1951-05-18 Kid Gavilan w pts 15 Johnny Bratton, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - NBA/NY
1951-05-18 Kid Gavilan w pts 15 Johnny Bratton, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - NBA/NY. Referee: Ruby Goldstein. Scorecards: 11-4, 11-4, 8-5. Looking to add to his NBA crown, Bratton (147) was unanimously outpointed by Gavilan (145¼), who was just too strong and vigorous for his rival. Gavilan won without experiencing any difficulty at any stage as he forced the fight throughout and Bratton had no answer to the continuous punches coming his way, finishing with a broken jaw and a fracture of the right wrist. Although badly wobbled in the first round, Bratton came back for the next few sessions with some flashy defensive boxing, coupled with speedy left jabs and stinging rights, and while the going was fairly even at the halfway stage he began to fade thereafter. By now increasing the tempo, Gavilan chased the back-pedalling Bratton down to work him on to the ropes where he could pour in punches from both hands, the decision being a formality. Bratton had been the NBA champion for just 65 days.
Having just won the European title, Charles Humez demanded an immediate crack at the world title and was fully supported by the EBU to that end. Even though The Ring magazine had him rated second only to Gavilan, who they saw as the American champion only, those who ran boxing in New York decided that the latter’s first defence would be against Billy Graham. Following that, the EBU reiterated that they would only recognise the winner as the American champion.