Well done to Michael Laws and Ken Mair. The Maybelline Mayor and the Whantom Activist went at it for three two-minute rounds in W(h)anganui last night, without a satisfactory outcome; Stuff reports:
After years of verbal punching and counter-punching, former Whanganui mayor Michael Laws and Maori activist Ken Mair tried to resolve their differences in the ring last night - and failed.
Their long-awaited River King bout, watched by a packed hall in Wanganui, ended in a draw with Laws bleeding from the nose and being comforted by his partner ringside.
In the true tradition of boxing, there's now talk of a rematch.
The taller Laws, sporting R18 on his shorts, entered the ring looking focused.
Mair on the other hand danced his way in.
The pair have been trading verbal blows for the past few years over the rights and wrongs of the spelling of Wanganui.
Laws says Wanganui is correct, while Mair argues it should carry an "h", as in Whanganui.
The New Zealand Geographic Board ruled in 2009 that the "h" should be added because the river is spelt with an "h" and it is the correct Maori spelling.
Laws branded the decision as racist.
Mair had a special T-shirt made for the occasion, with the word Whantom emblazoned on it.
Proceeds from the fight - an estimated $50,000 - will go toward the Christchurch quake recovery fund.
The last line is the most important; the good folk of Christchurch will benefit from this slug-fest, and we commend the two budding pugilists for being prepared to park their egos for a few minutes for the greater good.
And in the meantime, the debate over the optional H in W(h)anganui will continue, although in reality, most people here don't really care about it one way or t'other; there are far more important issues.