FRANKIE RAPP was born Frank Rapini on November 9, 1906 to Pasquale and Sadie Rapini. His father had a shoe store and repaired shoes as well, at 836 South 4th Street, which was also the family home.
Frankie Rapp was another one of the many fine Italian boxers who came out of South Camden in the 1920s and 1930s. His known record at this point is five wins, and four losses. It is almost certain that he had more fights, as he was active for at least four years and was fighting eight round bouts in 1930 and 1931.
After his fighting days were over, Frankie Rapp went back to the family business. He was involved in arranging fights at Camden's Convention Hall in the mid-1930s, handling local boxers such as Frankie Blair, Harry Smith, and Julius "Frankie 'Kid' Carlin" Lighthiser.
Frankie Rapp's shoe business was still located at 836 South 4th Street as late as 1947. By the mid 1950s the business, now known as Rapp's Regular and Orthopedic Shoes had moved to 517 Broadway. The business eventually moved off Broadway to East Camden and by 1970 as Rapp's Men's Shoes at 25th and Federal Streets.
Frankie Rapp retained his interest in boxing long after he hung up his gloves. In the late 1950s he served as recording secretary of Camden's Ring No. 6 of the Veterans Boxing Association.
By 1977 Frankie Rapp had retired. Last a resident of Cherry Hill NJ, he passed away in April of 1982.
Camden Courier-Post - January 6, 1928
Camden Courier-Post - January 7, 1928
KAYOES FOE IN FIRST SESSION
Rapp, local lightweight product, made good his debut at the Cambria Club
last night when he stopped Bill Walters, of Germantown, in the first
round of the scheduled six-round main preliminary. Rapp substituted for
Lew Lafferty who was forced out of the fight with a cut over his eye.
Rapp scaled 131½ while Walters weighed 128. Rapp dropped Walters three
times before Referee Joe Griffo stepped in and halted the bout to save
Walters from further punishment..
Camden Courier-Post - January 10, 1928
RAPP FAVORED TO ECLIPSE RECORDS OF ALL LOCAL BOXERS
By TOM RYAN
Is Frankie Rapp, South Camden lightweight due to eclipse the performance of every scrapper who has ever been developed here?
is the question that was asked at a gathering of local fight critics the
other day and the consensus of opinion was that Rapp will eventually
outshine every lad who is considered a local product. Frankie’s
ability to batter his opponent into submission within short space of
time is the reason that local critics favor him to rise higher In the
boxing “racket” than any other Camden fighter, including both Roxie
Allen and Mickey Blair, who are the outstand stars at the present time.
knockout record is one of the most remarkable ever compiled by a local
lad. He has scored twelve
knockouts out of seventeen bouts only two of the scrapes going over two
rounds. He has won four on decisions and has lost but one fracas, the
tilt he lost resulting in the wildest night ever witnessed at the Convention
Hall, - a near-riot ensuing when the decision was rendered
Kayoed 4 out of 5 “Pros”
Frankie has engaged in twelve amateur bouts and five professional encounters. He stowed away eight out of the twelve “Simon Pures” he faced and four out of five professionals. He was Middle Atlantic A. A. featherweight champion before turning “pro” having won the title while representing Shanahan Catholic Club of Philadelphia.
His rise has been spectacular to say the least. He never had had a glove on until the Courier Relief Fund amateur boxing tourney, which was staged in conjunction with the South Jersey Exposition of 1926, enabled a host of South Jersey lads to display their prowess as “glory” glove wielders.
athletic ability prior to the Courier Fund bouts had been confined to
baseball and basketball. He is a graduate of Camden Catholic High
he played the outfield on the 1924 and 1925 teams and a forward position
on the basketball team during his junior and senior years.
Wins First Bout by Knockout
Fast as a whippet on his feet, Rapp proved to be one of the best leadoff lads ever to represent the Green and White, while his speed on the court made him a dangerous foe to guard, as he also was an accurate shot from the field and foul line.
