Saturday, February 20, 2016

Oscar… Sparring of a World Champion!!!

To commemorate Oscar´s 107th birthday, a noteworthy anecdote of his incredible life was forwarded by ‘Tito’ Liber to share with the readers of this blog. The source of Alemán´s quotes is a 1974 TV interview by Pinky (preserved at Sus presentaciones en vivo Vol. 5, track 06 and 09).
Oscar Alemán (1934)
Around May 1935, while resting from Josephine Baker tours (- in fact she had gone to the USA and Alemán was workless), Oscar went to Deauville (France) looking for a job in an orchestra. Though the director only offered him a little money, Alemán was obliged to accept, because: “In those months I had to earn some money to live”. Then a friend from Paris who was a boxer offered him the double for being his sparring partner. Oscar accepted.
"Panama" Al Brown
His friend was the famous bantam weight World Champion Alfonso Al “Panama” Brown (1902–1951), born in Panama and the first Latin world champion of the boxing history. “Panama” won his title by beating Gregorio Vidal in 1929, June 18 in New York.

Brown had seen Alemán training at a gymnasium… but the true history is that he had been part of show business: Al worked as a tap-dancer in Josephine Baker´s La Revue Nègre!!
In June of that year he had to fight with the Spanish Baltazar "Sangchili" Belenguer Hervás, and needed a fast sparring partner. “He told me he had never seen a man faster than me (…) I trained him three days a week”. - Here's an example of sparring feat. "Panama" Al Brown in 1935

Brown, however, lost his fight and his title to Sangchili in the match which took place on June 1, 1935, in Valencia, Spain. Poor Oscar, very fast but… it didn´t work this time. They had a rematch on March 4, 1938, and Brown was the winner. But by then Sixto Escobar of Puerto Rico was the actual World Champion in bantam weight.
With the advent of World War II Brown moved to Harlem, USA. He died of tuberculosis in New York City in 1951.
Panama Al Brown's record comprises 123 wins, 18 defeats and 10 draws, with 55 knockouts. He was the bantamweight World Champion for six years and made 11 title defenses.

'Tito' Liber
Thanks to 'Tito' Liber for this great anecdote. Let's end this with some music celebrating the right bantam steps. 



Anonymous Hot Club de Boedo said...

Excelente =)

5:39 PM  

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