ROXIE ALLEN was the ring name used by Rocco Auletto, who was one of the many fine Italian boxers who came out of South Camden in the 1920s and 1930s, and was considered by some to be among the best local fighters of his era. He fought in the lightweight, welterweight, and middleweight divisions.
Rocco Auletto was born September 23, 1909. He began fighting professionally as a featherweight in August of 1925, facing Jack Dunleavy twice. He beat Dunleavy twice, the first fight being a six round decision, and by way of a second round knockout in the latter fracas.
In August of 1930, Rocco Auletto was shot in the leg by Charles Areni at South 2nd and Pine Streets. Areni was tried and sent to prison in October. In December of 1930 Rocco Auletto, left with a noticeable limp from the shooting, was identified as a participant in an armed robbery at Landisville, New Jersey. He was arrested, tried and and sentenced to four years in prison. He served two years before being paroled in June of 1933. He returned to the ring in July of 1933. He won two fights over pretty good competition – Billy Ketchell and Johnny Pepe. However his best days were behind him, and his ring career after 1933 did not go well. His last known fight was in 1937.
After his ring career ended, Rocco Auletto worked in a number of pursuits. One which brought him to the attention of law enforcement agencies was serving as bodyguard to organized crime figure John J. Brennan, who was gunned down in South Philadelphia early in March 1944.
Rocco Auletto, last a resident of Haddon Heights NJ, passed away in May of 1985.
Camden Courier Post – November 20, 1948 By TOM RYAN A new boxing triumvirate soon will be formed in Camden, it was learned today. Those involved are Tony Georgette, Joe Webster and Eddie Prince, all Camden residents. The merger of the trio into one group has been talked over for the past months among the…
Philadelphia Daily News – March 10, 1944 By GEORGE ZACHARIAS As they prepared to take John Brennan on his last ride, Rocco Auletto, known to the fight world as Roxie Allen, was held in $5000 bail for further arraignment next Friday and detectives spread the dragnet for five men believed implicated in the gangland execution…
Past and Present South Jersey Boxers Go Through Paces in Charity Show
Present and past greats of Camden boxing will do their all for charity tomorrow night, when they appear on a card sponsored by the United Democratic Clubs of Camden at the Camden Convention Hall.
When Johnny Pepe, veteran Philadelphia middleweight, mingles with Joe Smallwood of Wilmington, Del. in the first half of a double-windup at Grip’s Pennsauken township open-air Arena on Friday night, the Quaker City entrant will be playing with fire.
Lew McFarland, matchmaker for the newly organized Camden Sporting Club has arranged another attractive card for this Friday night’s show at Grip’s Pennsauken township open-air Arena.