JOHNNY LUCAS, "the pride of Whitman Park", was another of the fine crop of lightweight and welterweight boxers to come out of Camden in the 1920s and 1930s. Boxing records show he was born January 1, 1912. This at present is unconfirmed.
Johnny Lucas' finest moment in the ring may have been on February 3, 1933 when he fought world junior-welterweight champion Johnny Jadick to a 10 round draw in Philadelphia. Jadick, who had a record of 68 wins, 17 losses and 1 draw coming into the Lucas fight, was never the same fighter, winning only 18 more fights, against 32 losses and six draws.
Unfortunately for Johnny Lucas, he never really got a shot at another big-time fight. He fought future champion Maxie Berger late in his career, split a pair of bouts with Holman Williams, and fought the Cocoa Kid no less than five times. He also fought Wesley Ramey, a well known junior welterweight in his day, who Berger defeated for the title belt in July of 1939. Most of his fights were in the northeast, although he did relocate to Miami Florida late in 1933, and fought seven bouts their before returning to the Camden area in mid-1935.
Johnny Lucas last won a fight in June of 1938. after four straight losses, including the Berger fight and a loss to Canadian contender Jordan "Sonny" Jones, he hung up his gloves, coming back once in 1942 for a six round match in Fall River MA, which he lost to little-known Danny Nobrega, and in 1945 to lose to Lou Duva in Miami.
Johnny Lucas remained in South Jersey after his boxing career ended. He was active in Ring No. 6 of the Veterans Boxing Association as late as 1958.
Camden Courier-Post - January 28, 1928
BATTLES ATTRACT BIG CROWD
Fifteen sizzling amateur boxing bouts, together with nine acts of vaudeville, were presented to a capacity crowd in the St. Joan of Arc Church gym, Fairview. The proceeds derived from the affair will go toward the church building fund.
In the feature bout, Bob Zimmerman, of Fairview, unintentionally fouled Eddie O'Tell of South Camden, in the first round and Referee Joe Bonnell immediately stopped the fuss. Zimmerman was in the lead when O'Tell, in attempting to avoid a left hook to the body, leaped into the air with the result that the punch landed low.
Zimmerman, in order not to disappoint the crowd went three rounds with Mickey Murtha. Battling Mack and Pee Wee Ross staged a clown act, while Johnny Lucas met Billy De Lue; Tommy Lyons clashed with Jack Stanley; "Peaches" Gray tackled Terrible Pine; Joe Colon faced Billy Osborne, and George Anderson encountered Milton Bamford. All bouts were limited to three rounds.
Deputy Boxing Commissioner Edward A. Welsh attended the affair, and when introduced by Announcer Bill Kennedy received an ovation that lasted fully five minutes. Mrs. Mary Walsh Kobus, a member of the city board of censors also was present.
Sergeant Ray Smith assisted Bonell in refereeing, while John McGraw was timekeeper. It was one of the most successful affairs ever conducted by the church athletic association.
Spearing - Willie
Lucas - Ray Gadsby
Camden Courier-Post - June 5, 1931
AND BERMAN IN MILVILLE TIFF
Millville, June 5. Teddy Berman, shifty Kensington slugger, and Johnny Lucas, fair-haired Camden puncher, will feature the eight-round windup attraction at the Taubel Arena here tonight. Five bouts are on the program as arranged by the Millville Athletic Club.
Berman, who made a name for himself at various Philadelphia fight clubs, is given at least an even chance to stop the rising Camden lightweight, although local fans who have seen Lucas in action many times and seldom when -the latter has been on the losing end, are pulling for him to get by the Kensington threat.
A pair of hard hitters, Kid Rose, of Atlantic City, and Freddy Kid Wilson, of Chester, are down for the semi-windup number of six sessions or less. Both are noted for their ability to stop their rivals in snort order and it is doubtful if this affair will go the limit.
other bouts are on the program. Billy Cranmer, a local puncher and
favorite, meets Frankie Burns of Clayton, in the main preliminary. In the
other scraps, Jack Sharkey, of Vineland, opposes Marty Moore, of Woodbine,
while Solly Blair, of Chester, tangles with Al
Daley, of Camden, in the
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 - February 3, 1933|
LUCAS GETS CHANCE
IN JADICK SKIRMISH
Johnny Lucas, pride of Whitman Park will be given his first big opportunity of crashing into the select circle of boxers tonight when he meets Johnny Jadick, junior welterweight champion of Philadelphia in a 10-round bout at the Cambria.
