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Thread: THE HISTORY OF L.A. BOXING by HAP NAVARRO

  1. #1
    phlboxarc
    Guest

    THE HISTORY OF L.A. BOXING by HAP NAVARRO

    * reprinting this thread that had almost 2,000 posts.

    THE HISTORY OF L.A. BOXING by HAP NAVARRO

    Los Angeles one of the world's great boxing cities has probably developed more sensational box-office attractions than any other city. Baby Casanova, Enrique Bolanos, Art Aragon, Raton Macias, Jose Becerra, Ricardo Moreno, Battling Torres, Mando Ramos, Ruben Olivares, Jesus Pimintel, Jose medel, Jose Napoles, Carlos Zarate, Alberto "Super Fly" Sandoval, Lupe Pintor, Ruben Navarro, Alfonso Zamora, Danny Lopez, Bobby Chacon, Pipino Cuevas, etc. literally "EXPLODED" on the L.A. fight scene with "breathtaking" action performances that made them huge drawing cards.

    No one knows more about or has been involved in this mix than our own Hap Navarro. Los Angeles' boxing tradition goes back to the days of Jim Jeffries, Tom McCarey, the famous Los Angeles Athletic Club under the direction of George Blake who developed Fidel LaBarba, Jackie Fields, Joe Salas. The names of the fighters and movers and shakers continued with Jimmy McLarnin, Gig Rooney, George Hansford, Henry Armstrong, Turkey Thompson, John Thomas, Fitzie Fitzpatrick, Chalky Wright, The Olympic Auditorium, Cal Working, Hollywood Legion stadium, Cal and Aileen Eaton, George parnassus, Manuel Ortiz, Babe McCoy, Clarence Henry, Irish Bob Murphy, Wrigley Field, Gilmore Stadium, Jimmy Lennon, Frankie Carbo, Mickey Cohen, Howie Steindler,South Gate Arena, Don Jordon, Ramon Fuentes, the tragic teenage boxing sensation-Keeny Teran, George raft, Lupe Vellez, Main Street Gym, Billy Peacock, Duke Holloway, Canto Robleto, Boots Monroe, Dwight Hawkins, Raul Rojas, Frankie Crawford, etc.

    Get the picture? All great tales. I know of no other boxing town with such a colorful or exciting story to be told, and nobody knows it better than Mr. Hap Navarro......,,,,Jackie
    McCoy, Norm lockwood, Harry kabakoff, Indian (Ernie) Red Lopez, the Baltazar brothers, Ralph Gambina, Hegeman Lewis, Eddie futch, Tury (The Fury) Pineda, Carlos Palomino, Inglewood Forum, Jerry Buss, Don Chargin, Genero Hernandez, the Ruelas bros., Oscar DeLaHoya, Fernando Vargas, etc. etc..........Please Hap get this thread goin again it was the best !!! And you are the best !!!

  2. #2
    kikibalt
    Guest
    Chuck
    What menories come to me seenig all those name , i seen most of those boxers fight, an in one way or other i work with some of these people, Eleen Eaton and Don Chargin were the promters for my sons fights, Norm Luckwood was our cutman ,Jackie McCoy and i were co-managers with my son Frankie.
    A funny story on Harry Kabakoff, Harry and Jesus Pimintel had a fighter from Mex. that was going to fight Ruben Castillo his name was Chago Cruz ,when Castillo learn Cruz's record he pull out of the fight, it was the Monday before the fight, that same Monday i walk into Don Chargin office an Harry looked like he was going to cry, when he seen me his eyes got big an he ask me if my boy was ready to fight i said yes that i was looking for a 6 rounder he said how about Cruz in a 10 i told him Frankie only had 5 pro fight ,but he had been boxing since he was 7 years old, anyway Frankie k.o Cruz in 9 rds. for about two week Harry was piss off at me but he got over it
    Chuck there is one man you left out, that man is Johnny Flores



    Frank B.

