability in the Japanese art of wrestling placed me in such position that I never lost confidence when later facing the best Jap stars of my weight in that country. During 1923 I defeated the best 180 pounders of the land. (That was my weight then.) Here it was my good fortune to grapple the leading amateur 180 pounders assembled in a national tournament, representing all parts of the land. During the tourney, one day I pinned five men, another day four men, and third time I defeated seven men in a row, one after the other. The longest fall lasted five and half minutes. After leaving Japan the latter part of 1923 I sailed to America. I do not believe there is a single state of the entire 48 which I have not wrestled in. Besides having acted as athletic instructor in Chicago and several other cities, I was also athletic instructor of the 131 Infantry, U. S. Army for a year and a half. At present I tip the beam at 190 pounds and leading critics of the wrestling game here place my name among the world's foremost mat men. I surely would be glad to have the pleasure of displaying my mat ability in your presence and nothing would please me more than to show you what wonders the art of Judo has helped me to achieve. (Do you know it was during the period you were preparing the copy for your book that I was taking up the art of Judo?) A coincidence? Again wishing to repeat my appreciation for your great favor, and hoping you are enjoying the best of health, happiness and success, I am [signed, Karl Pojello]. " 

Philadelphia PA: February 20, 1931 - (Arena, att. 9,000) Karl Pojello beat Sandor Szabo (51:44). Promoter: Ray Fabiani ...
NOTE from Steve Yohe: 

Szabo 'The Handsome Hungarian' is said to lose for first time in 37 matches in this country … It was reported in Ring Magazine and Arena Magazine that Pojello shot on (Szabo) and double-crossed him in this match. The loss screwed up Szabo’s 1931 push on the East Coast but it destroyed Pojello’s career, as he fell out of favor with the wrestling trust.”
"Two weeks later, Perry Lewis wrote in the Philadelphia PA Inquirer, just prior to a Londos-Pojello bout: 

“Two weeks ago Pojello added much prestige to a reputation that was already brilliant, by inflicting an unexpected defeat on young Sandor Szabo, who had an unbroken string of victories until he faced the former light-heavyweight champion. Behind that bout there is a little tale that is worth the telling. The afternoon of the day Pojello met Szabo, (Ray) Fabiani sent for the former and made a plea. 'Carl,' said the promoter, 'I want you to wrestle tonight as you never did before I want that LAST BIT OF EFFORT that I know will enable you to beat Szabo. Here is the situation. Every game has its knockers, and I have heard it said that I have been trying to build up Szabo for a match with Londos. It is my aim to silence those fellows, and you can do it by throwing this boy. If you do, I'll make you a promise – I'll offer Londos so much money to meet you that he can't refuse, and you won't be kept waiting until the outdoor season, either.' Pojello listened to Fabiani in silence. He did not reply with a boast, neither did there pour from his lips assurances that Szabo was already beaten. That isn't Pojello's way. 'You know this Hungarian boy is a great wrestler,' said the little giant of the mat. 'He is strong, he is fast, he has youth in his favor, but despite that youth, he is a fine mat general. I have watched his work, and his knowledge of European methods is remarkable.' 'True enough,' replied Fabiani, 'and that's one of the reasons I believe you are the man to beat him. You, too, know all about this European business.' 'We won't discuss that,' said Pojello shortly. 'I see the situation clearly, and you have given me an added incentive to win tonight. Perhaps I am wrong, but I believe I can stop this youngster. If I fail,it will be because he is a better wrestler than I am now or ever have been, for I am going to work harder tonight than I ever have before.' Carl made good his promise … The following day, Stan Baumgartner [of the Inquirer staff] found Pojello in Fabiani's office, waiting for the promoter to return from lunch, and congratulated him on his triumph. 'Stan,' replied the wrestler in his quiet way, 'I believe I could have beaten any man in the world in there last night. I am not boasting, but just telling you how I feel. My only regret is that it was Szabo and not Londos in there with me.'' 

New York City NY: February 23, 1931 - (MSG, att. 20,000) - Karl Pojello beat Dr. Ralph Wilson
Philadelphia PA: March 6, 1931 - (Arena, att. 10,000) - Jim Londos* beat Carl Pojello (50:26)
New York City NY: March 9, 1931 - (MSG, att. 10,000) - Carl Pojello beat Mike Romano (13:17)

“Carl had just begun to build up a following in the East when he upset Sandor Szabo in Philadelphia, broke an elbow in Brooklyn (at the Brooklyn Elks Club and was on the shelf for nine months) and went into temporary retirement.”   POJELLO DISCIPLE OF VANISHING ART - (By Pat Rosa, New York NY Post, Friday, February 8, 1935)… 

Just after Karl chipped his elbow he went back to Europe to visit family. Karl boarded the SS Aquitania leaving New York to Southhampton arriving there November 11th 1932.

After some recovery time, he took up wrestling again.  He wrestled England, France, Belgium, and Italy, and all over Europe.

Karl's sister's photo collection, when he visited her in 1932-33 containing a picture of Karl with that damaged elbow.
In the United States the Lithuania Newspaper, Nari-Enos, Chicago-Sun, and other newspapers reported on Karl's successes in Europe.