Jadick, who stopped Lew Raymond of Baltimore, in his last fight, will be tackling one of the best junior welterweight prospects around these parts in young Lucas. In his last appearance in the ring the Camden boxer defeated the veteran Pat Igo in impressive style.
Lucas showed plenty of boxing skill and a good punch in the Igo bout, and is expected to give the champion plenty of trouble. However, Jadick's title will not be at stake, for the king of welters will enter the ring over weight.
Another South Jersey boy will be given a big chance to go places provided he comes through tonight. He is Johnny Duca, the hard-punching Paulsboro youth, who will meet Pat Haley in an eight-round semi-final.
The feature six-rounder will bring together Soib Styer, Lancaster knockout artist, and Frankie Little, of North Philadelphia. In the other six-rounders Pete O'Hara of Southwark, is scheduled to take on Mike Loughran, of South Philadelphia, while Norman Rahn, of Mayfair, battles Frank Spina, of Juniata.
|Camden Courier-Post - August 1, 1933|
LUCAS TO OPPOSE BASHARA
IN WIND UP
McFarland, matchmaker for
Lucas, Whitman Park lightweight, has signed to meet Tommy Bashara, of
Norfolk, Va., in the feature bout of eight rounds. The two youngsters have
met in a couple previous bouts, Bashara winning the last encounter at
Wilmington, Del.. by a hairline decision,
Serody, clever Philadelphian is scheduled to clash with the tough Marty
Haley, of Kensington, in the eight-round semi-final. Joey
Allen, of South
Camden, takes on Mike Palmer, of Philadelphia, in the main preliminary of
six rounds; Terry McGovern, of the U. S. Marine Corps, faces Lou Heineman,
of Lindenwold, in the second six-rounder; and Davey Taylor, of Camden,
collides with Mickey Shannon, of Camden.
McFarland staged his first show last Friday night and it proved a decided success. In the windup, Roxie Allen, downtown Italian, out-pointed Johnny Pepe, of Philadelphia while the four other contests resulted in clear-cut knockouts.
|Camden Courier-Post - August 3, 1933|
LUCAS IN KILLING
MOOOD FOR BASHARA BATTLE
home town boxing product
Lucas, Whitman Park junior welterweight, is the boxer in question. Lucas
is scheduled to clash with Tommy Bashara, of Norfolk, Va., in the feature
10-rounder on the Camden Sporting Club's second weekly show. An
eight-round semi-final and three
six-rounders complete the card.
main event is expected to attract a larger crowd than attended last week's
show, as there are strained feelings between the principals, who engaged
in an eight-round draw at Norfolk about a year ago. In addition, Bashara's
brother, "Toots" twice
was awarded decisions
over Lucas in recent
months, with the result that Lucas will be in a killing mood when he again
to Anthony Georgette, Lucas' manager, Johnny is in prime physical fettle
and is determined to make his first impression on the Bashara family.
I'm partial to Lucas, but I was not alone in thinking that Johnny should
have been given the decision
over "Toots" in their last fight
at Wilmington, Delaware," Georgette said today.
the entire crowd thought Lucas had won as he dropped Bashara twice, still
the judges gave Bashara the best of it," Georgette continued. "I
guess the judges failed to take into consideration the two knockdowns
otherwise, Bashara never had a chance to win.