  3. #3
    phlboxarc
    Guest
    Frank, besides Johnny Flores I left out many other names that should be mentioned as well thats why this was such a popular thread before the hackers destroyed the board. Everybody posted with their memories of L.A. boxing and Hap would respond with his memories and this thread alone had so much information about the history of the game in Los Angeles that who ever detroyed this sight commited a MORTAL sin and should be cast to the abyss of hell.
    But keep posting your memories and our buddy Hap will be back posting his great stories as well.
    Chuck

  4. #4
    kikibalt
    Guest
    Chuck
    I'm going to enjoy this thread like no other , now all we have to do is get Hap going , right Hap? ,lets do it

    Frank B.

  5. #5
    Chuck1052
    Guest
    If one has read every post the original thread of
    the same title, he or she has a tremendous
    amount of knowledge of the history of boxing
    in not only Los Angeles, but all of California.
    I agree that Hap Navarro made the original
    thread take off. But some credit should also
    go to Rick Farris, who wrote alot of great
    posts.

    - Chuck Johnston

  6. #6
    DonGee
    Guest
    Chuck Johnston:

    You're a master at statistical input, which is, perhaps, the major true yardstick by which we can gauge the impact of the boxing game on the status of California as an economic force to compare with the rest of the nation.

    Two reasons we had all of those fans attending the weekly shows in the state was the enormous interest in prizefighting by two factions-----the Mexican-American and the native Filipino imports.

    To get an idea of the importance of the ethnic angle in relation to the fan bases, just scan a listing of the most active fighters of the times you mentioned. Chances are good that they either had Mexican or Filipino ties. For whatever reason, the Filipinos sought out other options to earn a living and their presence became relatively unknown by the mid-1950s. Because of the favorable
    logistics, fighters from nearby Mexico continued to pour into the U.S., mainly through Texas and California borders, hence the box office boom of the 1960s and 1970s.

    By the way, for those of you who may want to see what the old Mexican-American idol Bert Colima looked like at the age of 60 plus, you might try to catch him in John Huston's film "Fat City", which also features Art Aragon, Curtis Cokes and the ex-175 lb. California State Champion, Sixto Rodriguez. Bert is the only one who did not get a credit line in the cast.

    regards

    hap navarro

  7. #7
    kikibalt
    Guest
    Hap
    My dad used to tell me alot about Bert Colima, i did't get to see Colima fight as i'm to young for that, hell i'm only 69 yrs old , there were alot of fan going to boxing show then, but we did't have the Dodges, Laker, etc,etc

    Frank B.

  8. #8
    DonGee
    Guest
    How sweet it is, to read such favorable stuff on a guy who did nothing more than his job as matchmaker at the most perfect boxing venue in the world---the Hollywood American Legion Stadium.

    I owe this rebirth of interest in my life and times to Chuck Hasson, who first posted my slightly-known name and effort on this thread a couple of years ago. I can't thank you enough, C.H., because you drew me out of obscurity with follow-up assists from Rick Farris, Chuck Johnston, our editor-in-chief Gordoom, and Wildhawk Danny, (from overseas) Harry Shaffer, Mike de Lisa, Dan Cuoco, etc. to name just a few boosters. I had practically given up on the game that has been my special interest since I was about 10 years old.

    Our times, like your own preferred capsules, were singular and just a bit difficult to visualize. Like the old saying-----you had to be there to know the greatness of Enrique Bolanos, my pal Manuel Ortiz, Golden Boy Artie Aragon, Bert Colima, Henry Armstrong, Baby Arizmendi, and the dynamiting Baby Face Casanova. Lordy, what times those were! Boxing shows every night of the week in southern California (except Sunday), and a similar agenda for the San Francisco Bay area, and the territorial clashes between men from the two polarized regions.

    Sorry we lost so much input on the original thread, but rest assured we will recoup some of that fistic lore, slowly, of course, but most assuredly.

    Thanks guys.

    hap navarro

    P.S. Can somebody explain to me the bout and result preceding the Mayweather vs Gatti main event! A winger knocking out a by-the-book champion??

