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The 36th Battalion: a record of service of the 36th Battalion with the Third Division in the Pacific

V — Boxing


The Auckland Boxing Championships of 1942 were the first in which members of this battalion took part. Nicolle, Huzziff and Bates took part. Nicolle put up a remarkable performance in the first round of the heavy weight, as, after taking a lot of punishment page 102for the first two rounds and most of the third, he knocked his oppori-ent out in the last half-minute. Unfortunately he was not able to box in the second series, as in his first fight he had damaged his knuckles. Huzziff easily won his weight, and the third entrant had the misfortune to suffer injury to his eyes. Altogether it was an auspicious start for battalion boxing.

Norfolk Island was the scene of the first battalion tournament. A hard working committee had gone to a lot of trouble, and the tournament proved that their efforts had not been in vain. All bouts were fought strictly according to Army rules, and the following were the winners of their respective weights:—
Heavy WeightE. P. NicolleWelterJ. A. F. Robertson
Light HeavyR. L. ColeLightA. E. Bryant
MiddleL. F. HuzzifFeatherL. W. Petersen
Following the battalion tournament an island tournament was held open to all units of the force. The battalion had its full share of entrants and of its team the following were successful:—
Heavy WeightE. P. NicolleMiddleL. F. Huzzif
Light HeavyR. L. ColeFeatherI. W. Petersen

It was not until an island tournament was held on Stirling Island in the Solomons that battalion boxers were again to the fore. Com-petition was here much more severe, mainly due to the competing Americans. C. C. Forbes, L. F. Huzziff and J. L. Rea were the battalion entrants, and of these three Forbes and Rea both reached their respective finals only to be beaten. Rea was unfortunate enough to run into a man very much older than himself and, although he fought pluckily, was soundly beaten. Forbes quickly became a favourite of the crowd because of his tear-away tactics. For a man of 42 his stamina was amazing, and an education to most. Boxing in the Solomon Islands is not easy, and most fighters were obviously tired at the end of the third round, but not so Forbes who at the end of his fights was still on the offensive. Although beaten in the final he lost nothing by the decision, as the result could just as easily have gone his way.

To Captain H. W. Williams and E. P. Nicolle must go much of the credit for what battalion boxers have accomplished.