Leon Lucas

Leon Lucas' Boxing Card - Unknown Date

Leon Lucas, born in Camden, New Jersey on September 4, 1901, was the son of Polish immigrants.

At the age of 18, he was living at 1103 Louis Street, working at one of Camden’s shipyards. In late 1926, while working as a hardwood floor layer, he began boxing at the Arcadia gym in Philadelphia, living at 1539 Mount Ephraim Avenue in Camden. He won four consecutive bouts in one night on April 12, 1928, by knockout, qualifying for the AAU finals, which determined that year’s American Olympic team. He won the Amateur Athletic Union light heavyweight title by defeating Dave Maeir of Milwaukee in 1928 and competed in the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam.

After returning to Camden from the Olympics, Leon Lucas turned professional, winning his first three fights, two by knockout in Philadelphia. However, in his fourth fight, he lost to King Levinsky by knockout in the 6th round, which would prove to be his last professional fight. He continued to stay around boxing and worked as a sparring partner for German heavyweight Max Schmeling in June of 1929.

After his boxing career, Leon Lucas ventured into the business world. He acquired a popular bar at 1223 Haddon Avenue from Charles E. A.” Pop” Mathews, a long-time tavern owner in Camden. The bar later became famous as Donkey’s Place and served delicious steak sandwiches on a poppy-seed roll topped with onions, becoming a Camden staple for more than seven decades.

Leon Lucas passed away in May of 1971, but his legacy lives on at Donkey’s Place, where you can still enjoy their famous steak sandwiches today!


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