  9. #9
    Chuck1052
    Guest
    I have said it before, but there was much, much
    more professional boxing activity taking place in
    the United States before 1950 than afterwards.
    Yes, California is the current leader with about
    one hundred professional boxing shows a year.
    But California had a little over one thousand
    professional boxing shows a year during the late
    1920s! Yet California had between five and six
    million people in 1930, only about one-sixth of
    what the population in the state is today.

    Another fact to ponder is that the total
    attendance at professional boxing shows was
    over 1.4 million a year in California during the
    late 1920s. If the attendance kept up with
    the population growth in the state, there
    would be about eight or nine million people
    going to professional boxing shows in
    California on an annual basis at the
    beginning of the 21st Century!

    During much of the late 1920s, one could go
    to pro boxing shows in the Los Angeles area
    five or six days a week! Shows were staged
    on a weekly basis at the Olympic Auditorium
    (Tuesdays), Hollywood Legion Stadium (Fridays),
    Wilmington Bowl (Wednesdays), Pasadena
    (Thursdays), and Main Street A.C. (Saturdays).
    Other Los Angeles area boxing venues were in
    Culver City, Ocean Park, San Pedro, and Compton.

    - Chuck Johnston

  10. #10
    Matt Tegen
    Guest

    PCL

    You did have baseball in the Pacific Coast League back then in the summers, which was much more important, than it is now, though obviously not as important as MLB is now. I know in Seattle and Portland, they would try to avoid going against a PCL homestand.

  11. #11
    kikibalt
    Guest

    Re: PCL

    Yes we did have the PCL, the L.A Angels & the Hollywood Stars

    Frank B.

  12. #12
    Chuck1052
    Guest

    Re: PCL

    The first big wave of Filipinos in both the mainland
    of the U.S. and the Hawaiian Island consisted of
    mostly young men. On the mainland, the vast
    majority of the Filipino migrants came during the
    1920s. As a result, the vast majority of the
    45,000 Filipinos on the mainland in were males
    between the ages of fifteen and thirty in 1930.
    30,000 of them resided in California.

    Despite the relatively small population of Filipinos
    in California during the 1920s and 1930s, a number
    of the California boxing venues were very dependent
    on Filipino boxing fans coming out to see their heroes.
    Even the bigger venues in cities like Los Angeles,
    San Francisco, and Oakland would have large
    numbers of Filipino fans showing up when a
    Filipino fighter was in the main event.

    As Hap noted, the amount of Filipino fighters
    active in California was surprisingly large. It
    should also be noted that a number of Filipino
    fighters were also popular among non-Filipino
    fans. One reason for their popularity is that
    a number of them were known as thrilling,
    very game fighters.

    - Chuck Johnston

  13. #13
    kikibalt
    Guest

    Hap

    Hap or Chuck
    Who were the movie stars that set Keeny Teran up in Big Bear Lake to try to help him clean him self up from drugs ?
    Any of you guys have any pics. of Keeny ,i have one from the Knockout mag. ,it Keeny & Tommy Umeda

    Frank B.

  14. #14
    Chuck1052
    Guest

    Re: Hap

    While looking at bound copies of the first
    Sports Illustrated issues at the U.C. Santa
    Barbara Library during the 1970s, I
    remember seeing a photograph of
    Keeny Teran and Babe McCoy. Of
    course, Sports Illustrated was trying
    to get off the ground by exposing
    the underbelly of boxing at the time.

    I don't know anything about the
    effort to wean Teran off of drugs
    due to the courtesy of movie stars.

