BOXING. WELLINGTON ASSOCIATION.
PIiOFESSI O N AL F KATII ER WEIGHT CIJAMPIOXSriU'. An exhibition meeting of wrestlers and boxers was lrld by the Wellington Boxing Associdliun in lhe Opera House last evening. Tho house w.is filled with an eager audience, which included his Eseell^ncy the Governor and a number of members of Pailiamont, and official of the JCcw Zealand Boxing Council. Many country visitors wcio picsent. The proceedings weie oiderly, aocl the general arrangements excellent. Sergeant Dart supervised the wrestling-, the boxing refeieo was Dr. Nupier-M'Lean. The ring was erected on the stage, and was first occupied for a wrestling bout between Constable A. Bkinnor (11.6) and Constable C. E. Stephens (14.3). The stylo was < catch-as-catcn-can ; the contestants had to wrestle for ten minutes, and for a further fiyo minutes in the event of no fall being- gained in ten miuutes. Tho display proved interesting. Const-able Skinner is an excellent athlete, winner of many, competitions ; Constable Stephens, a. fine 1 figure of a man, has been his pupil at wrestling, and weight was neutralised by. skill. Skinner always knsw.what to do nest; Stephens had to think of his science. As soon as he can.apply his strength easily, Skinner will have to struggle to match him. After some pretty holds, throws, and escapes, the end came at 13 minutes. Both men were on tho ground,- Stephens uppermost, applying h. half-Nelson. Skinner caught Stephcns's arm with a leg and held it, then mastered t both rrms, putting his weight on them. Stephens turned, with Skinner still underneath tho arch of his back, and Stephens^ shoulders ceme down in a pretty and unusual conclusion. A fiix-round spar, in which no decision was to bo- giv-sn, followed between T. Tracy (9.13) and T. M'Gibbon (10.5). j M*C4ibbon shaped well, ar.d left the im- 1 pression that 'he had a. bit in reserve. Tracy shaped better, and le^ more actively, putting morei ginger into his j work. 1 M'Gibbon, who was said to have a cold, fought with his* arms, wide, and Tracy got bei ween tliem so of ton that the spar looked like a caricature. Sach competitions do little g6od' anyway, unless j for practice. l After an interval the chief and last | contest was announced — fifteen rounds for th,3 professional featherweight championship of New Zealand, with 40 soys to the winner and 20 soys to , the loser. The lads wcxe'J. Godfrey (9.0), formerly English champion and' lastjrear" champion of New Zealand, and T. Hanky, a Sydney representative and natural fighter v/ho has battled his way up. The match was even ; both, acquitted- themselves well ; and ,the exhibition of boxing was very interesting and 1 in many ways admirable.- ■ Hanley turned out the better j man, but the decision fell to Godfrey on j points. That was inevitable according | to the conditions, but it was neither j satisfactory nor conclusive, and next time the 'decision may be reversed. The ■ full fifteen rounds were fought. Godfrey, the broad-er and heavier man, had the better style as -stylo is nowadays'valued. Ho stood well, moved well,' hit and came away well, and >va& leading, in the technical sense, through tln'oefourths of tha combat. But Hanley led in his own way too. Hanley fights crouching, with his shoulders forward and his head low ; and his feet did not take position as easily os Godfrey's : several I times the assault drove him off ' balance. And though Godfrey followed, it was usually- Burnley ,who went in. Retiring and watching for "an opening,' he would iittack- quickly, often with left on the head and right on th© body,- and take or dodge the return. A clinch, usually followed, and once or twice they were on the verge of a foul. Hanley looked and prov-ed very tough ; he outlasted' Godfrey, and he hit -more- forcibly : there was "a lot of sting in' his Blows. Both men were in> good condition, but Hanley had tho greater spring of vitality ; ha had the lust of youth- in him ; Godfrey's strength and skill seemed to have lost edge. In the early rounds Godfrey mado his weight tell and Hanley had to jncld to him, of discretion as well as of necessity. Godfrey look-sd the better man, with th.6 better style, and piled up advantage points in round after round, but rather because he took the offensive than because ho was winning. Hanley, in his own way, was doing but not looking' just |as well. Here and there Godfrey got a ! decided superiority, but at the twelfth | round they were still fairly ev-sn, though ! Hanley was the stronger. In 'the thirteenth round Hanley commenced leading, and 1 Godfrey could not keep up lo him. His earlier work, and the vim of Hanlcy's blows, had told; and the Tound closed in Hanley's favour. In the fourteenth round Godfrey was plainly tiring ; thoro was- no nervous bite- in him; ho still shaped well, but waa making a slow fight, and hanging on in clinches. In the last round ho hung on moio heavily still, leceiving Hanley's swift head "and body blows with Only a. feeble response. His style stood to him, and he took all the advantage he could ; but plainly he was faltering. It looked .is if Hanfsy only wanted time to finish ; but he had started work j two rounds too late. The round dosed, i and Godfrey, on lhe whole fight, got tho verdict. The contest draws attention again to tli-s unsatisfactory feuturps of the "points system" as applied to professional battles. Amateur fights may very well ro on the principle that they are exhibitions, of style ; -that good s>tyle makes agood box-:r ; and that a good boxer 'gets j the benefit of the exercise aiid is helped ! in self-defence. But last night's audience, though they cheered Godfrey according to his merit and his due, sympathised with the smaller man, and went away feeling that tho best man ought to. win. It was the best boxer who vvon according to the boxing canon, but that .isn't the zo-xik thing. And- Hanley, confronted \ by a heavier mau'with Godfrey's science, couldn't help losincj points in the beginning, re'yinp on the end lo make up ; and the end didn't cojne in a sawn-off j. oonie&l. The Boxing Association, of I ourse, exists for science ; but we don't think science, would Job© if, in a. professional'competition at till events, the termination" wor* left io tho referee's discretion. And the result would bo moro in accordance with «;ven-usled justice.
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BOXING. WELLINGTON ASSOCIATION., Evening Post, Volume LXXIV, Issue 128, 26 November 1907
BOXING. WELLINGTON ASSOCIATION. Evening Post, Volume LXXIV, Issue 128, 26 November 1907
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