David "Newsboy Brown" Montrose met Diosdado "Speedy Dado" Posadas in Los Angeles on February 10, 1931 to battle it out for the California bantamweight championship, a title created by boxing promoter Jack Doyle and sanctioned by the State Athletic Commission.
Both fighters weighed in at 115 lbs. Brown, who was generally considered the mythical champion, went to the post heavily favored at 10 to 6 and 2 to 1 odds. Brown thought he would be Dado's master at infighting, as he had always been against other Filipinos, but Dado flashed a brand of boxing, punching and speed that never let Brown into the running.
Working from a crouch, Brown fought for Dado's body throughout the entire ten rounds, but early in the fight Speedy fought his way out of the clinches with strength he had never shown before.
Brown's manager, Emmett Ledwith, thought that Dado would slow down after the half way mark and that Brown would come on to take back ground lost in the early rounds. But Dado never cracked. His right arm which collapsed from an old injury against Midget Wolgast the preceding year kept working like a fast piston.
There were several different versions of the battle. Some of the spectators thought the Newsboy was very much in the running for a draw or even a shade. Although not all agreed, in the end, Referee Billy Burke awarded the decision clearly to Dado, giving Brown one round, Dado six and calling three even.
For three weeks after taking possession of the new belt, Dado enjoyed the hero worship of his fellow countrymen like a king. Demonstrations were staged for him wherever he went, and he was reported to be as proud of the belt as a child over a new toy.
His ecstacy was short lived, however, for three weeks later, on March 3, 1931, with the title on the line the two fighters met again at Los Angeles' Olympic Auditorium, this time at 118 lbs. Speedy was in fine form. At age 20, he was five years younger than the Newsboy. However he had always appeared to lack stamina, in hard going situations.
While it lasted, the scrap was a thriller with Dado assuming the aggressive from the start, upsetting the Newsboy for a two count in the first round and in general pasting him about the ring furiously, with Brown peddling in and out and up against the ropes with reckless abandon to save himself.
In the second round, Dado kept dancing, stabbing and jabbing Brown almost at will to take the heat by a wide margin.
But in the third round Brown came out of his corner swinging both hands. He landed two sweeping rights to the Filipino's head, and followed it with a half dozen wicked jolts to the stomach. A left hook to the body, a right cross that landed below the heart and a one-two punch to the chin sent the Filipino boxer reeling in a corner one minute and 35 seconds after the round opened. As Dado coiled up, Brown uncorked a series of rights and lefts to finish his task.
At the time he collapsed, Dado lowered his gloves to his groin and the fans believed he was claiming foul. Referee Jack Kennedy picked him up, carried him to his corner, examined the aluminum protector and began tolling off the count. As he passed seven Dado fell from his stool and amid a chaotic scene that followed, Kennedy raised the hand of Brown.
Referee Kennedy was on top of both fighters and saw the punches where and when they hit. That his decision was just and fair was later borne out by Dado's own acknowledgment. In his dressing room afterwards, Dado acknowledged he had been knocked out fairly and squarely and denied he claimed foul. He offered no explanation for why his hands dropped to his groin. His managers likewise made no protest. Robert Endgren and Dr. Harry Martin, boxing commissioners, who attended the bout, also insisted Brown had won fairly.
Newsboy Brown had snatched back the California
bantamweight title after three short weeks and robbed
Dado of his goal of becoming another Pancho Villa.