Johnny Lucas

Johnny Lucas - 1933-08-08

Johnny Lucas, often lauded as “The Pride of Whitman Park,” emerged as one of the notable lightweight and welterweight boxers from Camden during the 1920s and 1930s. While boxing records suggest a birthdate of January 1, 1912, this remains unconfirmed.

One of Johnny Lucas’ notable moments in the ring occurred on February 3, 1933, when he engaged in a 10-round draw against world junior-welterweight champion Johnny Jadick in Philadelphia. This bout marked a turning point for Jadick, who, with a prior record of 68 wins, 17 losses, and 1 draw, experienced a decline, securing only 18 more wins against 32 losses and six draws.

Regrettably, despite his promising performance, Johnny Lucas struggled to secure another significant bout. Although he faced future champion Maxie Berger late in his career, engaged in two bouts with Holman Williams, and fought the Cocoa Kid five times, he never had the opportunity for another major fight. His bouts were primarily concentrated in the northeast, with a brief relocation to Miami, Florida, in late 1933, where he contested seven matches before returning to the Camden area in mid-1935.

Johnny Lucas clinched his last victory in June 1938. Following four consecutive losses, including the Berger fight and a defeat against Canadian contender Jordan “Sonny” Jones, he decided to retire from boxing. He briefly returned in 1942 for a six-round match in Fall River, MA, which he lost to the relatively unknown Danny Nobrega. In 1945, he faced another defeat against Lou Duva in Miami.

Post his boxing career, Johnny Lucas remained in South Jersey and maintained his involvement in Ring No. 6 of the Veterans Boxing Association until at least 1958.

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