    - Chuck Johnston

  15. #15
    phlboxarc
    Guest

    test

    test

  16. #16
    phlboxarc
    Guest

    Jimmy Carter vs. Art Aragon bouts-1951

    I was told this story and I wonder if you guys can confirm it ?
    Art Aragon upset lightweight champion Jimmy Carter in an overweight bout at the Olympic Auditorium (8/28/51) before a packed house-Att.,10,400. Ten weeks later, for the title, they only drew 7,251 fans. This was the first bout televised live from the west coast to the East and the main event had to be scheduled for 7 PM Pacific time. Being totally unprepaired Public transportation and automobile traffic were in complete chaos as fight fans were competing for space with workers heading home from their jobs and thousands of people arrived after the bout was over and large numbers never made it at all as commuters were stranded all over town enroute because of the crush at bus stops and the huge traffic jams. I was told that for all future big bouts the city made arrangements to have extra public transportation available for the throngs.

    Hap and Frank, Do you remember this episode or was I bullshitted? I always wondered why such a great attraction as Aragon only drew 7,251 for the title challenge after packing the house for the non-title fight.
    Chuck Hasson

  17. #17
    kikibalt
    Guest

    Re: Jimmy Carter vs. Art Aragon bouts-1951

    Chuck Hasson
    I think you were b-shited because i remenber the Olympic been packed an i was there that night , i remenber Keeny Teran fought a 6rd after the Aragon-Carter fight, i paid $5 to see that fight an i was up in the second to last row

    Frank B.

  18. #18
    kikibalt
    Guest

    Re: Hap

    Chuck 1052
    I think it was one of the Berrymore's,the star's had Keeny and his then wife up in Big Bear Lake , anyway it did't work as he could never get off the drugs

    Frank B.

  19. #19
    phlboxarc
    Guest

    WHO WAS L.A.'s GREATEST BOX OFFICE ATTRACTION ?

    L.A.'s GREATEST BOX OFFICE ATTRACTION
    The first post on this thread mentions many of the top L.A. box office attractions. But it is generally conceded that Bert Colima, Fitzie Fitzpatrick, Enrique Bolanos, Art Aragon, Mando Ramos and Ruben Olivares were the biggest. In Colima's case it is impossible to get accurate figures and most of the numbers for Fitzpatrick are unavailable. When comparing the stats for the others remember Ramos and Olivares had the advantage of bigger indoor venues not available during the heydays of Bolanos and Aragon who proved their drawing power in outdoor shows and from the many thousands of fans who were turned away when they sold out the Olympic or Hollywood Legion Stadium.
    Following are the Att. and receipts figures of the four, only bouts that drew $ 10,000. are listed :

    ART ARAGON......................................ATT... ..........REC.
    1/24/50-Mario Trigo, Olympic-W10.........7,500........$ 14,000
    2/14/50-Enrique Bolanos, Olympic-KO12.10,400..........39,785
    4/18/50-Guillermo Giminez, Olymp-KO2....9,109...........29,129
    5/16/50-Tommy Campbell, Olymp-KO3....7,500...........16,558
    6/6/50-Carlos Chavez, Olympic-L10......10,400...........32,210
    7/8/50-Enrique Bolanos, Olympic-KO3.....9,500...........38,005
    11/21/50-Carlos Chavez, Olympic-KO1....7,200...........12,864
    7/24/51-Johnny Gonsalves, Olymp-W10...7,100..........16,358
    8/28/51-Jimmy Carter, Olympic-W10......10,400..........47,833
    11/14/51-Jimmy Carter, Olympic-L15.......7,251..........74,463
    2/5/52-Manny Madrid, Olympic-KO 6.......7,384...........13,656
    3/4/52-Lauro Salas, Olympic-W10.........10,400...........30,331
    10/15/52-Phil Kim, Olympic-KO9............10,400...........49,244
    1/29/53-Billy Graham, Olympic-L10........10,400...........47,964
    6/26/53-Elmer Beltz, Olympic-KO1.........10,400...........41,415
    10/2/53-Ramon Fuentes, Olympic-L10....10,400...........45,236
    12/3/53-Danny Womber, Olympic-W10.....7,500...........20,217
    2/18/54-Chuck Davey, Olympic-W10......10,400...........59,347
    7/1/54-Vince Martinez, Gilmore St.-L10...17,158.........130,252
    6/2/55-Don Jordon, Olympic-W10,,,,,,,,,,,10,400..........36,250
    8/4/55-Joe Miceli, Olympic-L10...............9,536...........29,438
    12/15/55-Don Jordon, Olympic-W10.........7,842..........25,111
    2/7/56-Raym.Tiscareno,Hollywood-KO2.....5,500..........20,242
    3/27/56-Dan Giovanelli Hollywood-KO9......5,100..........16,100
    5/3/56-Jimmy Carter,Olympic-W10.........10,103...........44,247
    8/29/56-Cisco Andrade, Gilmore-KO 9.....12,932...........93,800
    3/15/58-Chico Vejar, Hollywood-W10.......6,100...........40,444
    9/5/58-Carmen Basilio, Wrigley-LKO 8.....20,565.........236,521
    1/31/59-Charley Sawyer,Hollywood-KO4...6,000..........18,500
    4/25/59-Joe Miceli, Hollywood-L10..........5,800...........15,100
    *seven Olympic bouts unlisted totaled $144,839 (Winkler). Basilio bout set receipts record for California. Attendence of 10,400 at Olympic is a sell-out...........................

