Panama Al Brown vs Johnny Cuthbert II and Jackie Brown vs Emile Degand II European flyweight title official on-site 15 page programme, 15th June 1931, Olympia, Kensington, London.
Cuthbert won round 8 (Brown disqualified for hitting low)
Brown won points over 15 rounds
Elzear Rioux vs Jack Humbeeck
Aldo Spoldi vs Jack Garland
Innocente Baiguera vs Bobby Shields
Bill Lewis vs Terence Tancy Morgan
Moe Moss vs Joe Cadman
Condition very good (minor soiling & light creases)
Alfonso Teofilo Brown (July 5, 1902 – April 11, 1951), better known as Panama Al Brown, was a Panamanian. He made history by becoming boxing's first Hispanic World champion, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest bantamweight boxers in history.
Brown won the NYSAC bantamweight title in 1929 after defeating Gregorio Vidal. In 1930 he won both the NBA and IBU bantamweight titles, after defeating Johnny Erickson and Eugène Huat. After relocating to Paris, France, Brown became known for his flamboyant lifestyle and interest in the arts, performing as a cabaret man. He faced racial barriers throughout his career, and had been stripped of the NYSAC and NBA titles by 1934. He held the IBU title until 1935, when he lost it to Baltasar Sangchili.
In 1938, Brown fought for the IBU bantamweight title again in a rematch with Sangchili, winning on points. He continued to box until 1942, but failed to achieve the same level of success he had previously enjoyed. In 2002, Brown was named one of the 80 best fighters of the past 80 years by The Ring magazine. He currently ranks #5 in BoxRec's ranking of the greatest bantamweight boxers in history. He has been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Alfonso Teofilo Brown was born on July 5, 1902, in the City of Colón, Panama. His father, Horace Brown, died when Brown was 13, and his mother, Esther Lashley, worked as a cleaner. His first exposure to boxing came while working as a young adult clerk for the United States Shipping Board, at the Panama Canal Zone, witnessing American soldiers boxing.
Brown turned professional in 1922 under the guidance of manager Dave Lumiansky. His first fight took place on March 19, 1922, when he beat Jose Moreno by a decision in six at Colon. By his seventh fight, December 13 of that same year, he beat Sailor Patchett by a fifteen round decision, to earn the Panamanian 'Isthmus' flyweight title.
On September 22, 1923, he had his first fight abroad, drawing in four rounds with Johnny Breslin, in New York. He very quickly established a presence upon relocating to the city in 1923. His rise was rapid; a year after his move to New York, The Ring magazine rated him the third best flyweight in the World; two years later, the sixth best bantamweight.
Brown began campaigning extensively across the United States before he suffered his first loss, at the hands of Jimmy Russo on December 6, 1924, by decision in twelve. He would later avenge that defeat, and he beat Davey Abad and Willie LaMorte before being disqualified in the first round against Frankie Murray on July 11, 1926. Despite that setback, he kept on campaigning successfully and, on November 10 of that year, he knocked out Antoine Merlo in his Paris debut.
He enjoyed Paris so much that he decided to stay there for the rest of his life. He became a hugely popular boxer in France, and fought on the European continent 40 times between 1929 and 1934. Over the next three years, he beat several fighters there, including former World champion Eugene Criqui.
An interesting case happened when he fought Gustav Humery, on January 29, 1929. Brown and Humery had previously agreed that they would not salute by touching gloves before the fight, and when the bell rang, Brown struck quickly, breaking Humery's jaw with his first punch and sending him to the floor. With the referee's count of ten seconds, the fight lasted a total of fifteen seconds, one of the quickest knockouts in boxing history.
World Bantamweight Champion
On June 18, 1929, Brown made history by becoming the World's first Hispanic World champion. He beat Gregorio Vidal by a fifteen round decision to win the vacant NYSAC bantamweight title, at the Queensboro Stadium, Long Island. He became a national idol in Panama, and an instant celebrity almost everywhere else in Latin America. Magazines such as Ring En Español were still talking about his achievement sixty years later. Soon after he lost a ten round, non-title fight to Battling Battalino. On February 8, 1930, Brown beat Johnny Erickson by disqualification to claim the NBA bantamweight title. On October 4, 1930, he beat Eugène Huat by unanimous decision to claim the IBU bantamweight title.
On July 30, 1933, Brown defended his IBU title against British bantamweight champion Johnny King, at Kings Hall, Manchester. Brown knocked King down several times during the early rounds, though King fought on. During the seventh round King caught Brown with a right, almost knocking him out, but Brown managed to hold on for a points decision.