Lucas lost the decision and still is 'peeved' about the result. He is in
perfect shape for this fight and expects to win decisively over Tommy
despite the fact that the latter gave him a great fight last year.
is in as good shape for this fight as he was when he surprised everybody
by getting a draw with Johnny Jadick. I was 'ribbed' unmercifully for
taking the fight, but I knew that Lucas had improved greatly and also that
he was 'in the pink.'
still is 'hot' about his last bout with 'Toots' Bashara and plans to get a
measure of revenge by handing Tommy a good licking. Lucas will make a
fight of it and if Tommy also is willing to stand and fight it out, he's
likely to be on his back long before the 10th round rolls around,"
how Lucas' skipper feels about the forthcoming scrap and if Bashara, who
is fast and a good puncher, elects to stand and trade punches the fuss
should be an exciting brawl and Lucas also is clever and packs a stiff
punch in both hands.
Serody, agile Philadelphian, is billed to meet Martin Haley, of
Kensington, in the eight-round semifinal.
Joey Allen, South Camden Italian, faces Mike Palmer, of Philadelphia, in the main preliminary of six rounds. In the other two six-rounders, Lou Heineman, of Lindenwold, takes on Terry McGovern of the United States Marine Corps, and Davey Taylor, of South Camden, clashes with Mickey Shannon, another local product.
|Camden Courier-Post - August 5, 1933|
Lucas Defeats Tommy Bashara
LOCAL FIGHT RESULTS
Lucas, 139, Camden, outpointed Tommy Bashara, 140, Norfolk, Va., in 10
rally in the last two rounds enabled Johnny Lucas, blond Whitman Park
junior welterweight, to gain the referee's decision over Tommy Bashara,
of Norfolk, Va., in the feature 10-rounder at Grip's Pennsauken township
open-air Arena last night.
1000 of the faithful turned out to witness the encounter.
was credited with five rounds, Bashara won four, while one was even.
However, Lucas won the ninth round by a wide margin and also won the final
round with plenty to spare. Johnny also shaded Bashara in the second,
third and sixth, while the Virginian showed to advantage in the first,
fourth, fifth and eighth rounds, with the seventh being even.
best round was the ninth in which he belabored Bashara with volleys of
rights and lefts to both the head and body, forcing Tommy to try to hold
during the session. Several rights to the jaw spun Tommy on his heels and
he appeared tired at the end of the round.
Whitman Parker took up where he left off at the start of the tenth and
also won the round by a clear cut margin. He smothered the stubby Norfolk
youngster under a body attack, and a right cross also drew the claret from
best round was the fourth in which he cuffed Lucas a about the head with a
flurry of punches and also got home a number of hard rights to the
last two rounds made the fight, as both boys were guilty of holding in the
earlier rounds. Both tied each other's right up in the clinches and
Referee Gus Waldron experienced difficulty in breaking them. Bashara had
the better of the going when they fought "inside" in the early
rounds, but Johnny more than overcame Tommy's advantage in the last two rounds, making Bashara hold when they came to close
of Philadelphia, scored a
technical knockout over, Marty Haley, 139,
of Kensington, in the fifth round
of the scheduled eight-round semi-final bout. Referee Gus Waldron stopped
the bout after Haley went down twice from body blows.
was no match for the clever Serody, who won as he pleased. Serody scored
nine-count knockdowns in the fourth and fifth rounds, before Waldron
stopped the bout after Haley again went down for a count of two.
Haley arose he complained of pains in the left kidney and Waldron halted
Allen, 127, of
Camden, easily outpointed Mike Palmer, 128, of Philadelphia,
in the main preliminary of six rounds.
won every round by wide margins and forced the fight throughout. The
Camden Italian staggered Palmer in the first, fourth, fifth and sixth
rounds, but could not bring him to the mat. Palmer bled from the nose from
the second round on.
he spotted Lou Heinsman, 146,
of Lindenwold, six pounds Terry
McGovern, 138, of
the U.S. Marine Corps, knocked out the Lindenwold mauler in one minute
and 44 seconds of the fourth round of the second fight.
missed a terrific right to the jaw and McGovern crossed his right to the
same spot to flatten Lou for the full count. Heinsman won the first round,
but McGovern carried the second and third.
Davey Taylor, 115 , of Camden, outpunched Mickey Shannon, 114 , also of Camden, in the opening match of six rounds. Taylor won every round, centering his attack on Shannon's body. .
Camden Courier-Post - February 8, 1933
Do YOU Think
OKAY, ELLIS PARKER, DENY THESE!