    ENRIQUE BOLANOS...................................ATT..... ....REC.
    8/28/45-Chalky Wright,Olympic-L10............10,400....31,647
    2/19/46-Chalky Wright,Olympic-W10...........10,400.............
    4/30/46-Ike Williams,Wrigley Field-LKO 8......18,400...108,101
    1/21/47-Lulu Costantino,Olympic-KO7..........10,400.............
    6/3/47-John Thomas,Wrigley Field-KO7........16,151....70,737
    9/30/47-John Thomas,Olympic-KO4.............10,400....35,000
    1/27/48-Julio Jiminez,Olympic-KO4..............10,400.....28,000
    3/2/48-Tony Mar,Olympic-KO 8..................10,000..............
    5/25/48-Ike Williams,Wrigley Field-L15.........25,332....152,867
    10/19/48-Johnny Williams,Olympic-KO7........10,400.....26,000
    11/30/48-Tommy Campbell,Olympic-W12......10,200.....41,778
    2/1/49-Bolton Ford,Olympic-KO8...............................21,869
    3/8/49-John L. Davis,Olympic-W10...............9,000...............
    7/21/49-Ike Williams,Wrigley Field-LKO 4......18,999....108,247
    11/15/49-Bernard Docusen,Olympic-L12.......10,400.....47,770
    2/14/50-Art Aragon,Olympic-LKO 12............10,400.....39,785
    7/18/50-Art Aragon,Olympic-LKO 3...............9,500.....38,005
    9/12/50-Terry Young,Olympic-W10...............6,600.....13,326
    10/17/50-Maxie Docusen,Olympic-W10..........7,600.....16,400
    2/6/51-Eddie Chavez,Olympic-KO 5...........................12,442
    6/22/51-Eddie Chavez,Hollywood-W12.......................20,643
    7/10/51-Jimmy Carter,Olympic-LKO 7.............9,000....27,606
    *list above for Bolanos is incomplete as many large gates have not been confirmed. Winkler once stated Bolanos sold out the Olympic a dozen times. Second bout with Ike Williams set the California receipts record.

