a keen and commendable desire to keep British boxing clean and free from grafts and rackets that one is reticent to see in the recent Loughran-Farr decision an inclination on the part of the board to forget that the game, in addition to being clean, must also be boxing, that the left should be as straight as the organisation.
Boxing is "the noble art of self-defence," it is not a mere pandering to blood-lust. The Loughran-Farr meeting was a contrast between the ancient and modern styles. Loughran was throughout the artist endeavouring always to beat his man without breaking him, to nullify his efforts, to frustrate his onslaughts.
SKILL VERSUS COURAGE Farr, on the other hand, realising that he was up against a better boxer, waded in with estimable aggression, swinging and hooking and trusting to getting home with a lucky blow.
One man trusted to skill, the other to luck backed up by youth and a fine courage.
Farr's only possible hope lay in a knockout. As a boxer he has any amount of promise, hut as yet he is not in the same class with Loughran, and it is questionable if, among all the thousands of surprised people in the Albert Hall, there was anybody as surprised as was Farr himself when he was awarded the decision on points.
A WRONG DECISION?
The B.B.B.C. could not, nor would it wish to, reverse a referee's decision. It could, and it ought to, explain it. The referee's score-card must have been a unique document in the Albert Hall that night. It ought to he published, it ought to be reproduced and printed in the press because, unless something happened in the ring that is known only to the referee and the contestants, Mr. Wilfred Smith's decision was a wrong decision, a seriously wrong decision, if skill still counts in boxing.
Farr was brave, he was aggressive, he was a fierce fighter: he hit hard and often, but his blows, when they did not miss altogether, missed their objective, were met and parried by a master's hands and arms or were allowed to glance harmlessly from a shoulder when they were meant to connect with a chin.
A BOXER—NOT A BUTCIIER
Farr won the second round and the last; two, possibly three, were drawn; the other five or six were Loughran's. Loughran had the measure of his man throughout, his left went straight to his objective every time, his upper-cut was a precise and lovely thing, the only thing his blows lacked was ugliness. There is never any viciousness in Loughran's fighting. He is a boxer, not a butcher. Perhaps he has lost the power to fell his man; but certainly he could have torn him to ribbons. He could have turned the last five rounds into a minor martyrdom, he could have splashed blood about to appease, if not to sate, the sadistic cravings of the little mob in the Welshman's corner that howled for it in the last two rounds. He preferred to beat a fresh, fit man over ten full rounds to torturing a tyro for half the time.
PANDERING TO LOWEST PASSIONS British boxing has, recently, been rising slowly from a very low level. A few more decisions like this one and it will sink lower than ever, right down to the despicable level of all-in wrestling, a thing of fake and fury, a pandering to the lowest passions of a howling, degenerate and blood-thirsty mob.
There is no heavyweight in England (except, perhaps, one) who can go ten full rounds with Loughran and win on points. When they have all tried, and learnt all that those ten rounds will teach them, then we may know just where to look for material to train into a challenger for the title that will be in the frightening hands of Joe Louis a year from now.