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Newsboy Brown v. Corporal Izzy Schwartz

The main event at New York City's famed Madison Square Garden on December 16, 1927 was a junior lightweight championship match between champion Tod Morgan and challenger Joe Glick, in which the challenger was disqualified 2 minutes and 9 seconds into to 14th round when he struck the champion with a hard right to the groin. Of greater importance to this webpage, however, was the semifinal event, a 15 round bout in which Corporal Izzy Schwartz, phantom of the Army, met Newsboy Brown of Sioux City, Iowa, for recognition in New York State as the holder of the flyweight championship vacated by Fidel La Barba.

It was not the first time the two boys had crossed gloves. On November 27, 1925, they clashed in a 10 round windup at the Hollywood stadium, which Brown won by carrying the fight to Schwartz and by outpunching him practically every inch of the way. Schwartz did some clever boxing and some good counter punching that night, but there was never a time that Brown didn't have the upper hand. Despite the traditional cushion throwing and demonstration by some of the fans over the referee's verdict at the end of the bout, Brown had won that one handily.

So when the two met again in New York, many favored Brown to take the crown. But Schwartz fought the huskier Brown to a stand-still. Brown forced the fighting throughout, but rarely was able to evade the short uppercuts Schwartz snapped inside to his chin. Although there were no knockdowns, these uppercuts several times sent Brown reeling. The Newsboy refused to retreat, however, and several times shook up Schwartz with jolts to the head and ribs. Schwartz was bleeding freely from the ear and left eye at the close.

Newsboy Brown and Izzy Schwartz slug it out
at Madison Square Garden on Decemer 16, 1927.

Here is a round by round description of how the fight went.

  1. Both fighters started off cautiously, with Schwartz providing most of the action in the early part of the first round. Before they exchanged a dozen punches, the New Yorker staggered Brown with a heavy right. Brown, however, came back fighting and held the edge during the rest of the round.

  2. Schwartz buried Brown under a storm of blows along the ropes early in the second round. After that one brief flurry the round was tame.

  3. Brown started the third round with a rush, but a savage right hook to the jaw stopped him in his tracks. Schwartz then drove in to the attack, and pounded Brown's body with rights and lefts.

  4. The Newsboy forced the fighting during the fourth session, as Schwartz seemed to tire under the pace. The westerner centered his attack on the body.

  5. Brown came to the front in the fifth round, and furnished what action there was. Schwartz was bleeding badly from the ear and seemed arm-weary.

  6. Brown held his advantage throughout the sixth round, although Schwartz flashed a few rallies that had the Newsboy hanging on. Brown kept his attack directed to the New Yorker's body, save for an occasional right or left hook to the jaw.

  7. The brief respite between the sixth and seventh round gave Schwartz a much-needed rest, and he resumed the offensive as the seventh round opened. After taking a few on the jaw, however, Brown rushed in and halted the New Yorker's rally with a continuance of his body attack.

  8. After a slow start in the eight round, they began a furious exchange along the ropes, Schwartz staggering the western contender with a heavy right to the jaw.

  9. Schwartz was showing a lot of his early speed in the ninth round. Left hook and right uppercut had the Newsboy bewildered. Schwartz was stopping Brown's rushes with a sharp uppercut that the heavier man could not fathom.

  10. Brown came from his corner in the tenth with a rush, but again ran into a flurry of gloves. Schwartz peppered his rival's face with hooks from every angle. Brown, however, was scoring frequently with rights and lefts to the body.

  11. Brown opened up a cut under Schwartz's right eye in the eleventh round, and scored heavily about the body. Schwartz was showing signs of arm-weariness again.

  12. The twelfth round was slow with Brown forcing the fighting. Brown's body attack had slowed the Corporal down noticeably.

  13. The thirteenth round found both boys tired from the pace. Schwartz was countering heavily with his favorite punches, left hook to chin and right uppercut to the same spot. In Brown, however, he found an opponent who never ceased boring in.

  14. A cut showed under Brown's ear as he came out for the fourteenth round. A flurry of punches drove the Corporal to the ropes, where the Newsboy hammered his body after some clinching. Brown's punching had the New Yorker in a bad way.

  15. The last round opened fast, Schwartz swarming over Brown with a smashing attack with both hands. A right and left sent Brown back on his heels. Brown came back flailing away with both hands. Schwartz's last-minute stand had the crowd in an uproar. Brown staggered Schwartz with a succession of heavy hooks. It was a sensational round, with both men slugging away as the final bell rang.
It is hard to say when the turning point came in the fight, or what more the fighting Newsboy could have done to secure his dream. But in the end the tiny ex-soldier beat the newsie in decisive fashion to take claim to La Barba's vacated throne.

Front Page / Biography / Photo / Opponents / Fidel La Barba / Corporal Izzy Schwartz / Frankie Genaro / Midget Wolgast / Panama Al Brown / Small Montana / Opening of the Olympic Auditorium / Memorable Fights / Brown vs. La Barba / Brown vs. Schwartz / Brown vs. McCoy / Newsboy Brown vs. Al Brown / Flyweight Champions

Copyright William B. Shubb, 1998. All rights reserved.