In 1933 he visited Lithuania, and at this time became European Champion, beating the existing champion, Frochnellie / Froehner.

During the summer of this year he visited sister and visited with all the most famous Lithuanian sports persons. 

Karl and his sister at the home he grew up at in Steigvilai, Lithuania in 1933.

Karl in Steigviliai, Lithuania, at his family's cemetery.

Wrestler Billy Bartush, also from Lithuania, was also on this trip with Karl.  Here he is at the cemetery pictured with Karl's sister's husband, Stanislovas Ramanauskas.

When Karl was visiting his sister, Felicija Pozela-Ramanauskas, the maids had a lot of work worrying about entertainment, and food for the entertainment. On this trip Karl had organized a friendly wrestling match in a farm yard in Steigvilai. Apparently the owner of the properly got quite annoyed with him as they really trampled the grass. 

Antanas Mačiulis remembers in this year his father recounted at harvest time the men talked about how hard carrying the produce was. Karl fully agreed with the men at how hard the work was. The men were surprised that Karl, being as powerful as he was, felt the same way. 

Picture of Antanas Mačiulis, who recounted the above story, courtesy of Aleksas Pašuškevičius

He then organized another match in a neighboring community called Lauksodis, near Steigviliai.  Lithuanian Basketball star Kazys Petkevičius said that Karl was staying nearby his father’s place.  Karl took up wrestling with his father who was VERY strong.  People there remembered when Karl wrestled Kazys Petkevičius.  Petkevičius had stuck his foot under Karl, lifting him up and Karl got upset telling him that it was against the rules.  Petkevičius said that he had no idea what the rules were, so how could he break them.

Picture of Kazys Petkevičiusn who recounted the above story, courtesy of  Aleksas Pašuškevičius

Pictures of Karl from this 1932/33 trip from his sisters collection.
On January 4th 1933 Karl, with Billy Bartush boarded the SS Aquitania from Southhampton to New York.

Sometime after the arriving in New York Karl, and Billy Bartush returned to Europe.

On April 4th 1934 Karl, his wife Olga, and Billy Bartush boarded the SS Berengaria leaving Cherbourg to New York.

Back to America and started organizing wrestlers, wrestling 5 days a week. He organized 65 of the strongest country Athletes.  Karl also appeared in public displaying his Athletic prowess, and almost perfect wrestling technique.

New York City NY: February 11, 1935 - (71st Regt. Armory) … Jim Browning beat Carl Pojello (1:02:45)

November 9th 1936 Karl boarded SS Queen Mary leaving NY to Southhampton. Karl wrestled in all the same countries as back in 1933/1934. Again became the best and strongest of European Heavyweights. He again went to Lithuania, meeting with famous Lithuanian Athletes.

In 1937 during the King’s Coronation, he fought out the world heavyweight championship belt and got allot of money for it.

In 1940 he returned to AMERICA this time returning with the, Original Angel, Maurice Tillet.  Maurice would pack the houses.  Karl and Maurice traveled all over America stopping in Chicago and organizing wrestling in local states. 

For his promotion of wrestling, in the U.S., he got a medal awarded to him by promoters. (Do not have date or location of medal provided).

The following posters came from Karl's promotion from 1942.
Printed on the back of each is: Karl Pojello, Rm. 408, 208 North Wells Street, Chicago 6 Illinois.
Ali Adali, promoted by Karl, has been identified as Charles/Charlie Manoogian.

In February 1943, Pojello participated in a wrestling-versus- judo bout designed by the Chicago sportswriter Gene Kessler to determine which was better, wrestling or judo. In this match, Pojello’s opponent, a 145-pound Nisei named Masato Tamura, won the first fall by strangulation in about 1 minute, 20 seconds of wrestling. In the remaining 19 minutes of wrestling, there was no second submission, so in the end the match was termed a draw. "

Please remember how Karl had talked fondly the Eastern martial arts, as he was trained in the art of Judo for 18 months while in China. This match with Masato Tamura is sold as Karl trying to show the supremacy of western wrestling over eastern martial arts. Based on the above, please consider that Karl was trying to show the U.S. military the benefit of the Eastern martial arts, and to promote their place in the up-training of U.S. soldiers. Newspapers sell this event as a failure of Karl to overcome the much lighter Tamura, when in fact, Karl may have been 'working' the entire event.

