The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918
Keen interest was displayed in the match between Sergeant Morry Steinberg (England) and Mick Rutherford (Australia) for the lightweight boxing championship of Egypt. The contest took place at Luna Park on May 25th., and Steinberg won on a knock-out in the thirteenth round.
There were fully 3,000 soldiers, with a sprinkling of civilians, present, and every shift and turn of the fight was closely followed by critical eyes. There is no better judge of boxing than the average soldier, be he Maorilander, Australian or Tommy.
There were four preliminaries, the best being the bout between Lippo and Gough (Welters). The latter won on points fairly easily.
At 8.30 p.m. the gong sounded for the first round of the big match. Rutherford opened with a straight left and a right cross. In close quarters, he showed his superiority, using his right to the body with some precision; but though he hits hard, the punches had no effect on Steinberg, who was trained to the minute and had a body like iron.
In the first couple of rounds Rutherford lead easily on points, his opponent making a lot of misses. The pace all through was fast. In the middle of the third term, Rutherford seemed to tire, and Steinberg was connecting with right and left swings to the body and head; and the round was in his favour The fourth round opened with a straight left from the Australian, Steinberg missing a right cross. Rutherford connected with left and right swings to the body. Half way through the round he tired again, but points were slightly in his favour up to the end of the term.
The next three rounds were also in favour of Rutherford, who had regained his strength He was doing all the in-fighting, while Steinberg failed to connect with his punches. The eighth round was even. Rutherford again adopted in figthing, his punches taking no effect on Steinberg, who connected with right and left swings to the head. There was much holding and clinching in the ninth round. It was evident that Rutherford was tiring, but the round ended in his favour. From the tenth round Steinberg was out after his man, and was waiting a chance for a knock-out. In the twelfth round Rutherford went down for 4 counts fright jab to the chin), but the bell saved him. It was clear that he was finished. When the gong went for the thirteenth round Steinberg sailed in, and after going half way, connected with a right hook to the chin and left swing to the head. Rutherford went down and took the count.
Rutherford proved himself the cleverer man, Steinberg being a fighter, and not displaying much science. It was evident after the tenth round that he would have to knock out his opponent to win, as Rutherford was well ahead on points. The match was a ding-dong go from start to finish, and the spectators were thoroughly pleased.
Mr. J. A. Syson, of the Cairo International Sporting Club, acted as referee. The betting was 2 to 1 on Steinberg before the fight started; after the first round it was evens, and after the second, 6 to 4 on Rutherford.