    MANDO RAMOS........................................ATT.. ........REC..
    10/13/66-Allen Syers,Olympic-KO 5...............9,100.....17,196
    1/17/67-Ramon Echavarria,Olympic-W10........9,800.....26,910
    3/30/67-Pete Gonzalez,Olympic-W10.............9,700.....30,279
    6/22/67-Len Kesey,Olympic-KO 5..................6,100.....22,400
    7/6/67-Su Kang Il,Olympic-L10....................10,202.....49,899
    9/14/67-Elisio Estrada,Olympic-KO 5 (co-1)...10,000.....65,239
    10/5/67-Frankie Crawford,Olympic-L10..........10,400....55,452
    2/1/68-Frankie Crawford,Olympic-W10............9,947....60,000
    9/28/68-Carlos Teo Cruz,Coliseum-L15(co-2)..23,211..181,000
    2/18/69-Carlos Teo Cruz,Sports Arena-KO11..14,183...140,732
    10/4/69-Yoshiaki Numata,Sports Arena-KO6...15,646...161,047
    3/3/70-Ismael Laguna,Sports Arena-LKO 9.....15,577...150,081
    8/7/70-Sugar Ramos,Olympic-W10.................9,800.....91,650
    12/10/70-Raul Rojas,Olympic-KO 6.................8,281.....54,441
    9/30/71-Ruben Navarro,Olympic-W10.............8,319.....71,697
    2/18/72-Pedro Carrasco,Sports Arena-W15....15,165...171,816
    9/15/72-Chango Carmona,Ciliseum-LKO 8.......20,113...218,850
    *(co-1)co feature with Rojas vs Kang. (co-2)co feature with Rojas vs Saijyo.

    RUBEN OLIVARES.......................................ATT .........REC...
    8/28/68-Bernabe Fernandez,Forum-KO3(co-1)14,245...142,139
    3/17/69-Ernesto DeLaCruz,Forum-KO9............8,459.....44,772
    5/23/69-Takao Sakurai, Forum-KO6..............12,226.....74,046
    8/22/69-Lionel Rose,Forum-KO5.....(18,408) ...18,549,,,270,545
    12/12/69-Allen Rudkin,Forum-KO 2................14,651..174,585
    4/18/70-Chucho Castillo,Forum-W15.............18,762...281,840
    10/16/70-Chucho Castillo,Forum-LKO 14........16,404...215,902
    4/3/71-Chucho Castillo,Forum-W15..(18,141).18,456...254,155
    8/23/71-Val Galeano,Forum-KO9 (co-2).........14,806...135,200
    12/14/71-Jesus Pimintel,Forum-KO11 (co-3)...14,704...255,585
    11/14/72-Rafael Herrera,Forum-L10 (co-4).....18,633..222,657
    4/28/73-Walter Seeley,Forum-KO2 (co-5)......18,552..205,100
    6/23/73-Bobby Chacon,Forum-KO 9..............15,100...175,540
    3/4/74-Art Hafey,Forum-W12......................12,000....90,102
    7/9/74-Zenzuke Utagawa,Forum-KO 7..........,11,000...117,670
    11/23/74-A. Arguello,Forum-LKO 13.(13,458) ..14,313..186,210
    6/20/75-Bobby Chacon,Forum-KO 2..............18,770..401,930
    9/20/75-David Kotey,Forum-L15....................8,000....85,000
    12/4/75-Danny Lopez,Forum-LKO7................,9,240...102,261
    6/2/76-P. Lupakanete, Sports Arena-KO1........8,500...68,200
    7/30/76-Fernando Cabanela,Sports Arena_W10.7,310...51,465
    11/19/76-J. Cervantes,Sports Ar.-LKO6(co-6).10,465..125,525
    8/20/77-Bobby Chacon,Forum-L10.....(6,360)...6,651....71,740
    * (co-1)co-feature with Rose vs Medel,Castillo vs Armstrong. (co-2)co-feature with Napoles vs Josselin. (co-3)co-feature with Napoles vs Lewis. (co-4)co-feature with Pinder vs Castillo. (co-5)co-feature with Chacon vs Castillo. (co-6)co-feature with Canto vs Javierto. **Attendance numbers in parenthesis is from second source. Second and third sources give 6/20/75 Chacon bout receipts of $421,000 and $410,150.

    OK - Who was L.A.'s greatest box-office attraction ???????

  20. #20
    phlboxarc
    Guest

    Re: WHO WAS L.A.'s GREATEST BOX OFFICE ATTRACTION ?

    Frank, I got a couple of reports for their second (of three) bout and they both give the paid attendence as 7,251. The other two were reported as sell-outs (10,400).
    Chuck

  21. #21
    kikibalt
    Guest

    Re: WHO WAS L.A.'s GREATEST BOX OFFICE ATTRACTION ?