The Match between the two men was reported here: http://ejmas.com/jalt/2005jalt/jcsart_Svinth_1205.html As former Fife judoka Kenji Yaguchi recalled in 1997:
"I remember this one tournament. You had to take all comers in those days. It didn't matter how big they were. I took three or four guys down. Masato Tamura had a chance to take more down, but he didn't do it. He stopped right there. He had a lot of trophies, and he wanted me to get one. What a gentleman he was! Anyway, in 1943, Tamura was among the best judoka in the United States, and so, even though he weighed just 143 pounds, his selection as an opponent for the 205-pound Pojello was as reasonable and fair as local conditions allowed. [EN2] Nevertheless, anti-Japanese emotions were still running high in February 1943, and so, to minimize any public outcry, the match took place behind closed doors on February 22, 1943. Besides the participants, attendance was limited to Lt. Jim McMillan, US Navy, Capt. Dick Hyland, US Marine Corps, Lt. Ray Flaherty, US Navy, Avery Brundage (head of the US Olympic Committee), various sportswriters, and Harry Auspitz. Ted Tonneman (Gus Sonnenberg's personal referee) was the official. Pojello started the match as he expected, by slamming Tamura to the mat. But all of judo is in the falling, and once on the mat, Tamura applied a cross-hand choke to Pojello's collar. This caused the incautious older man to pass out after just 1 minute 20 seconds of wrestling. Upon recovering, Pojello leaped to his feet and demanded that the match continue. More cautious now, he proceeded to toss Tamura about the mat. But Tamura continued to fall well and always managed to avoid any entangling holds. After about five minutes of this, said a reporter for the Chicago Daily News afterwards. Pojello was wheezing like an old bellows. His nose was skinned. Masato was bleeding from cuts over both eyes suffered when his head banged into a radiator. But they continued for 14 minutes, first the Jap hitting the mat, and then Pojello....[Finally] Tonneman, wrestling arbiter, stepped between them. 'This has gone far enough,' he yelled. 'Nobody is getting any dough out of this. Let's call it quits. It's a draw.' The grinning Masato and the puffing Pojello, both willing to continue, abided by the referee's orders and shook hands. "

Pictures of Karl and Masato:

In 1945 Antanas(Anthony) Pozela, Karl’s brother, was transported by the Russians to Virkuta where he died in in exile in Siberia.

Picture with Karl and his brother Anthony

In the 1940's in the 50's Karl was beloved by the Lithuanian community and was continually invited out to eat an peoples houses. Eventually Olga, his wife, had to ask Karl not to accept invitations from the Lithuanian ladies. 

At some point Karl went over to Europe as in September 1948 Karl boarded the SS Marine Tiger leaving Le Havre France to New York arriving in October.  

From 1950-54 from Valentine Krumplis - Karl's grand-nephew:
"Karolis...had a wrestling, boxing, gymnasium on thirty second and Halstad.   It was a large commercial type building called Milda. "Karolis, at this time was a promoter of wrestling and only wrestled rarely as the masked marvel on TV.

Article detailing Karl's wrestling as Karl Kap and the Masked Marvel -

According to J Michael Kenyon:
"Libnan Ayoub's alias list includes: Karl Pojello (as Karl Knapp, during 1920s in the U.S. and Canada) … Also, Karl Pojello (as Masked Marvel, in New England, 1936-37). Also Dominic Macika, Royal Duncan & Gary Will published their WRESTLING REAL NAMES & ALIASES book in 1996, they used the Pojello/Masked Marvel.

Please also note that the Milda Theatre was at this location. Maurice's godchild told me that Karl, Maurice, and Tony Tomasun used to hang out at the the Theater with all sorts of famous persons.  The address of the Milda Theater was 3140 South Halstad. Karl's Gymnasium and office was 3142 South Halstad.

Milda Theater picture found here: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/4841/photos/80572  

Letterhead from Karl during the time he ran things out of this location -
Found Here: http://wrestlingclassics.com/cgi-bin/.ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=10;t=003023;p=0 posted 09-25-2010 01:34 PM by member Chitown Rich  - "I'm going to try to help with the mystery of Pojello's Gym. My uncle, who if he were living today would be around 95, would always work out with the wrestlers when they were in Chicago. He always mentioned how he worked out many times with The French Angel. He used to bring this up all the time because he would drive us down to The Amphitheatre in the 60's to see the matches. We'd be bragging about Bruiser and Crusher and he'd go on and on about him working out with The Angel, Tiger Joe Marsh (Maresh), and a Steve Sabich. The last two were products of the neighborhood. He used to say how The Angel would let you put him in your best headlock and he'd always wiggle his way out of it. He also said the Angel and his manager were the nicest guys around and how the manager would give him a few bucks to work out with The Angel. But back to the gym. There was a building called Milda Theatre and Hall which was located on 32nd and Halsted. It had a movie theatre, a small restaurant and my uncle said that's where he used to work out with these wrestlers. The building was a three story one with the gym being in the basement. I remember going in the building in the 70's for neighborhood wrestling matches. Nothing pro, just neighborhood guys putting on a card. It would be like the backyard matches of today. It's no longer there and the space now houses an office building. Not 100% sure if this what (Tough Tony) Borne was talking about but it just may be."

On Training with Karl Pojello:

“On Sundays, our day off, [Pojello] would bring in like Ruffy Silverstein, Joe Padanzak, guys like this who would kind of run us through the mill. ... They come down and literally beat the hell out of us every Sunday. We had that to look forward to on our day off,” said Hawk (Harvey Maurice Evers).

In 1953 Karl started promoting English female boxer Barbara Buttrick, aka "The Mighty Atom". From "A history of Women's boxing", by Melissa Smith. PG. 100

In the early 1950's Karl, Olga, and Maurice Tillet had turned a mansion on Garfield Blvd. in Chicago, into a boarding house. Karl and Maurice had adjoining rooms on the first floor. In a strange twist of fate both men became very sick at about the same time. Maurice had an enlarged heart, and Karl had lung cancer. 
Pictures of Karl at the mansion in his final year - 

Karl's room had previously been the Music room on the 1st floor of the Mansion. Karl died on September 24th 1954 at 9:43am. Upon Karl's passing his wife, Olga, went to Maurice to inform him of Karl's passing.  Maurice told her that then there was no further reason for him to stay, and shortly afterward was taken to the hospital. 13 hours after Karl died, Maurice died on September 24th 1954, at 11:00pm.