That Charley Lafferty of Atlantic City will succeed Edward L. Sturgess as Collector of Internal Revenue with offices in the local Federal Building . . . And that that'll be denied by more persons than Ellis Parker too (All right then, you pick Harry L. Maloney, I'll stick to Mrs. Lafferty's boy, Sharlie) . . .
That certain investigators for the State Emergency Relief are refusing food orders to families with life insurance policies . . . The chumps making the poor folks turn in their policies for cash and live off that 'til gone . . . :May they bury all such punk investigators in Potter's Field (where they forget to put American flags on graves on Decoration Day) . . .
That a Dame downtown who operates One of Those Places refused recently to testify for a lad accused of a holdup because she thought she might have to close her joint (when her testimony would have saved the kid from a long stretch in the Pen, which my friends tell me he didn't have coming) . . .
That that member of a suburban school board who recently said certain school was too good for a certain section because everybody living there were swamp dwellers, is knertz . . . And that maybe he'll be singing a different chune following election, the umpchay . . .
That there's hoss racin' joints open in at least two political clubs (but that's not half as what they're doing in another political club-but you'll have to go on from there cause I can't tell anymore) . . .
That Bill Schultz, local copper, recently plugged a silver half dollar three shots out of three at a distance of skeen-teen feet (much to the dismay of a certain elevator operator who donated the coin) . . .
That Philly Sport scribes who recently Okay'd that draw verdict between Johnny Jadick and Johnny Lucas sure had sand in their eyes because Johnny kick'd the daylights out of the reputed Junior Welter Champ (But then a Philly draw is as good as a win anyhow, especially when you're fighting Jadick up in the Cambria. . .
That I might as well end this column with Ellis Parker-and tell you that he will deny he has a good clue in the Bradway Brown murder but that he really has a clue and it'll be a honey if it turns out.
Camden Courier-Post - February 6, 1936
& RAMEY TO BATTLE TONIGHT
Lucas, Whitman Park
his last time .at bat Ramey, ranked as No. 2 challenger for Tony
Canzoneri's title, trounced our Eddie Cool in Brooklyn shortly more than
a week ago.
Particularly noteworthy was Ramey's score, because the Tacony youth had been displaying in recent starts the best battles he ever took into the fight shops. Ramey, who once drew with Cool at the Philadelphia Arena, has a remarkable record, however. He has beaten Canzoneri (in a non-title go), Harry Dublinsky, Steve Halaiko, Tony Herrera, Benny Bass, Johnny Jadick, Bobby Pacho and plenty more.
Lucas, rough and rugged, with endeavor to match blow for blow with the invader, but that will be a difficult task.
Jacobs, Norfolk, Va., lightweight, and. Jackie Willis, lanky
Philadelphia negro body-whacker, are ·to clash in the eight-round
Johnny Marcellini will be pitted against Danny O'Donnell, another former simon pure, for the main six-rounder.
Tommy Forte, district flyweight champ, will engage in his first cashfor-clout number when he opposes Nip McCann, an erstwhile all-forglory lad, in a sixer. Frankie Mills and Calvin Reed, lightweights, are to go in the first six.
Camden Courier-Post - February 7, 1936
WINS EASILY OVER JOHNNY LUCAS
Grand Rapids, Michigan, who is being given a wide berth by the
outstanding lightweights, punched out a clear-cut decision in 10
rounds over Johnny Lucas, of South Camden, at the Olympia in
Philadelphia last night.
won eight rounds, dropping the third and eighth sessions to the Camden
slugger. It was a rough battle all the way, although no knockdowns were
came in at 140 lbs.
Other results were: Frankie Mills, 141, Southwark, won the decision over Calvin Reed, 137, Philadelphia; Tommy Forte, 112, Southwark, won on a technical knockout in the second round over Nip McCann, 112, Southwark; Johnny Marcellini 116, Southwark, won on a T. K. O. in the third round over Danny O'Donnell, 115, Southwark, and Jackie Willis, 137, Philadelphia, won the decision over Stumpy Jacobs, 139, Norfolk. .
May 25, 1937
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
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