On February 19, 1934, Brown defended his IBU title against Young Perez at the Palais des Sports, Paris, in what would be the first of three encounters between the two boxers. Brown had a significant height and reach advantage, and proved to much for the Tunisian, who lost on points. Shortly after the NBA stripped Brown of his title for failing to defend it against their leading contender Rodolfo Casanova.
Brown retained his title nine times and had countless other fights before a rematch with Hummey that ended in disaster: on May 17, 1934, Brown was disqualified in round six at Paris for using illegal tactics. A riot started and Brown suffered several broken bones and was sent into semi-unconsciousness by fans before the police could help him. Twenty minutes later, the locale where the rematch was held had almost been entirely destroyed.
For his next title defence, on November 1 of the same year, he travelled to Tunis, Tunisia, for his second encounter with Young Perez. Perez was counted out in round ten while on the floor, claiming that Brown had hit him with an illegal blow.
On June 1, 1935, Brown lost the title to Baltasar Sangchili by a fifteen round decision, at the Plaza de Toros, in Valencia, Spain. After the loss he chose to retire from boxing, instead performing in a cabaret. Suffering from the prolonged effects of drug use, he was persuaided by Jean Cocteau to detox, and begin training for a comeback to boxing. He had a rematch with Sangchili on March 4, 1938, avenging his earlier loss with a fifteen round decision to win the vacant IBU bantamweight title, but by this time the International Boxing Union was no longer recognized in the United States. His rematch win over Sangchili is believed to be his last great night, and, bowing to Cocteau's wishes, Brown vowed to retire after one more fight. That came in 1939 against Valentine Angelmann in Paris, Brown stopped him in eight rounds.
With the advent of the Second World War, Brown moved to the United States, settled in Harlem and tried to find work of the cabaret sort he performed in Paris when not fighting. There was none and before long he was fighting again, but not well.
Brown went on fighting until 1942, challenging unsuccessfully for the Panamanian Featherweight title on September 30, 1942, when he drew with Leocadio Torres, but retiring as a winner, defeating Kid Fortune by a decision in ten rounds on December 4 of the same year.
Not long after, he was arrested for using cocaine and deported for a year. He went back to New York afterwards and, in his late 40's, took a lot of beatings while serving as a sparring partner for up and comers at a gym in Harlem, making a dollar a round.
Brown died penniless of tuberculosis in New York City in 1951. He had fainted on 42nd Street. The police thought he was drunk and took him to the station. Eventually he was transferred to Sea View Hospital. He died there on April 11, unaware that not long before, one of the newspapers in Paris had begun talks about organizing a fund drive to pay for his trip home.
After his death, writer Eduardo Arroyo wrote a biography of Panama Al, titled Panama Al Brown, 1902-1951.
Panama Al Brown's final record is believed to have been 123 wins, 18 defeats and 10 draws, with 55 knockouts, placing him in the exclusive list of boxers who have won 50 or more wins by knockout. He was the recognised bantamweight World champion for six years and over that time made 11 title defences against the best bantamweights and featherweights of his era.
Brown quickly fell in love with Paris, and as a result spent much of his life there. He was noted for dressing elegantly, and enjoyed the night life of the city, frequenting bars and jazz clubs. He owned a number of cars including a 1929 Packard 645 Sport, and several Bugatti's. He joined Josephine Baker's La Revue Nègre as a tap dancer. His lover Jean Cocteau helped him. He made his cabaret debut as a song and dance man at the Caprice Viennoise.
During the early 1930's Brown contracted Syphilis, and suffered from sores on his back. He recovered well enough to continue his boxing career, though without antibiotics it remains unknown as to what extent he overcame the infection.
Johnny Cuthbert (9 July 1904 – 29 August 1987) was British featherweight champion between 1927 and 1928, and again from 1929 to 1931, winning the Lonsdale Belt outright, and British lightweight champion between 1932 and 1934.
Early Career and Featherweight Title
Born in Sheffield in 1904, Johnny Cuthbert was taught boxing by Ben Stanton as a reward for attending the Reverend Harold Ewbank's Sunday School classes.
He made his professional boxing debut in February 1920. After facing inexperienced opposition during his first two years as a pro, he beat then Scottish Area bantamweight champion (and future British, Empire, and European flyweight champion) Elky Clark on points in January 1924. During a 15 fight unbeaten run between 1923 and 1924 he beat Harry Corbett and Billy Hindley, before travelling to the United States for a series of fights. After losing his first five US fights, including a defeat at the hands of Chick Suggs, he won his final fight before returning to England.
In March 1925, he lost to former British, Empire, and European bantamweight champion Bugler Harry Lake, but avenged this two months later, only three weeks after beating Johnny Curley over 15 rounds. In another successful run during 1925 he also beat Jack Kid Berg, but in August he lost to Corbett, starting a run of four straight defeats, including losses to European bantamweight champion Johnny Brown, Joe Fox, and Berg.
