Nearly 4000 Witness Old-Timers in Action

They turned back the sporting pages last night, month after month, year after year.

Camden Courier Post – December 20, 1939

Past and Present South Jersey Boxers Go Through Paces in Charity Show



They turned back the sporting pages last night, month after month, year after year.

And out of the staring type and paling newsprint stepped the images of youths who in their bygone day had their names blaze across the headlines for their prowess in the boxing ring.

With nearly 4000 in attendance, these old-timers and some who still are or could be active engaged in a program of exhibition bouts at Convention Hall to aid the poor this Christmas.

The affair was sponsored by the United Democratic Clubs of Camden.

Braddock Gets Big Hand

The feature attraction and a man who received a thunderous ovation from the gathering was popular James J. Braddock, former heavyweight champion of the world, [and the subject of the movie Cinderella Man—ed.] who refereed the final two bouts.

Roxie Allen, of Camden, and Jersey Joe Walcott, Merchantville slugger who still is active, paired off in the windup with Braddock serving as referee.

They boxed lightly most of the way with neither connecting with any serious blows and the spectators were handed a few laughs when both boxers “picked on” Braddock in the last round.

Braddock Gets Hand

Braddock was given a great ovation when he entered the ring to referee the bout between Frankie and Mickey Blair.

Strangely the well-known brothers fought one of the hardest bouts of the night. Frankie, one of the best boxers Camden has ever produced, tagged his older brother, with several stiff lefts in the first round, Mickey also got in his share of hard blows, although Frankie was the better of the two.

Lou Skymer and Battling Mack, of South Camden, continued fighting after their three-rounder ended. So Referee Joey O’Donnell scurried from the ring. Skymer had the best of the fight.

Spearing and Rapp Even

Joe Spearing and Frankie Rapp, both from South Camden, boxed lightly for three rounds on about even terms.

Johnny Lucas, of Whitman Park, who did considerably [sic] campaigning several years ago, and the Joey Straiges, active South Camden lightweight, went through three fast rounds. Straiges had the better of the exhibition.

Young Joe Firpo, of Pennsgrove and Joey Allen, of Camden, who retired from the ring not so long ago, rought a hard fight in the first round. Allen knocked himself down in the second round when he socked Referee Ray Smith in the stomach, They both pummeled the Sargeant [sic] after the final bell and the bout got a great hand.

Comedy Bout

The spectators sang the “Beer Barrel Polka” when Buck Fleming of the Veteran Boxing Association entered the ring. Bricks and horseshoes were dumped out of Fleming’s gloves before his bout with Joe Shannon, another V. B. A. entrant, began.

It was the comedy bout of the night, meant as such, and the fans went into near hysterics.

Tommy Ricco, active South Camden lightweight, and Al Daly, of Fairview, staged a clever boxing exhibition. Although neither landed any telling blows, the fast bout was a crowd pleaser. Ricco had the best of it.

The parade of overgrown lightweights continued when Eddie Chaney, of Whitman Park, squared off with Jackie Hindle, of South Camden. These two also got “mad” at each other in the third round and Hindle seemed to have the better of it.

Ceaser Campana, chairman. of the committee, who fought as Young O’Connor years ago, paired off with Charley Mack, well known lightweight of a decade ago, After two slow rounds, they really started slugging and the bell halted a furious exchange.

Lyons’ Wind Gives Out

Kayo Palmer, of Camden; and Pat Lyons, of Gloucester, got along for two rounds, but Lyons asked for a short third session when his wind gave out. Timekeeper Dave Lambert cut the round to 30 seconds. Palmer dropped Referee Young Lawrence, who was saved by the bell.

A howl went up from the throng when Announcer Archie McNew introduced Lou Jackson, of Pennsgrove, and Al White, of Paulsboro, as former lightweights. Both massive weight lines and looked like heavyweight wrestlers. They went three rounds and received a great hand for their efforts. Jackson appeared to have the better of it.

Employing several body slams and a flying tackle to good advantage, Young Palmer bested Tommy Dundee in three rounds. Both are former local bantamweights.

Pee-Wee Ross and Bobby Zimmerman, a pair of excellent flyweights in their day, opened the show. They knocked each other “out” in the second round. Referee Joe Mangold counting 10 over the fallen pair. After rising the two Camden men resumed “fighting” much to the crowd’s amusement.


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