At their funeral, Karl was noted for being tolerant of all persons, races, etc. The Consul General spoke on behalf of Maurice at the Funeral, the name M. Strauss. Karl’s wrestling pupils carried his coffin. About 300 Automobiles blocked up Halstad Street for the funeral and crowds of thousands attended the funeral.

Funeral details:
Last Wed. in Bridgeport there was an interruption on Halstad Street because these two sportsman procession blocked traffic. Many could not get into the Funeral Parlor before the bodies were taken to the cemetery. Farewell words were spoken by the Editor, Kaustas Augustas, of the Local Lithuanian Paper “Naujienos”(Lithuanian for "The News"), was Karl’s personal friend. In emotional words he remembered his friend’s gentleman behavior, and balanced life. Karl never forgot to mention he was Lithuanian and very much helped raise up the Lithuanian people. About 300 cars were in the procession and there were crowds of thousands that went to the cemetery to say goodbye. Speaking for Maurice was the Consul General of France, M. Strauss. In the French Language he spoke about Maurice drew attention to the French People. Karl’s coffin was carried by some of his students/pupils. Karl was noted for being tolerant of all nationalities. At the cemetery they flew U.S., French, and Lithuanian flags. 
NOTE - The “Naujienos” Lithuanian newspaper resided in the Milda Building that Karl owned all the way back to 1915, when the building was first opened. 
Lots of people at the funeral remembered how Karl raised the Lithuanian name with his grace, honorable actions, tolerance, and the focus on the art of wrestling. Karl’s character was best shown by Maurice’s desire to be buried next to Karl. Maurice held him in such high esteem, that he stated there was no one else on earth he would rather be buried next to.”


The following link, http://www.wrestlingheritage.co.uk/karlpojello.htm, Ron Historyo defines a mystery about Karl. The author of this article floats a very solid theory, with GREAT evidence, that Karl was actually 10 years older than what is detailed on his headstone, and what was generally believed.Also that he may have been born in Kovno(Kaunas), and not Steigvilai, Lithuania.

Karl is consistently shown to have been born in 1893. I have had contact with Karl's family, and they have provided a family tree showing Karl born in 1893 between two siblings. We see pictures of Karl, at the top of this page while participating in the 1914 Russian Olympics, and when in the military. He is clearly a man of 20/21 and not 30/31. Also his family, has provided pictures of Karl's home in Steigvilai at his sisters, the family graveyard, and there is stories that support this detailed above. All family, and visual evidence points to him having been born in 1893.

Here's the problem, Ron Historyo, has direct evidence of Karl, and his wife Olga, appear to intentionally be detailing that Karl was born in 1883, in Kovno.

Here is that evidence:
1. Karl Pojello’s Naturalization record, filed Aug. 15, 1923 detailed he was born Jan. 31st 1883 in Kovno Russia.
2. Olga Pozello Naturalization record filed July 1st 1931 born March 14th 1891 in Tobolsk Russia. Details her husband was born February 14th 1883 in Lithuania.
3. In 1932 Karl is aboard the SS Aquitania leaving NY to Southhampton – listed as AGE 49 
4. On April 4th 1934 Karl is aboard the SS Berengaria leaving Cherbourg to NY – listed AGE 51
5. On November 9th 1936 Karl boarded SS Queen Mary leaving NY to SouthHampton – listed AGE 53
6. In 1943 Karl participated in a Wrestling vs. Jui Jitsu match against Masato Tamura. Karl listed consistently in all articles as AGE 60.
7. In September of 1948 Karl boarded the SS Marine Tiger leaving Le Havre France to New York arriving in October – listed AGE 65.

Now I think there is enough evidence, presented in whole, in the above page to show he was born in 1893.   Still, why did he, for so many of these records say he was born in 1883, and in Kovno?  Was it a mistake in communication/accent with U.S. officials originally and something he believed he had to continue with saying, or was there some other reason?


Pictures Karl from 1933 came from Karl’s sister and the Ramanauskas photo album
These pictures originated from the Pozela homestead in Steigviliai where Karl's sister lived. The Pojello homestead, previously owned by one of Karl’s sisters, was inherited by one of her maids.

Highlights of Karl's earliest wrestling career found here - http://lachi1.narod.ru/2-rus.pozello.karl.html

Many of Karl's matches from 1930 found here: http://www.legacyofwrestling.com/Baltimore30.html

