DAD, HIS BEST PAL
Death Was K.0. to Jack Haines
''A knock-out blow'' — his father, his best pal, drowned at Griffith on Monday, ex-champion boxer Jack Haines thrust out his chin and said: ''It means that I've just got to come back! You see dad meant me to be a boxer,'' he said on Tuesday (says the Sydney ''Daily Telegraph'') .
''Nearly 10 years ago — I was 15 — a travelling boxing tent came to Leeton, where I was 'king of the kids', and dad one of the best known cyclists when cycling was the sport, said it was up to me to show what I was made of. He had been building castles for me ever since he found that I could use my fists. He pushed me into the ring — yes, he pushed me. I didn't win. Neither did other boy. We got nearly £5 each from a coin 'shower'. That's what the local people thought of the fight.
''Dad used to train me. He was a blacksmith, and besides that knew what rubbing down was from cycling.
He gave me 'gyp' and made me like it. Then I came to the city on a holiday, and went 'broke'. So I had start boxing to get some cash. It was not long before dad was down in town with the brother of the chap who tried to save him from drowning — Claude Dempsey, who became my second. He used to get at the ringside, take the punches I got, give the punches I gave — all in the excited imagination in which he used to fight my fight.
Then I had bad luck. A year ago there was my unlucky accident when Palmer beat me.
In hospital; mother begging me not to fight when I got better, doctors siding with her. I haven't fought since.' And now dad. He went back to Griffith to get a job, and was drowned. Mum prays that I won't fight again. But now dad's gone. For her sake and his I'm going to fight again — and win!''
(Murrumbidgee Irrigator - Friday January 29, 1932)