    Chuck
    The paid attendence is not everybody there as you get lots of people getting in free as i did in later years

    Frank B.

  22. #22
    kikibalt
    Guest

    Re: WHO WAS L.A.'s GREATEST BOX OFFICE ATTRACTION ?

    Chuck
    Here is one for you , the paid attendence records were fix because lots of fighters would fight for a % of the gate , believe me i know how that works

    Frank B.

  23. #23
    Chuck1052
    Guest

    Re: WHO WAS L.A.'s GREATEST BOX OFFICE ATTRACTION ?

    Chuck Hasson- Those are great lists of the
    attendance figures and gates of four of
    the top drawing cards in the history of
    boxing in the Los Angeles area. I had
    a similar list of some of Ace Hudkins'
    bouts. Of course, Hudkins was good
    drawing card in other parts of the
    country during his heyday.

    Some other terrific drawing cards in the Los
    Angeles area include Mexican Joe Rivers,
    Bert Colima, and Pipino Cuevas. In fact,
    I think that Cuevas was the last top
    drawing card in the Los Angeles area
    because fighters like Julio Cesar Chavez,
    Oscar de la Hoya, and Fernando Vargas
    had only a few fights at best there.
    Moreover, Chavez did not draw huge
    crowds in the Los Angeles area until his
    "adios" bout at the Staples Center.

    - Chuck Johnston

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    Re: THE HISTORY OF L.A. BOXING by HAP NAVARRO

    Chuck, Regarding California's great drawing cards not only was George Godfrey Philadelphia's greatest drawing card but he was also a huge draw in California, both in San Francisco and L.A.
    Chuck Hasson

    P.S. how is the L.A. book coming along ?

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    Re: THE HISTORY OF L.A. BOXING by HAP NAVARRO

    Chuck- George Godfrey vs. Paulino Uzcudun was the first
    bout to draw a gate over $100,000. in California. Of course,
    Uzcudun was of interest to Latino fans due to the fact he
    was a Spaniard.

    - Chuck Johnston

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    Re: THE HISTORY OF L.A. BOXING by HAP NAVARRO

    I had a question about Newsboy Brown and Speedy Dado. I have been looking up some non-title fights and I noticed that Panama Al Brown fought both Dado and Brown, and lost to both in overweight bouts at the Olympic in a span of a month. They were good fights from the details I read and worthy challenges, so how come Panama Al Brown never defended his title aginst Dado or Brown? I would be curious as to why these fine fighters couldn't get a title fight with the real bantamweight champ of the time, Panama Al Brown.

    Deepak

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    Re: THE HISTORY OF L.A. BOXING by HAP NAVARRO

    Newsboy Brown defeated champion Al Brown on Dec. 15, 1931, at the L.A. Olympic and just three weeks later, on Jan. 4, 1932, Speedy Dado outclassed Al Brown in the same ring. Li'l Speedy had to come into the ring a quarter pound over the bantam limit to save Al Brown's title. Neither one of the victors ever got a second shot at the champion, whose handlers took pains in staying clear of California and its plethora of terrific little battlers, Brown, Dado, Arizmendi, Young Tommy, Jo Tei Ken and Fidel La Barba, all of whom were ranked among the top ten challengers to Al Brown's crown.

    It is obvious that Al Brown's brain trust did not need to expose the champ to bantams of the caliber of the California challengers. The Panamanian hacked out a Hall of Fame lifetime record by taking on many of the better bantams from abroad. I am not disputing Brown's greatness because I don't know all of the facts in this matter. Suffice it to say he was really an imposing figure. standing almost six feet tall, weighing 118 poinds and with a great advantage over his contemporaries in the reach department.

    hap navarro

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    Re: THE HISTORY OF L.A. BOXING by HAP NAVARRO

    Thanks Hap for the information and insight. I have no idea who Young Tommy and Jo Tei Ken are so I will now look for some of their bouts. I know Panama felt comfortable and was well-paid to fight mostly out of France. But with the California promoters luring Genaro in for the LaBarba fight, I thought there might have been good money on the table for a fight between Al Brown and Dado or Newsboy Brown.

