1929-06-18 Panama Al Brown w pts 15 Gregorio Vidal, Queensboro Stadium, Queens, NYC, New York, USA - NY

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1929-06-18 Panama Al Brown w pts 15 Gregorio Vidal, Queensboro Stadium, Queens, NYC, New York, USA - NY. Referee: Lou Magnolia. Although not billed for the NYSAC version of the title, on the morning of the fight the Commission stated that the winner would be recognised by them as the ‘defending’ champion. Once the contest got underway, Brown (117½) outstepped, outfought, outgeneraled and outsmarted the limited Vidal (116¾), who chased shadows throughout with limited success before being put down three times in the 13th round from right hands to the jaw. From then on, Brown toyed with his rival until the final bell to win the unanimous verdict.

Brown’s first defence was expected to be against Teddy Baldock in NYC on 2 October. However, a few days before the contest was due to take place, Brown looked for a postponement on the grounds that he had a stomach upset. When Baldock’s manager asked for a £500 guarantee if Brown failed to make the new date of 16 October, the champion’s people would only agree to the terms if Baldock did likewise. Unfortunately, the fight was cancelled when the terms were not agreed, Baldock fighting just once more at 118lbs before retiring at the age of 24, 11 fights later in 1931.

It was on 7 October that Brown was finally recognised by the NBA as the champion after he had completed his obligation to fight Knud Larsen at The Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark. Strangely, both Boxing and The Ring Record Book recorded the Larsen fight as involving the title, possibly because the weight was reported in The Politiken as being 114lbs. This has to be a misprint (more likely to have been 124lbs) with Brown struggling to make 120lbs at the time and Larsen fighting at 126lbs.

Next, Brown looked to defend in Mexico City against the local Blas Rodriguez, but when the promoters failed to come up with the agreed expenses followed by Brown’s mother being taken ill that fight was called off also. As a champion, Brown was sailing close to the wind and it would only be a matter of time before he would fall foul of the authorities yet again.