Some of Karl's match details courtesy of J Michael Kenyon.
"The Lithuanian Wrestling fans of Chicago and vicinity are much enthused over the continued success of their countryman, Karl Pojello, the new light heavyweight sensation. The latter is being featured by Charley Cutler at the First Regiment Armory shows as well as at various other clubs close to the windy city. Cutler, who has been in the game for a great many years and having participated in hundreds of mat battles himself, declared the Lithuanian is a coming champion. As Cutler has been in the game a great many years and has him-self participated in hundreds of mat battles, he should know a champion when he sees one. Aside from the latter’s prediction, there are several other Chicago critics who are of the same opinion. It is possible that Pojello will be called upon to meet one of the light heavyweight title claimants before the season is over."
On Pg. 7 – Title, “Karl Pojello Shows to Good Advantage in Chicago Bouts”
"Chicago, Ill., January 14. – More than six hundred enthusiastic wrestling fans crowded the arena of the Cicero Athletic Club on January 7th to witness a card involving some of Chicago’s prominent contenders in one-fall matches. The card was a dandy and the fans were well pleased. ……The other half of the card brought together Karl Pojello, Lithuanian light heavyweight champion, and Paul Leman, the French crack. The men staged a pretty exhibition of fast and tricky wrestling for 54 minutes, when Pojello captured the fall with a reverse body hold. Pojello weighed 168 pounds, while his opponent weighed 215 pounds, it was announced.... On Tuesday, January 8th, Charlie Cutler staged his initial show at the First Regiment Armory and the venture proved a huge success. The crowd of more than two thousand fans that gathered were for the most part made up of Swedes, Lithuanians, Greeks, Ukranians and others who cheered their countrymen to the echo as they appeared in the ring. The feature event was a match at the Graeco-Roman style, between Bill Demetral, the Greek heavyweight, and Karl Pojello, the Lithuanian light heavyweight. After wrestling 1 hour and 30 minutes without a fall, the men went into an extra session of 20 minutes in an effort to determine the winner. Neither principal was able to gain an advantage, however, and the referee called it a draw….."

November 10, 1928 - The Post-Crescent from Appleton, Wisconsin · Page 12 "Pazella to Get $500 if He Throws Light Heavyweight Champion."
Appleton wrestling enthusiasts who haven't seen a match here in many moons will have a chance to see their old favorite, George Hill in action again in armory Nov. 22. He has been matched to battle Karl Pazella, Chicago. According to announcement from Pazella's manager, Tony Tomasun, Fond du Lac. , contracts closing the match were signed a few days ago by Tomasun and Ed White, Chicago, managing Hill. Hill gets 500$ if he throws Pazella or wins two out of three falls and gets on and gets only expenses if he should lose. The match is the result of more than two years effort on the part of Pazella, according to Information Hill is the state heavy claimant and fought in Appleton a few years ago while making this city his home. Pazella won the light heavyweight title in Chicago recently in a bout that ended up in a general a free for all. The light heavy weight is a Lithuanian by birth and it is claimed he hasn't lost a fight in 16 years. He has wrestled men weighing up "to 250 pounds. Tomasun will run the match here and hopes to fix up a good preliminary card with local wrestlers on the bill. The meet is expected to stir considerable interest because of 5, the great rivalry between the two men. Many fans from valley cities are expected to see the battle.
The following Found here: http://archive.org/stream/WrestlingCatch-as-catch-canCumberlandWestmorelandAll-inStyles/WrestlingCatch-as-catch-canCumberlandWestmorelandAll-inStyles_djvu.txt by E. J. HARRISON
"I devoted much of my leisure to the assiduous practice of the Graeco-Roman, otherwise known as the French style of wrestling. I was a member of the then well-known "Sanitas" Athletic Club of Petrograd, under the skilled tutelage of no less an ace than Karl Pojello, the famous Lithuanian exponent of the All-in style and, at that time, when Lithuania was under Russian rule,amateur middle-weight champion of Russia in the Graeco-Roman style. Pojello was then a private in the Russian army but while stationed in the capital was allowed to attend the Sanitas Club for wrestling practice. This earlier association explains why more than once in these pages I refer to Pojello's favourite methods. Pojello later succeeded in emigrating to the United States and settled in Chicago where, I deeply regret to state, he passed away when hardly more than sixty, from cancer. His death came as a great blow to me personally and, at the time, was sincerely and widely mourned by all mat-men. In his prime he was a magnificent physical specimen of manhood and, during a short visit to this country and then scaling about 14 stone stripped, he defeated all comers on the mat. In this connexion it is interesting to note that Pojello himself admitted that he owed no little of his skill in All-in wrestling to the knowledge of judo which he had acquired from a Japanese teacher in Shanghai after his escape from Russia through Siberia."

New York City NY: February 23, 1931 - (MSG, att. 20,000) - Karl Pojello beat Dr. Ralph Wilson -
NOTE: The crowd was a counterpart of the throng which saw Londos in his last Garden appearance … The police threw a cordon around the arena as early as 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and at 7 the police and fire departments deemed it unwise to admit any more patrons, so the gates were closed … Gate receipts were announced at $54,738 (From J Michael Kenyon)

Philadelphia PA: March 6, 1931 - (Arena, att. 10,000) - Jim Londos* beat Carl Pojello (50:26) Promoter: Ray Fabiani

