People who see him buzzing around the Diablo Heights Commissary or ask "Brown" to help them carry packages to their cars probably have no idea that he was once a lightweight contender and that his name isn't Brown at all.
The "Brown" comes from the days when he was fighting in Jamaica, Panama, Colombia, and the United States, under the name of "Baby Al Brown." The name by which he was christened some 34 years ago in St. Ann's, Jamaica, is Horace Lloyd Morgan.
Today his ring days are far behind him. Occasionally, when he has an opportunity he goes to local prize fights or listens to radio broadcasts of big bouts in the States, but he hasn't touched leather to skin for several years. He has no regrets about his ring career, however. He said, philosophically, the other day: "Boxing, generally is a clean sport. It sets a man up to realize what the world's made of. How much he can give and how much he can take, that's what makes a man."
STARTED AS AMATEUR
"Brown" started boxing as an amateur in Jamaica, about 1935, as a paperweight. Before he ended his fighting career he had fought men 10 pounds heavier, although most of his last bouts were in the lightweight class.
He came to the Canal Zone as a contract worker in March 1941. His first job was with the Municipal Division; later he worked for the Commissary and Schools Divisions and for the Receiving and Forwarding Agency at the Balboa Docks. he has been with the Commissary Division again since 1946 and at the Diablo Heights store for about a year.
He began to fight professionally in Panama soon after he arrived on the Isthmus. Most of his first bouts were in Colon but he soon extended his activities to Panama City. He believes his best fight was one with Young Finnegan of Colon before what newspapers described as a record-breaking crowd in the National Stadium in July 1943. The fight went 10 reounds and "Brown" had Finnegan on the canvas in the second round. The final decision went to Finnegan but, quoting the local press again, it was a close one.
The next year "Brown" fought Chalky Wright, former world's featherweight champion, in Panama. Wright not only reported him to be a "rough, tough, fellow," but persuaded him to go to the States to try his luck. "Brown" did, via Colombia and Jamaica, where he received a tumultous welcome as a local boy who had made good.
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
His States fights included two at Madison Square Garden, one of them against Julio Jimenez, Mexican lightweight champion, and several in New Jersey.
What with one thing and another, fighting did not prove to
be as provitable as "Brown" had expected although he was doing well and was
receiving good press notices. So he came back to Panama and since about 1946 has been an
"ex" in the fighting game.
Today he keeps himself busy working in the commissary and being a family man. He lives in Panama with his wife and three little Morgans, two boys and a girl. The older boy is Orelio Washinton - he was born on Washington's Birthday in 1948. The little girl, who was born a few months after the family lost all their belongings in a fire in Panama City in 1949, is Hortensia, and the baby, now 18 months old, is named Alleroy Marcus.
Orelio is in school now, in Panama. So far, he hasn't shown any interest in boxing, but if he does he has a good teacher right in the family.
"I'll teach him, if he wants to learn," "Brown" says.
Presented by CZBrats
December 23, 1998