1951-03-14 Johnny Bratton w pts 15 Charley Fusari, The Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, USA - NBA

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1951-03-14 Johnny Bratton w pts 15 Charley Fusari, The Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, USA - NBA. Referee: Tommy Gilmore. Scorecards: 77-73, 78-72, 74-76. Contesting the vacant NBA title, Bratton (146¼) was the first to show when cutting Fusari (146¼) over the left eye in the first round and opening up with vicious two-handed attacks to push the latter back. Thus, it came as no surprise when he dropped Fusari for ‘four’ after smashing in a heavy right to the jaw in the fourth. In the seventh Fusari’s eye damage worsened, giving cause for concern from there onwards, and although he was gradually putting that to one side he was sent crashing by a savage left hook followed by a right cross in the tenth, barely making it up in time. After the tenth, when it became apparent that Bratton was now carrying an injury to his right arm, he boxed the remainder of the contest with the sole use of his left hand. Never one to miss an opportunity, Fusari got right back into the fight when winning three and drawing two of the final five sessions, but it was not enough. As far as two of the judges were concerned, Bratton's earlier good work entitled him to the verdict.

With Bratton due to meet Kid Gavilan to decide the title, the American plan was then to match the winner of that fight with Eddie Thomas, the British, British Empire and European champion, some three months later. This was followed by the BBBoC writing immediately to the NBA and NYSAC stating that they would not countenance Thomas being included in any eliminators, demanding that he be given a straight crack at the vacant title.

Meanwhile, Robinson insisted that he was still champion and would be defending his title in London against Thomas in July. Unfortunately for Thomas that became academic when he lost his European title to Charles Humez at the Coney Beach Arena, Porthcawl, Wales on 13 June. While Robinson stayed among the middles, Thomas would go on to lose the British and British Empire titles when beaten by Wally Thom in October.