He was unbeaten again in 20 fights between March and December 1926, including wins over Lake, Curley, and Corbett (twice), finally earning him a shot at Curley's British featherweight title in January 1927; Cuthbert took a points decision to become British champion. He lost the title to Corbett in March 1928 in the last British title fight over 20 rounds. In November 1928 he drew with World bantamweight champion Al Brown in Paris.
He challenged for the title again a year later against Corbett, but the fight ended in a draw. He regained it at the second attempt in May 1928, beating Corbett on points at Olympia. He successfully defended the title in May 1929 against Dom Volante, and retained it in November 1930 after a drawn bout against Nel Tarleton. He beat Al Brown in June 1931, Brown disqualified for hitting low. His third defence, against Al Foreman (with the British Empire title also at stake), also ended in a draw. He lost the title in October 1931 when Tarleton took a points decision at Anfield. Cuthbert ran the Old Brown Cow pub in Sheffield and trained in a gym at the back of it.
After repeatedly struggling to make featherweight, Cuthbert moved up to lightweight and after beating Volante in an eliminator faced Jim Hunter in August 1932 for the vacant British title, winning via knockout in the tenth round. Between those two fights he lost on points to Cleto Locatelli in Paris. In October 1932 he beat Tommy Bland on points but suffered a broken jaw during the fight. Two weeks later he announced his retirement from boxing.
In February 1933 he came out of retirement and a month later beat Jim Learoyd at Leeds Town Hall, but lost just a week later to French champion Victor Deckmyn in Paris.
He defended his British title in January 1934, losing to Harry Mizler on points at the Royal Albert Hall. He had three further fights, a defeat to British featherweight champion Seaman Tommy Watson, a win over Canadian lightweight champion Tommy Bland, and a loss to NBA World featherweight champion Freddie Miller, before retiring from the sport for good.
Cuthbert had first applied for a referee's licence in April 1934, and refereed several bouts in 1935; By 1933 he had moved to Boston, Lincolnshire, where he ran The Old Mill pub. He again planned to move into refereeing in the late 1930's. He went on to become a boxing trainer, working at the Consett Gym with the likes of Glenn McCrory, and at the Boston ABC. He boxed an exhibition bout in a charity tournament in aid of Grantham Hospital in August 1944.
Johnny Cuthbert died in 1987, aged 83.
Jackie Brown (November 29, 1909, in Collyhurst, Manchester, England – March 15, 1971) was British and European flyweight champion, and was also recognised by the National Boxing Association as the World flyweight champion.
He had his first professional fight on 18 May 1925, at the age of sixteen, defeating Harry Gainey on points over six rounds.
In October 1929, he won the vacant British flyweight title, knocking out Bert Kirby in three rounds. In March 1930, he defended the title against Kirby, and was knocked out in the third round. In February 1931, he met Kirby for the third time, winning back the title with fifteen-round points decision.
In May 1931, he won the European flyweight title, beating Lucien Popescu, of Romania on points. In the next two months he defended this title twice, winning on points against Emile Degand, of Belgium and Vincenzo Savo, of Italy.
In September 1932, he defended both his titles against Jim Maharg, winning on a disqualification in the eighth, for a low blow.
In October 1932, he fought Victor 'Young' Perez, of Tunisia for the World flyweight champion, beating him in thirteen rounds when Perez’ corner threw in the towel. Brown was recognized as World flyweight champion by the National Boxing Association of America.
In June and September 1933, he defended his World and European titles against Valentin Angelmann, of France, winning both defences on points.
In December 1933, he defended his British, European and World titles against Chris ‘Ginger’ Foran of Liverpool, winning on points.
In June 1934, he defended his World and European titles against Valentin Angelmann, for the third time, this time, after his previous two wins drawing on points. A year later Brown was stripped of his European title for not giving Angelmann a return bout.
Loss Of World Title
In September 1935, he defended his British and World flyweight titles against the talented Scottish fighter, Benny Lynch. He lost his titles when the referee stopped the contest in the second round.
Career As A Bantamweight
Following the loss of his titles, Brown continued fighting as a bantamweight. In May 1937 he fought holder Johnny King for the British bantamweight title, losing by a knockout in the thirteenth round.
This was his last challenge for a national or international title, but he continued fighting until July 1939. He then retired, but made a one-fight comeback in February 1948, when he scored a points victory over Billy Stevens over eight rounds.
Residence: Mons, Hainaut, Belgium
Birth place: Cuesmes, Hainaut, Belgium
Won 23 - 4 KOs / Lost 23 - 1 KO / Drawn 8