1953-11-13 Kid Gavilan w pts 15 Johnny Bratton, The Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, USA - WORLD
1953-11-13 Kid Gavilan w pts 15 Johnny Bratton, The Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, USA - WORLD. Referee: Frank Gilmer. Scorecards: 82-68, 85-65, 83-67. This was Gavilan (146) at his best as he won all rounds bar the first, fifth and tenth, and went into overdrive in the eighth round, throwing so many punches to head and body that it was difficult to count. Amazingly Bratton (145½) came back to take a share of the tenth but took so much out of himself in that session he barely showed again. Bratton was repeatedly stunned by any number of punches through to the final bell and it was testament to his gameness that he was able to keep going.
Having struggled with the weight over the years, and having taken care of all leading challengers, prior to his next defence Gavilan was given time out to challenge for the middleweight title held by Carl Bobo Olson. Olson won that one comfortably and Gavilan had an enforced lay-off, suffering from a hand injury, before signing for a 1 September title defence against fourth-ranked Johnny Saxton.
After beating Bratton (w pts 10 on 24 February 1954 in The Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) to get a crack at the title, a ten-round draw against the lightly regarded Johnny Lombardo at the High School Stadium, Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania on 4 August was hardly the best form of advertising for the Blinky Palermo-managed Saxton. So much so that hardly anybody noticed the fight being postponed until October due to Gavilan picking up a virus infection.