The Spirit is not the cleancut, Marquis of Queensberry Rules fighter he is often presented to be. In fact, he can get down and dirty when his opponents are down and dirty, as evidenced by his tactics during a fight with “Alex the Bloody” on page 7. Despite the non-action splash panel, there are fisticuffs a'plenty in this particular episode, which I have scanned from Police Comics #34 (1944).
The story is from the Spirit Sunday Comic Book Supplement, originally published August 3, 1941, before Will Eisner entered the U.S. Army. The coloring on the reprint is credited by the Grand Comics Database to Joe Kubert.