Forgotten Legends: John ‘The Eastern Beast’ Brown

By: Steve Gallegos

There are some fighters who train hard, fight tough and for some reason or another cannot get to that next level and become world champion. That was the case for former Jr. Lightweight and Lightweight contender John The Eastern Beast” Brown.

Brown was a unique person in and out of the ring. Standing at only 5’4, Brown was a relentless, all action fighter who was in his opponent’s face for every second of every minute of every round. John Brown was born and raised in Atlantic City, NJ. Life growing up for John Brown was very rough as his brother was murdered and he was raised in 12 foster homes. Brown was a very angry person growing up, however he knew there was a beautiful world outside the dark, harsh world he had experienced and he was determined to find it. He would find it in boxing.

Brown would turn pro in 1989 and would go 18-4 over the next nine years, while mixing it up with top notch fighters such as Calvin Grove, Lamar Murphy and Jesus Chavez. Outside the ring, Brown would toughen himself up by living homeless on the streets while eating land crabs and cockroaches.

1998 would be a good year for Brown as he began to get national exposure and began his quest to a world title. He would face WBU Jr. Lightweight champion Angel Manfredy on 09/22/98 at Madison Square Garden. The bout was nationally televised on TNT’s short lived boxing series called “Title Night”. Although Brown would come up short and lose a unanimous decision, he was in Manfredy’s face all night and would frustrate him throughout the bout with his rough, inside fighting style. After the Manfredy fight, Brown was back in the gym and one month and two days later, he was back in the ring as he faced former world champion Gabriel Ruelas.

They met on 10/24/98 at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ and it was part of an HBO Boxing After Dark doubleheader. Brown was a late substitution for Jesse James Leija, who was originally scheduled to face Ruelas that night. Brown battered Ruelas all night long en route to an 8th round TKO. This performance would set up a world title shot against “Sugar” Shane Mosley.

They met on 04/17/99 at the Fantasy Spring’s Casino in Indio, CA for the IBF Lightweight championship. Brown was able to frustrate Mosley at times and Mosley had difficulty with Brown’s height and wasn’t able to land many clean shots. In the eighth round, Mosley was able to catch and rock Brown with hard combinations which forced the ringside doctor to stop the fight in between rounds.

Brown would bounce back from this loss with a convincing 10 round unanimous decison victory over Francisco Cruz just four months later. This would set up another world title shot against Diego Corrales. They met on 12/04/99 in Lincoln City, OR for the IBF Jr Lightweight championship.
Brown showed his toughness once again in a game effort. During the fight, Corrales landed a hard right hand that didn’t move Brown. Corrales then said to Brown, “man you are a beast”, and Brown then looked at him and growled. The end result would be a 12 round unanimous decision win for Corrales.

Brown would begin the new millenium by going 2-0 with a No Contest in his next three fights, which included a convincing 12 round decision over unbeaten Robbie Peden. This win would set up another crack at a world title as he faced Steve Forbes. They met on 12/03/00 in Miami, FL for the vacant IBF Jr Lightweight championship. Brown boxed well against the very skilled Steve Forbes and was getting the better of him in most of the exchanges. As the bout was heading into the later stages of the fight, it appeared that John Brown was on his was to finally winning a world title, however in the eighth round, Brown began bleeding badly from his left ear. Referee Jorge Alonso called time and called the ringside doctor over to inspect the ear. The doctor determined that the eardrum was punctured, forcing the fight to be stopped.

It was an eighth round TKO win for Steve Forbes, however John Brown was ahead on all three judge’s scorecards and was on his way to winning the fight. Nine months later, Brown and Forbes met again, however this time Forbes would win a 12 round unanimous decision. It was pretty much the end of the road for John Brown at the top.

He would not challenge for a world title again and would go 1-10-2 over the next 10 years. His record as a professional stands at 24-19 with five KO’s. He was a special breed of fighter who always showed up in top shape and ready to fight any time he stepped into the ring. He mixed it up with some of the best fighters of his era in their prime and he always gave them their money’s worth. It’s unfortunate he wasn’t able to get to that next level and get that title called “Champion”.
John Brown

Forgotten Legends: Francisco “Panchito” Bojado

By: Steve Gallegos

There have been many top notch fighters who come out of the amatuer ranks and are expected to do big things upon turning professional. For some fighters, the spotlight is too bright and they eventually fold under pressure. This was the case with former top prospect Francisco Panchito Bojado.

Bojado was an all action boxer-puncher who made a name for himself in the early 2000’s. Bojado was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and he had an outstanding amateur record of 168-15 and represented Mexico in the 2000 summer olympics in Sydney, Australia. He turned pro in early 2001, signing with veteran boxing manager Shelley Finkel, who was able to ink Bojado a huge deal with Main Events and Showtime. 2001 would be a great year for Bojado as he would win his first nine bouts, all by KO. He was being showcased on televised cards alongside fellow top amatuer standouts Juan Diaz and Rocky Juarez.

It was in his ninth pro bout in which he would get his first real taste of national exposure. He met veteran Mauro Lucero on 11/03/2001 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, NV. It was the co-feature for the much anticipated battle between Kostya Tszyu and Zab Judah. Bojado didn’t disappoint on the big stage as he destroyed Lucero in the first round. Bojado was amongst the top prospects in boxing and was even being called the next Oscar De La Hoya; however reality would hit Bojado hard.

2002 started off very badly for “Panchito” as he dropped a 10 round unanimous decison to journeyman Juan Carlos Rubio. Bojado’s conditioning was a major factor in this fight as he lost 25 pounds in 4 weeks, which caused him to run out of gas early in the fight. It was a learning experience for Bojado and he continued to fight on, winning his next three fights; however the performances were dull and Bojado appeared to lack passion and desire. Changes needed to be made and they were.