    Deepak

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    Re: THE HISTORY OF L.A. BOXING by HAP NAVARRO

    Al Brown also stayed clear of Pete Sanstol for the longest time. Do a ProQuest search of the historical NYT, and you will see that Sanstol was challenging Brown for the title as early as 1930, but Brown never accepted Sanstol's numerous challenges. The August 1931 THE RING Sanstol article, although written by an unabashed Sanstol fan--MONTREAL DAILY HERALD Sports Editor Elmer Ferguson--described how, after Montreal promoters got sick and tired of waiting for Brown to accept Sanstol's challenges, decided to hold a World Title bout anyway. Sanstol won and defended HIS title twice, before Brown's manager, Dave Lumiansky, hied himself to Montreal, and spoke of a legal injunction to prevent Sanstol from being billed as the bantam champ. Only then, after the HUGE bad publicity Brown got world-wide by that RING article, etc. did he deem to fight Sanstol. But Brown had to be able to select the referee (NBA Prez John Clinnin), get the rules changed at the last minute, and get the gloves changed so that, while of regulation weight, they were so spongy that Sanstol wouldn't be able to score a knock-out. In fact, no bantam could, as a Montreal newspaper later reported: "A knock-out could be registered only if the glove was propelled by a welterweight."

    Brown beat Sanstol in a split-decision August 25, 1931. All this would seem to demand a rematch, but it never occurred. Brown (or Lumiansky) continued to avoid Sanstol for the next four years, while continually dangling offers to fight again for the title. (In fact, once example is, when Sanstol had come to California to engage in a few fights under the management of George Blake, the reason his stay was so short was because Brown had promised him a second title shot if Sanstol beat Pete DeGrasse and Bobby Leitham. Lumiansky probably thought there was fat chance of this happening. But Sanstol beat them both. But he never got that second chance, for reasons unknown to me at this time.)

    As I wrote in my web page regarding this era of boxing history:
    (http://www.geocities.com/boxofdaylight/Brown.htm)

    "Around this time the New York State Athletic Commission withdrew its support for Brown as their world champ, citing his preference of fighting in Europe rather than face North American fighters on home soil. [See An Illustrated History of Boxing by Nat Fleischer & Sam Andre (updated by Nigel Collins)(1997) at p. 376.] But, as of 1999, we probably know the real reason they took this action. It is unknown if the NYSAC later declared him once again their champion.

    Brown also began forfeiting his title throughout other parts of the world because of his infamous refusal to fight, as would be recalled later by the Montreal Daily Herald on August 7, 1935. Virtually every history account today ignores this fact. Instead they state that Brown, as true world champs before him, traveled the globe to take on all comers. That he fought most of the best is true. Yet his refusal to fight Pete Sanstol would be only the first of at least three documented cases where Brown refused to fight the top contender for his crown -- the other two are Baby Casanova and Sixto Escobar.

    But the National Boxing Association grudgingly stood behind Brown to support his claim to the "official, undisputed" world title -- at least until 1934 when it, too, would withdraw its support because of his refusal to risk his crown against Baby Casanova. From 1934 on who else, besides probably the International Boxing Union, considered him the bantam king?"

    Only after he had lost his crown to Sangchili did Brown finally decide to fight Sanstol again.

    Thus, Brown's/Lumiansky's reluctance to risk his title was not limited to California bantams.
    Last edited by BoxofDaylight; 04-05-2006 at 03:08 PM.

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    Re: THE HISTORY OF L.A. BOXING by HAP NAVARRO

    Thank you very much for this information on Panama Al Brown and the boxing politics of the time. A lot of what I've uncovered has kind of opened my eyes to the myths and realities of Panama Al Brown as champion. I have recently received articles on the Sangchilli-Al Brown fight and once I can get them translated and organized, I will email the information to you.

    Deepak

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