NOTE: “At no time did Londos appear to be in any danger … The end came very suddenly. Jim hurled the challenger around for a time with Japanese front headlocks. Then, when Karl was dizzy as the result of this attack, the Greek seized him with a crotch and half Nelson, holding Pojello shoulder high. The champion went into an airplane whirl which was climaxed by a slam to the canvas. As Pojello's shoulders hit the mat, the champion's 200 pounds descended upon the fallen man's chest and in this position the challenger was held until the referee had called the fall. There were no heroics, nor was it necessary for Dr. Baron to administer restoratives … The Arena was jammed and there were ten thousand outside the gates clamoring for admission … Had there been room enough, it is probable that thirty thousand would have gathered around the ring.” – Perry Lewis, Philadelphia PA Inquirer, Mr. 7, 1931 … “Never before in the history of sport in Philadelphia has an indoor event created such a heavy demand for tickets. As early as Wednesday afternoon, every reserved seat ticket had been sold, and since then Ray Fabiani's office has been besieged by those who would buy if they could. The promoter and his staff have made every effort to keep the tickets out of the hands of scalpers, declining to fill orders for big blocks unless reasonably certain they would be used by those who made application. Nevertheless, not a few of the coveted pasteboards are being offered for sale by speculators who are holding them at twice and thrice their face value. Despite the heavy demand, Fabiani has followed his usual policy of holding all his dollar tickets, around 2,500 of them, for a window sale at the Arena. These will be disposed of starting at 7 o'clock – first come, first served.” – Perry Lewis, Philadelphia PA Inquirer, Mar. 6, 1931 … Pojello is said to have conditioned himself – carefully, trying to keep his weight up near as 190 as he could manage – at Herrmann's Gymnasium in the Keith Building … Londos arrived Thursday night, from Atlanta GA, where he had defeated Paul Harper Wednesday night." Provided by J Michael Kenyon.

New York City NY: March 9, 1931 - (MSG, att. 10,000) - Carl Pojello beat Mike Romano (13:17)
"NOTE: The quick turn-around was met with nominal gate receipts of $24,815 … Dusek-Freeman was the walkout bout, and was halted by the 11 p.m. curfew ... Pojello did not wrestle in the Garden again this year." Provided by J Michael Kenyon.

(By Pat Rosa, New York NY Post, Friday, February 8, 1935)

"Early in 1918, a young man of twenty-three, last disciple of the great Russian wrestling teacher, Besberg, turned his face east. Yes, east, toward the United States. It was Karl Pojello, the cat-like Lithuanian who on Monday meets Ed Don George, Canadian title claimant, in the feature bout of one of the finest cards ever arranged for a New York audience. It will be held at the 71st Regiment Armory for the benefit of Pastmaster James J. Farley's Haverstraw Lodge of Elks. In geography, as in life, young Pojello took the hard way. It was in 1912, while a young druggist clerk in St. Petersburg, that the wrestling bug hit Pojello. The teacher of Hackenschmidt, Lurich and Aberg took the young 175-pounder into his school and taught him the tricks. He was getting along nicely in 1914 when a bit of a war intervened. Carl had won many medals then. He found some time to wrestle while serving in an engineering division of the Russian army. For four years he was in the war. He spent much time in the trenches. Somewhere along the route he picked up a little knowledge of the catch-as-catch-can style. Mostly, he recalls, from YMCA officials. After two years of post-war professional exhibitions in Russia, he started the long trek to America. Up through Manchuria he worked, over into Japan. There, in order to secure work, he mad to master jiu-jitsu. In 1921 and 1922, he wrestled in the Orient, picking up a vast knowledge and about 10,000 yen. When he arrived in Seattle in 1923, that became $5,000 and Pojello, shortly thereafter, became an American citizen. His first act in Seattle was to find a wrestling promoter. It was our old friend, Dick Daviscourt. He got a match. His second was to apply for citizenship papers. Pojello worked east to Chicago that same year. He wrested out in the Midwestern wrestling hotbed for seven years, much of the time as a light-heavyweight. When there were no more 175-pounders to conquer, he joined the heavyweights. Carl had just begun to build up a following in the East when he upset Sandor Szabo in Philadelphia, broke an elbow in Brooklyn and went into temporary retirement. For most of the last two years he has been wrestling in England. If you're fair at arithmetic, you can figure out that Carl was about thirty-eight when he went to England. In twenty-one years on the mat, he had been taught by the master of them all in Graeco-Roman, picked up jiu-jitsu in Japan and an exceptionally fast catch-as-catch-can style while an American light-heavyweight. You'd think he had little left to learn, but Carl claims he picked up a few more tricks in England, where they wrestle “all in.” It's a combination of all the known styles with nothing barred but choking, gouging and slugging in the face with a closed fist. So, no matter how rough Ed Don George gets Monday night, it will be no new experience to Pojello. In England, too, he developed his “corkscrew” hold. The name is a sports writer's, not a wrestler's. The hold is simply a reverse headlock, a couple of twists and a snap which, as Carl explains it, “gives much the same sensation as the first hard pull of the hangman's noose.” Don George should like that."

