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Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.



On 25 May, 1909, the first of what was to have been a sertes of “boxing evenings” was staged by the Gisborne Pastimes Club. No charge was made for admittance. After a few “spars” had been put on a towel was placed in the ring. There was, at once, a shower of coins. As a police permit had not been obtained, court proceedings followed. Billy Crawford (the promoter) was fined 5/; but the information against the 68 patrons was dismissed.

The only boxing contest in Gisborne which had a fatal result took place in February, 1915. Archibald Leonard Forman (aged 16) won over W. Plowman in a m.w. bout. He then met N. Lewis in a h.w. contest, but, finding himself out of his class, retired at the end of the 1st round. After he left the ring he collapsed and was taken to hospital, where he died next morning from hæemorrhage of the brain. The jury's verdict was: “Death from natural causes, no blame being attachable to anyone.”

In 1919 Jack Heeney was defeated by Tommy U'Ren (a redoubtable Australian) at Hastings in the 9th round, and, in 1922, he lost, on, points, at Wairoa to Hughie Dwyer, who held the Australian l.w., welter and m.w. titles. Jimmy Clabby (the famous American m.w.) defeated Les. Gleeson (Australia) at Gisborne in July, 1920. in the 11th round. A month earlier Gleeson had defeated Jack Heeney, but, subsequently, Heeney turned the tables on him. Fritz Holland (another noted American m.w.) held classes at Gisborne in 1927. Pete Sarron, who afterwards became world f.w. champion, gave an exhibition “spar” at Gisborne in 1930.