Number 191 – Big Boy Brown


Big Boy Brown (tied for 190)
February 14, 1922 – February 1984
6’1” / 220-268lbs
14-22-2-0(9) from 4/8/1942 to 11/22/1950 (8y7m)

1-6-1-0(0) against the top ten
0-0-0-0(0) against linear champions
0-1-0-0(0) against hall-of-famers
no fights for the linear championship

Top ten opponents: W-SD-10, D-10 Lou Brooks, L-UD-15 Harry Bobo, L-KO-8 Lee Q Murray, L-KO-11, L-UD-10 Curtis Sheppard, L-KO-5 Pat Comiskey, L-UD-10 Joey Maxim

-2.5 total score (1 + -5 + 0.5 + 1)

Alfred “Big Boy” Brown claimed to be a cousin of Joe Louis. He was a large fighter, tipping the scales near 270 in an era where most of the best heavyweights fought around and under 200 pounds. After a pair of decision losses to one Leroy Lawson to start his career, Brown went 10-1-1 over a seven month period in 1942, including a close loss to up-and-comer Pat Comiskey, and two revenge wins over the same man. A draw and a somewhat controversial decision victory over top ten heavy Lou Brooks, followed by a knockout over faded former contender Red Burman, helped cement a surprising year for the novice professional. At the end of 1942, Brown was only 20 years old, and had a record of 10-3-1(6), including a win and a draw over a top ten opponent. The Ring Magazine ranked Big Boy at number 6 to end the year. Joe Louis was away in the Army, and several other top fighters were either already drafted, or on their way overseas. The division was wide open for upstarts like Brown. Then came 1943.

Reality set in, as Brown faced just his 2nd top 10 opponent, losing to 5th ranked Harry Bobo in January. He lost again three months later to Buddy Walker, managed a knockout win over a still developing Lee Oma in May, then lost three in a row to Lee Q. Murray, Johnny Shkor, and Al Hart, good fighters all. Only Murray was able to stop him. Big Boy stopped Larry Lane in October, but was then obliterated in a punishing fight against the Hatchetman, Curtis Sheppard, over eleven brutal rounds on November 1st. Sheppard broke Brown’s jaw, despite being outweighed by 61 pounds. This loss dropped Brown to 12-9-1, having only managed a 2-6 record for 1943.

Big Boy took the first half of the year off to recover, and came back in June of 1944, only to lose to old nemesis Harry Bobo. Further decision losses to former opponents Buddy Walker and Curtis Sheppard would end Brown’s year. At that point, his record had dropped to .500 (12-12-1), and even in an era where losses meant less, he was rapidly losing status as a contender. The initial promise of Big Boy Brown faded, and while he would fight on until 1950, he would only win twice more in his final 13 fights. Brown finished with the only losing record on this list. However, his first impressive year as a professional combined with his solid showings against good fighters would allow him at least some notice in boxing history. Big Boy Brown wasn’t a great fighter, but he was a colorful and interesting addition to his era.

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