(By Pat Rosa, New York NY Post, Saturday, February 9, 1935)

Things happen to Carl Pojello in February. Sometimes good, sometimes bad.
He doesn't know, he says smilingly, whether February, 1935, is to be good or bad. He'll tell you better after Monday night's match with Ed Don George, the Canadian and New England champion, whom he engages at the 71st Regiment Armory.
It did, however, bring him in the George match, the first main event he ever has had in a big New York City clubhouse. It was in February, 1907, that he left his home in Shauli, Lithuanian (at least it's Lithuania now), to join his brother in St. Petersburg. If he hadn't gone there, he wouldn't have seen Hackenschmidt, Podubny and Aberg and become the last and perhaps greatest disciple of the great Besberg. It was in February, 1913, that he wrestled a one-hour draw with Martin Klein before the Czar and royal family of Russia in the Russian Olympics. He never lost an amateur match after that. It was in February, a year or so later, when he wrestled four hours and 22 minutes with an Italian, Alberti, at Morinsk to win his hardest professional bout. On February 4, 1916, he received a shrapnel injury in his knee that ended his active military service. He turned professional in February, 1918, and started for Japan, en route to the United States in February, 1921. Pojello met his present wife in February and they were married in February, 1922. Incidentally, Olga Pojello was a soprano soloist in light opera when they met. She sings now only at charity functions. It was in February, 1928, that he pinned John Meyers twice in 29 minutes to win the world light heavyweight title. There being no more work in that class, he joined the heavyweights. A couple of years later, in the same month, he upset Sandor Szabo in Philadelphia and taught the Austrian the value of the double arm-lock which Szabo called the suplex and used extensively thereafter. Pojello's victory knocked Szabo out of a Londos bout and Pojello out of top-flight bouts. Only a week or so later, he received a chipped elbow at the Brooklyn Elks Club and was on the shelf for nine months. Just after that, however, he received the invitation to go to England and teach the Oxford and Cambridge boys the fine points of American catch-as-catch-can. Yes, things do happen in February, some good, some bad.

(By Edward Van Every, New York NY Sun, Monday, February 11, 1935)

Jim Browning instead of Ed Don George, who hopes to make Jim Londos warble the wrestler's version of “Your the Tops” before the summer is over, will tackle Carl Pojello tonight. Aside from the finish feature bout, it will be quite an occasion in the Seventy-first Regiment Armory. Jack Dempsey, in referee regalia, will be there. So will the Hon. James A. Farley, under whose personal auspices the program will be presented in the interests of the Peevish Philatelists Pfoundation, though maybe it is for the Haverstraw Lodge of Elks. No extra attractions were needed, in the opinion of this humble observer, to bring out the real wrestling fans in this instance. The fact that Carl Pojello finally will get a real chance is magnet enough for those who can take their wrestling but not leave it alone. Far too long has the Lithuanian, unquestionably entitled to his share of the spotlight along with Londos and the best of them, been compelled to play a secondary role. Where Pojello is at fault is in lack of color, meaning he is no actor. He doesn't even sound good. He goes altogether too seriously about his job. His face does not register pain and the gamut of emotions dramatically, nor does he inject the correct sound effects. Worse still, he is too good in mat technic. He practically ruined his chances of making the big time hereabouts two years ago when he made the mistake of giving too good a demonstration of his quality. Sandor Szabo was being pointed for a meeting with Londos at the time, and just before this match was closed, the Hungarian took on Pojello in Philadelphia. What Carl did to Sandor not only killed the Londos affair but served as a fair warning to other topnotch grapplers. It is no secret that Londos was to have been featured tonight instead of George, but when Pojello was mentioned as his opponent the Greek lost interest in the proposition. He said, “Let George Do It,” or words to that effect. After considerable persuasion, George agreed. Then only last Thursday in Brooklyn, George took on Gino Garibaldi. Just a little warm-up affair for tonight. But they got so hot, did Gino and George, that they gave each other the Herculean heave, and both got banged up a bit. Of course, it is a generally known fact that the rough stuff the grapplers do is all in fun, and they never damage each other in the least. To be sure, George injured his back rather severely in the tussle with Garibaldi, and a little thing like that could be rubbed out with a treatment or two. But the injury grew rapidly no better, and yesterday it was found that George is out of commission not only for tonight but for a week or more.
Getting someone to jump into the breach was no easy matter, for none of the main-bout men is eager to have it out with Pojello in a finish affair. But Browning finally was located and consented to take on the Lith. It is a pretty big opportunity for Pojello at that, and it will be interesting to see how he will acquit himself against a man who rates very close to either Londos or George. Weight and height give Browning something of an advantage; also something in the way of youth is in the favor of the Missouri farmer. Pojello has been in action professionally as long as Londos, and is as close to the forty mark as the Greek Adonis. Pojello is a pupil of Besberg, who is credited with being the teacher of Hackenschmidt and other noted Russian wrestlers. As a youngster, Carl had started to attract attention shortly before the world war broke loose. After four years of service, most of which was with the engineering division of the Russian army, he resumed his athletic career in a professional way. He has wrestled all over the world. He came to this country about twelve years ago and has taken out his citizenship papers. His career here had its start on the Coast, where he arrived by way of the Orient. Possessing neither the Belvederian graces nor the Gargantuan proportions to overcome his rather squat build and the handicap of premature near-baldness, the road has been hard and none too lucrative for the Lithuanian. But those who appreciate the genuine science of wrestling will be glad to see Pojello get the chance here that should have been his years ago by right of ability. Several of the time limit matches promise to raise the crowd up to a high pitch of excitement, particularly the clashes between Harry Fields and Ray Steele, and Abe Coleman and Nick Lutze. Ernie Dusek, Hans Kampfer and other well-known grapplers will be seen in action, including a newcomer whose name is simply announced as Piers – probably 6 and 7.

