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The Spike or Victoria University College Review June 1926

Boxing Club

page 72

Boxing Club.

There's nothing like a good knock-out blow to
loosen a tooth or cement a friendship.


We may not feel bound to subscribe to this sweeping statement in its literal meaning and unqualified form, yet it does seem to sum up the attractions of boxing as a game without any pretence or deception, or any smoothing over of its objectionable features. Some might say that this is rather a too candid and not sufficiently candied exposure of the demerits of the sport, yet the truth, however objectionable, is entitled to its place in the sun and not less in "Spike." Certain it is that we of the Boxing Club have of recent years had several instances of loosened and damaged teeth, which, besides being a source of discomfort and inconvenience have entailed considerable expense to the sufferers. The position is this, that boxing being at once the joy of philosophers and the delight of men of action is worthy of being fostered in our midst; moreover, boxing necessarily involves on occasion some slight damage to the participants, and the question arises, as it has arisen, who is to pay the expenses for injuries so caused? 'Varsity students are not noted for their wealth-ask any establishment of signwriters who prepare canvasses for the procession-and those who have incurred expense through injury and have found no compensation available, seldom return for a second helping. To sum up: What has become of the once mooted proposal for a comprehensive scheme of accident insurance for Varsity athletes, or if that is too presumptuous a term, for 'Varsity players? Such a scheme has been in the minds of executive officers, and we believe it has been before the Committee at some time in the past. With the increased levy to bolster up the funds, the Students' Association should find itself in a position to do something towards the protection of its members in this direction.

The second point in Mr. Borrow's apt reference to the knock-out blow is deserving of attention. As usual boxers of a sort were much in evidence round the Gym. from early in the year until Easter, and there was even a semblance of enthusiasm as the Tournament approached. In fact, we spent twice as much in coaching fees as has ever been paid for any one year before, and as the fees have not been raised-well, if that is not enthusiasm. It is a pertinent question whether the standard of boxing has shown proportionate improvement; but we believe it is not necessary to show such a result.

On the principle expressed in the ditty:—

"What does it matter who won the race
So long as the race be run;
What does it matter who sing the song
So long as the song be sung?"

We may add:

"What does it matter how much Tim gets
So long as we have some fun?"

Anyway, enough martyrs were found to make a fair showing at the eliminating bouts that were held before Easter, and, in spite of doubts as to whether any of the eighty-odd spectators who gathered would be sufficiently inspired to contribute anything to the suppliant hats that were to be held at the door, there were some sterling bouts that touched the hearts and even the pockets of the onlookers.

Campbell and Taylor set-to in the lightweight just as an introduction, and it looked as though Taylor, with his aggressive tactics, was going to come out on the uphill side of the account. But Campbell had something hidden up his sleeve, the right one (he had bare arms), and when in about the eighth round (there were but four at the most) he knocked his opponent over, the audience was surprised, and the referee, to whom by the way we are much indebted for his generosity in devoting a valuable evening to our unworthy display, counted ten.

Richardson and Todd, in the same weight, had a real clash, in that both were fit and both determined. Richardson's right was the deciding factor, as it connected with Todd's left (eye) annoyingly, for the latter, on numerous occasions.

page break
V.U.C. Rifle Team (Winners of Imperial University Rifle Match, 1925).

V.U.C. Rifle Team (Winners of Imperial University Rifle Match, 1925).

—Photo by Crown Studios, Wellington.

Standing: F.R.E. O'Connor, I.H. Macarthur, H.V. Scott, A. Ainslie, H.F. Bollard.

Sitting: G.E. Parker and W.J.H. Haase (President).

Absent: T.G. Hislop, J.B. Yaldwyn.

page 73

In the Feather, the lightest weight (we had no bantams), Hunn beat Webb. The defeated gladiator made a promising beginning, but—training, or lack of it.

Desmond and Childs gave a bright display in the Welter, though it was only an exhibition, as Childs was not prepared to represent, even if selected.

Sceats disposed of Chamberlain in a manner which gave promise of trouble for the reps of our brother Colleges in the Middleweight at the Easter Tourney. And this promise was fulfilled, as Sceats was the only one of our team to gain a New Zealand "Blue" for boxing.

The Heavyweight bout between Evatt and Platts-Mills occupied the full time. Beyond that it is doubtful whether it deserves mention. The only grounds for the latter being chosen to represent us was that he was the only one eligible.

The evening ended with the Lightweight final between Richardson and Campbell. It was marked by the dogged pluck of the latter against an opponent who had marked advantages.

Lest some have forgotten or not read the above, the following represented at Easter:—
  • Feather: J. K. Hunn.
  • Light: G. Richardson.
  • Welter: F. Desmond.
  • Middle: G. Sceats.
  • Heavy: J. Platts-Mills.

Of the doings of the team there is an account elsewhere. Sceats won, and others might have done so had we been permitted a word with the referee. Apart from the actual contests, the Easter Tourney was a signal success, and every member of the boxing team is deeply grateful to each and every the several worthy citizens of Dunedin who did so much for their entertainment.