In mid 2003, Bojado hired famed trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr. who had helped resurrect Oscar De La Hoya’s career after his loss to Shane Mosley. Bojado was clearly a different fighter when he met veteran Lemuel Nelson on 08/09/03 in Miami, FL. Bojado boxed beautifully throughout the bout, using his jab to setup combinations and won a convincing 10 round unanimous decision. He would close out 2003 with another convincing decision win, getting revenge in a rematch with Juan Carlos Rubio. He would win his next two fights impressively including a win over veteran Emmanuel Clottey; however his career would be met with another roadblock.

He met former world champion and seasoned veteran Jesse James Leija on 07/24/04 in Atlantic City, NJ. It was a close, exciting fight in which Bojado put Leija down in the second; however Leija’s experience and ring smarts would be the difference in this fight and Bojado would lose a close 10 round split decision. Bojado would then fall off the radar completely, not fighting for nearly three years.

In 2007, he signed with Golden Boy Promotions and joined Oscar De La Hoya’s training camp in Puerto Rico, training with the “Golden Boy” in preperation for De La Hoya’s mega showdown with Floyd Mayweather. Bojado would return to the ring in 2007 and would win two bouts before losing a 10 round split decision to Steve Forbes in October,2007. It would be the last fight Bojado would have.

Bojado would face trouble outside the ring in 2011 as he was involved in a high speed chase with police after he failed to stop while passing through the Mexican/U.S. border. He hasn’t been in the ring since 2007; however he stated in a 2013 interview that he was back in training and was making a comeback. His boxing record to date stands at 18-3 with 12 KO’s. He’s another story of what could have been. Was the pressure too much for him? Did issues outside the ring affect him inside the ring? He’s only 30 years old; maybe there is something left in him where he can finish what he started.









Steve Forbes Withdraws from Feb. 10 vs Fidel Maldonado Jr. John Nater Steps In.

SAN ANTONIO, TX (Feb. 7) – Winner of four of his last five bouts, top Puerto Rican prospect John Nater will step up to test welterweight prospect Fidel “The Atrisco Kid” Maldonado Jr. this Monday, Feb. 10 in the main event of FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes’ Golden Boy Live! series at the Cowboys Dancehall in San Antonio, TX. Nater replaces former World Champion Steve Forbes, who was pulled from the bout due to a failed pre-fight medical exam.

In the eight-round welterweight co-main event, unbeaten 2012 U.S. Olympian Errol Spence Jr. takes on Florida’s Peter Olouch and opening the televised portion of the card fans will see an intriguing 10-round junior middleweight showdown between rising star Julian “J-Rock” Williams and longtime contender Alex Bunema.

A professional since 2011, hard-hitting Bayamon prospect John Nater (13-4, 10 KO’s) has the fight stopping power in his fists to turn the outcome of any bout in his favor. A 23-year-old starting to come into his own as a fighter, Nater has won his last two bouts against Ruddy Veloz and Wander Guerrero by first round knockout and he’d like to finish his work early once again on Feb. 10 against Fidel Maldonado Jr.

In the previously announced co-featured fight, Desoto, Texas’ Errol Spence Jr. (10-0, 8 KO’s) will now take on Peter Oluoch (12-6-2, 6 KO’s) in front of his home state fans. Oluoch, a native of Kenya who now fights out of Pahokee, FL., Oluoch is coming off of a big win over 16-1-1 top prospect Jake Giuriceo and he’s seeking the upset once again when he faces Spence Jr.

One of boxing’s top prospects across all weight classes, 23-year-old Philadelphia native Julian “J-Rock” Williams (14-0-1, 8 KO’s) continues to impress with each outing, most recently stopping Orlando Lora in three rounds last December. Already a winner over former World Champion Joachim Alcine, Williams will kick off his 2014 campaign against Congo-native Alex “The Technician” Bunema (31-10-2, 17 KO’s). Now making his home in Memphis, Tenn., Bunema has faced off with some of the best in the business including Sergio Martinez, Vince Phillips, Jermain Taylor and Bronco McKart and now he will attempt to stop Williams’ unbeaten string.

Also in action this Monday will be Spence’s 2012 U.S. Olympic teammate Terrell Gausha (12-2, 6 KO’s), who has won seven straight, five by knockout, since competing in the London Games. On Feb. 10, 26-year-old Cleveland’s Gausha, will battle Trenton, New Jersey’s knockout artist George Sosa (13-5, 13 KO’s) in an eight-round middleweight bout. In undercard action, Texas’ finest will take to the ring to thrill their local fans. In four-round bouts, San Antonio welterweight Kendo Castaneda (5-0, 1 KO) faces McAllen’s Randy Fuentes (3-1-1), debuting junior middleweight Gibran Ruiz meets fellow San Antonio native John Arrevalo (1-1), promising featherweight up and comer Joseph Rodriguez (4-0, 2 KO’s) of San Antonio battles Dallas’ Jesus Garza (2-3-1), Austin’s Marco Solis makes his professional debut in a junior welterweight match against San Antonio’s Danny Sanchez (0-6) and another hometown favorite, junior featherweight Mario Barrios (1-0) takes on Laredo’s Manuel Rubalcava (1-6).

A six-round welterweight fight will pit Laredo’s Luis Torres (5-3-3, 1 KO) against Waco’s Milton Ramos (9-4-2) and in a six-round junior welterweight contest, Austin’s Travell Mazion (6-0, 5 KO’s), who is trained by former world champion Ann Wolfe, will face an opponent to be named. The junior welterweight opener, scheduled for four rounds, will see 19-year-old phenom Justin DeLoach (5-0, 3 KO’s) of Georgia, Louisiana meeting Agua Prieta, Sonora Mexico’s German Valdez (2-3-1, 1 KO).