From J Michael Kenyon -

Steve Johnson, the noted author of wrestling tomes (among his many attributes), sent this along to me: “Rip Hawk told me Pojello was the toughest 'real' wrestler he ever faced. He trained with him in Chicago for quite some time.”

In 1934, in a book called Wrestling, under the Auspices of W. (Billy) Wood, Harrison provided additional biographical details to this story: "As far back as 1912," said Harrison, "he [Pojello] won the championship of Russia in the Graeco-Roman style at the then St. Petersburg. In the following year he became first Russian Olympic [freestyle] champion at Kiev and International Tournament champion at Breslau; and in 1914 the second Russian Olympic [freestyle] champion. Then after the war he won several Far Eastern championships [probably at Shanghai], and studied the Japanese art of Ju-jitsu, later turning the knowledge thus gained to excellent account when he entered the All-in [professional] ranks. After his arrival in the United States in 1923 he beat Johnny Meyers for the World’s light heavyweight title, and since his entry into the heavyweight class he has won the European championship from Froehner twice running, and later scored an easy victory over [Atholl] Oakeley."

Located here, http://selfprotection.lightbb.com/t5908-question-about-old-sfuk-article-post - A post by David Turton:  The question posed was: "Hi Dave I remember...where you were talking about old time wrestlers. You mentioned one of the old school guys who was practically vegetarian. Just wondered if you could remember who it was and what his main source of protein was.." Answer from David was: ".. in fact there were more than one who were veggies or near.... George Hackenshmidt ate mainly fruit and veg (mainly RAW) but drunk quite a lot of whole milk.. (I dont think they even KNEW how to skim it back then) George could knock back 4-6 pints a day no sweats. Karl Pojello would eat as above but included eggs."

Valentine Krumplis, author of A DP (Displaced Person) Finds American Dream, - Karl's grand-nephew.
In his book he had the following to say about his great-uncle and Maurice Tillet:
"Karolis...had a wrestling, boxing, gymnasium on thirty second and Halstad. It was a large commercial type building called Milda. "Karolis, at this time was a promoter of wrestling and only wrestled rarely as the masked marvel on TV. Years back Karolis was a world champion wrestler. He wrestled in Russia, China, Mongolia, Japan, Europe, and the U.S. Karolis always welcomed Romaldas and me and we were just getting interested in becoming some kind of athletes there when Karolis closed the place down for some reason. He died of cancer in 1954. Karolis and Olga lived on the gold coast in Lincoln Park in a high rise apartment. We would go there for some parties where we met some of their famous wrestler friends. The building had a door man and elevators, this impressed me very much. The guests impressed me more, one of them was Maurice Tillet, The French Angel, he had a hydrocephalic head and looked like a monster. He was the nicest guy and entertained me by showing how he would take a hand full of walnuts and crush them in his hand. At these parties mom and Ona would talk in broken Russian to Olga and surprisingly picked up a little bit up of Russian and impressed my aunt Jane in Lithuania, years later.....
Uncle Karolis, as I called him, drove a huge Black Packard car, if I sat in the back there was so much room that you could run around. We visited some places with Karolis, but he was busy with wrestling promotions and we ended up watching some wrestling shows featuring the Angel. The audience booed the Angel and cheered when he got beat up. One time he was being punched and knocked around and seemingly got mad so he picked up his abuser and smashed him on his knee and threw him down with disdain, this was nice to see. One other wrestler-boxer Karolis tried to teach was a Lithuanian by the name of Vinca."

Found here: http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2010/08/16/pf-15044901.html
"Tough" Tony Borne dead at 84
By GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling

His first teacher was Ali Pasha, but Karl Pojello, who managed the French Angel, was his key mentor. "When I got into the business, I slept in a gym in Chicago, Illinois, on South Halstead street, Karl Pojello's gym. I slept in the gym, and the only heat in it in the wintertime was from the hot water tank," Borne remembered. "Carl took good care of me, but it was a struggle. Back then, $25, $30, $35 was a good payoff. I was born 30 years too soon." He and Pojello decided that shortening Osborne to Borne was the right move. (He also worked as Tony Boin and Tony Borrin.) Borne found he had a natural skill at pro wrestling."


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Wow! What a great article. Highly informative. Thank you. You obviously put a lot of study into writing it. The level of detail is astounding.

  3. Regarding Karl Pojello's birth date. His birth/immigration records reflect birth date in Old Style (Julian Calendar, used in Tsarist Russia), his tombstone has (what they thought) was his birth date in the New Style (Gregorian Calendar).

    Julian Calendar currently lags Gregorian by 13 days. After 1900, Jan 31st (Old Style) is Feb 13th (New Style). This why you see Feb 13th, 1893 as Karl Pojello's birth date in most sources. That (and the Feb 14th on tombstone, read on) is the result of incorrect conversion.

    Before 1900, the Julian Calendar lagged Gregorian by one day fewer (that is, by only by 12 days). So someone must've thought that they needed to add an extra day to account for that.

    In fact, it's the opposite. Jan 31st, 1893 (Old Style) is Feb 12th, 1893 (New Style). You can verify this using calendar converters online.

    Feb 12th, 1893 would be Karl Pojello's actual birth date.