It was regarded
as a joke by Rapp’s friends when lie announced his intention of entering
the amateur bouts, but after his first appearance when he knocked out Lou
“Kid’ Hinkle in the first session they began to perk up their ears for
Frankie showed evidence of developing into a .300 consistent hitter. He
next won the judges decision over Tommy Skymer and followed up this
victory by stopping Jesse Urban In the fourth round, the judges calling
the bout even at the close of the third round.
Then came the combat that nearly wrecked the Convention Hall. “Red” Haines, who also had cut a wide swath in the lightweight ranks, and Rapp came together for the lightweight title. It developed into a slugfest at the start and for the entire three rounds both endeavored to annihilate each other. Both boys had a host of friends on hand who thought that their favorite had won and when the late Jack Dean, who was the third man in the ring, was forced to decide the issue, owing to the disagreement of the judges, the fun began.
Haines Decision Starts Riot
There was considerable money bet out the outcome and when Dean’s
decision favoring Haines as the winner was announced, Rapp’s supporters
started scrapping with Haines’ adherents, who, nothing loath, piled in
with the result that it took the combined effort of every cop in the hall
to stop the impromptu bouts. However. Deans decision stood, and, while the
writer was of the opinion that a draw would have been proper verdict and
that another round should have been ordered to decide the issue, he knew
then as he knows now that the decision rendered by Dean was his honest
opinion of the bout. Jack was a “square shooter” if there ever was one
and as good a Judge of a bout as any man in South Jersey.
That bout wound up Rapp’s Camden career in the
amateurs as shortly after he was induced to represent Shanahan in the
featherweight class. He won every one of his eight “glory’ battles for
the Philadelphia organization with comparative ease and after copping the
featherweight crown, decided he was ripe for a whack at the “money
Frankie guessed right. In his first bout here he halted Billy Cortez, of Philadelphia, in one round. He next flattened Frankie Youker, local lad, in the very same round and then outpointed Manuel Flores, also of Camden, in six rounds.
Young Heppard, of Riverside, conceded to be a “killer”, was Rapp’s next victim. Frankie got rid of him in one round and in his last fuss knocked out Bill Walters, of Germantown, in the first round of the main preliminary at the Cambria Club last Friday night.
Frankie is 20 years old, is single, and opts to remain so during the ensuing year despite the fact that he looks like the best money earner in the city for the next twelve months.
Camden Courier-Post - October 17, 1931
LUCAS CONQUERS RAPP IN CAMBRIA SEMI BOUT
Johnny Lucas, of Whitman Park, continued his rise in the boxing game by handing Frankie Rapp, also of Camden, an eight-round lacing at the Cambria Club, Philadelphia, last night.
Lucas had Rapp down for a count of three in the third round, and opened a cut over his rival's right eye in the fourth.
the windup, Jimmy Mack, of Kensington, outpointed Marty Gold, also of
Kensington, in eight rounds.
|Camden Courier-Post - May 16, 1934|
December 18, 1939
|Camden Courier-Post * December 20, 1939|
Kopesky - James
Braddock - Jersey
Joe Walcott - Roxie
Allen - Frankie
Blair - Mickey
Lew Skymer - Battling Mack - Joe Spearing- Frankie Rapp - Johnny Lucas - Joey Straiges - Joey Allen
Sgt. Ray Smith - Tommy Ricco - Al Daley - Jackie Hindle - Eddie Chaney
Caesar Campana - Young O'Connors - Charlie Mack - Pee Wee Ross - Bobby Zimmerman
Buck Flemming - Joe Shannon -Kayo Palmer - Pat Lawrence- Dave Lambert
Young Lawrence - Archie McNew - Lou Jackson - Al White - Young Palmer - Tommy Dundee
Joe Mangold - Joey O'Donnell - Young Joe Firpo
CAMDEN BOXING ELITE- At one of the many gatherings of Camden's Ring 6, Veteran Boxers' Association, Tony Georgette (right) enjoys company of Sgt. Ray Smith (seated), Lew Skymer (left) and Frankie Rapp
Veterans Boxing Association Ring 6
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