1932-12-09 Kid Chocolate w pts 15 Fidel LaBarba, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - NY
1932-12-09 Kid Chocolate w pts 15 Fidel LaBarba, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - NY. Referee: Willie Lewis. An exceptionally close and exciting contest saw Chocolate (125½) just about hold on to his laurels by a majority decision after LaBarba (124) rallied in the latter stages, attacking viciously to the body and having the champion on the verge of a kayo in the 12th round. Calling on all of his ring strategy, Chocolate came through with his own rally to hold off the former Olympic champion who finished extremely tired from his exertions.
Having taken the British title from Nel Tarleton on 10 November, Seaman Tommy Watson signed to meet Chocolate in Madison Square Garden on 27 January 1933. Right from the moment Watson landed in New York obstacles were placed in his path, being even forced to show his ability in a public workout against three tough fighters before the NYSAC would give him permission to take on Chocolate. It then got worse following the news that Chocolate had been deported back to Cuba when failing to obtain a Department of Labour permit. So that the promotion could go ahead, Watson took on LaBarba over 12 rounds in what was effectively an eliminator, and after winning the unanimous decision he sailed for home angry at having been messed about. Back in America again, with the date eventually confirmed as 12 May, Chocolate was taken ill the night before the fight was due to take place, leaving Watson twiddling his thumbs for a further week.