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Thursday, May 20, 2010

1915-01-23 Les Darcy L-RTD5 Jeff Smith (Sydney, NSW, Australia)

1915-01-25 The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, NSW) (page 12)


The meeting of Jeff. Smith, middle-weight world's champion, and Les. Darcy, the Maitland lad, drew a dense crowd--estimated at 15,000--to Baker's Stadium on Saturday night. Smith weighed 11st 5lb, and his opponent 4lb less. Mr. Harald Baker was referee.

Darcy had slightly the better of the first round. Feinting with his left, he twice crossed the right to the back of Smith's neck, but there was an absence of power in the blows. In the second round Smith got home once with his right, but other efforts to repeat the blow were cleverly blocked by Darcy, whose evasion was excellent. Points were about equal.

The third round saw Darcy's left land on the face, but Smith retaliated with a right to the body. Darcy cleverly ducked several swings. Still Smith justly claimed this round.

The American in the next round--and in some of the earlier ones--had imprisoned Darcy's left hand, and was holding and hitting. Only on one occasion did the referee step in and break Smith's hold. The latter scored with a right cross and two severe straight lefts. This round also belonged to Smith.

The fifth and last round was sensational. It was opened by Darcy hooking the left to the side face, and he followed with a right to the other side. The boxers then came to closer quarters, and Smith got home a body blow which caused Darcy to stop fighting and show signs of being in pain. He walked to his corner--Smith standing off him. The referee promptly went up to Darcy and said "Fight on." This Darcy did; and with remarkable vigour, too. He fully held his own, and was apparently as strong at the finish of the round as when he started the contest.

When Darcy walked to his corner his trainer and chief second, Dave Smith, threw in the towel. The referee immediately placed his hand on Smith's head and gave him the fight. Darcy's seconds at once exhibited his protecting cup, which was found to be dented.

At this stage the whole house was in an uproar. Presumably the referee did not see the blow referred to. If so he had no alternative but to order the continuance of the bout. On the other hand, if Darcy were struck unfairly he was clearly entitled to the decision. That he was not injured does not affect the issue. If a hit is foul the degree of damage is immaterial. But, as said before, the referee and a good many others round the ring did not see the blow in question.

Dave Smith's action was not justified when he threw in the towel. The referee is the sole arbiter--not the seconds in either man's corner. The contest itself was disappointing. Smith's form was but a shadow of that which he has previously shown. Darcy has unquestionably improved as a boxer but he did not exhibit his determination and forcefulness that have been features of his previous bouts.

For half an hour after the referee's decision the great crowd remained in the building arguing the point. Some in the highest-priced seats excitedly demanded their money back, and a fistic collision with one of the Stadium principals was imminent. It was just as well that nothing of the kind occurred, as the crowd was in an ugly temper, and only wanted a lead to make serious trouble.

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