The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1889. ' GLOVE FIGHTS.
It is now some years — well-nigh a generation ago since the F. R. was regarded as a praiseworthy British institution, and the days when the low browed heavy-jawed exponents of the so-called tf noble " art of self-defence were patronised by the aristocracy, and noble lords, and even clerics, gathered round the ropes, while these professional sloggers pounded one another into jelly are happily long past and gone, we had' hoped never to return. Hut latterly, in the colonies at anyrate, the same sort of thing, though in somewhat different guise, has experienced a temporary revival in what are denominated " glove fights." The admirers and defenders of this modified style of prize-fighting would have us believe that they are simple exhibitons of skill and in no way harmful, but the opposite has frequently been proved to be the case, the combatants often coming in for punishment almost as severe as was inflicted under the old method. Indeed, these glove fights are not seldom nothing more nor less than prise fights under another name. Their tendency is unquestionably bad. They gather together the lowest and worst types of oolonial life and are from every point of view demoralising. A very salient instance of the nature of suoh contests and of the people who patronise them, is given in yesterday's telegrams, from which we learn that one of these lowlived exhibitions came off in the Princess theatre at Dunedin, on Saturday night. There was a lot of money bet upon the event, and the match being a very uneven one, there was soon complaint o.f foul play. The referee appears, very properly, to have awarded the stakes to the man of whom unfair advantage was taken, and the crowd, dissatisfied with what seems a very just decision, thereupon rushed the stage while the other combatant struck the unfortunate referee, who had subsequently to apply for police protection. Here ip a pretty storv for a civilised community — one which we may well be ashamed of. It is high time that the Legislature stepped in and interdicted such spectacles, and we are glad to see that the Presbyterian Synod of Otago and Fputhland the ptber day adopted a resolution to memorialise Parliament on the subject. The matter was, we know, mooted in the House of Representatives last session, or the session before, and in reply to a question, Mr Fergus (we think it was) replied that he did not, as then advised, see it necessary to interfere ; but it is to be hoped that since then he has seen cause to ebapge his mind,, and that at next meeting of Parliament ej;eps will be taken to put down these demoralising and brutalising exhibitions.