Frankie
Blair


FRANKIE BLAIR was a professional boxer from Camden NJ. Born Frank J. Tenerelli on August 20, 1909, he grew up on South 4th Street in Camden. The Tenerelli famil, which included older brother Michael and sisters Nettie and Mary, lived at 833 South 4th Street. At 839 South 4th Street lived the Scola family; their son, Vincent Scola, gained notoriety through his involvement in organized crime in the 1930s and 1940s. 

Frankie Blair grew into a 5'7" welterweight. He turned professional in August of 1933. Although www.boxrec.com shows his first pro fight in January of 1934, local newspapers report his first fight on August 2, 1933, a first round knockout of Camden boxer "Reds" Foy at the outdoor arena on the Airport Circle in Pennsauken NJ.

According to  www.boxrec.com, from January of 1934 on he ran up a 7-2 record against mostly insignificant opposition, except for one loss against veteran Cuban welterweight Relampago Saguero. He fought in Camden's Convention Hall in May of 1934, a fight arranged by Camden ex-boxer Frankie Rapp.

Around the end of 1935, Frankie Blair began training at the legendary Stillman's Gym on 125th Street near Seventh Avenue in New York, where he trained alongside fighter such as Lou Ambers, Henry Armstrong, Erich Seelig, Tony Canzoneri, and Leonard DelGenio. He fought 29 times over the next three years, mostly in New York City. Frankie Blair fought three times in Camden during this period, scoring wins against Tony Falco, Freddy Fitzgerald, and Johnny Duca. After losing his last 5 tests in 1938, Blair split in four fights the following year. He was then inactive, except for a one fight comeback against Harry Dublinsky in 1944, after which Frankie Blair called it a career.

Compiling a record of 24 wins, 17 losses and two draws, Blair was a boxer, not a big puncher, as evidenced by the fact that only two of his wins were by knockout. Frankie Blair had a great chin,  only one of his losses coming by technical knockout, to the great Filipino fighter Ceferino Garcia in June of 1938. Garcia would fight for the welterweight title a few months after stopping Blair, and lose, but would move up to middleweight, becoming the world champion in October of 1939. 

Frankie Blair returned to Camden, and by September of 1939 was the proprietor of a bar called The Upset Club, at 950 South 5th Street, the corner of South 5th and Walnut Street. He was out of the bar business by 1947, however, and was working as a salesman, according to the 1947 Camden City Directory, and living at 833 South 4th Street. He later moved to Haddon Township NJ, where he is listed in the 1959 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory. He was living there as late as 1977.

Frank Tenerelli died in August of 1988. 

Frankie Blair's older brother Michael fought  professionally as Mickey Blair. A super featherweight, he compiled a record of 3 wins, 6 losses, and 1 no decision. Mickey Blair was often front page news for activities outside the ring in the late 1920s, 1930s, and early 1940s. Mickey Blair was shot to death in November of 1941 at a bar he operated in Atlantic County. Even with the war on, his murder produced headlines for a few years after his death.


Won 24 (KOs 2) | Lost 17 | Drawn 2 | Tot 43  

Career Record

Date   Lb Opponent Lb WLD Last 6 Location Result
1944-06-29   Harry Dublinsky   59-35-14
           
Washington, DC, USA W PTS 10
1939-05-03   Walter (Popeye) Woods   50-3-1
           
New York, NY, USA L PTS 10
1939-04-21 157¼ Glen Lee 155¼ 20-6-2
           
Hippodrome New York, NY, USA W TKO 2
Fight stopped because of a cut
1939-03-24   Emil Calcagni   15-8-2
           
Hippodrome, New York, NY, USA W PTS 8
1939-02-10   Sammy Luftspring   24-4-0
           
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA L PTS 8
1938-12-05   Bobby Britton   15-12-1
           
Miami, FL, USA L PTS 10
1938-11-25   Emil Calcagni   12-8-2
           
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA L PTS 6
1938-11-15   Fritzie Zivic   70-19-4
           
New York Coliseum, Bronx, NY, USA L PTS 8
1938-06-17   Ceferino Garcia   77-19-7
           
Legion Stadium, Hollywood, CA, USA L TKO 3
1938-05-31   Dem Wakerlis   1-4-0
         
Madison Square Garden Bowl, Long Island City, NY, USA L PTS 6
1938-04-12   Johnny Duca   6-12-0
           
Camden, NJ, USA W PTS 8
1938-02-28   Lambertine Williams   2-1-0
     
Lancaster, PA, USA D PTS 8
1938-02-14   Fritzie Zivic   54-18-4
           
Pittsburgh, PA, USA L PTS 10
1938-02-04   Gordon Wallace   33-14-20
           
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA W PTS 6
1938-01-05   Vittorio Venturi   53-24-13
           
Hippodrome, New York, NY, USA L PTS 10
1937-12-06   Eddie Morgan   0-0-0
Cleveland, OH, USA W PTS 6
1937-10-29 149 Jimmy Leto 144½ 59-10-5
           
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA W PTS 8
1937-09-16 147 Jay Macedon 147 13-11-4
           
Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, NY, USA W PTS 10
1937-09-09 150 Mickey Serrian 144¾ 6-10-5
           
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA W TKO 4
Fight stopped after Serrian was down twice in the round and with him still on the floor.(New York Times)
1937-07-22 153¾ Mickey Serrian 146 6-8-5
           
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA W PTS 8
"The decision met with the almost unanimous disapproval of the on-lookers." (New York Times)
1937-06-15   Freddy Fitzgerald   0-0-0
Camden, NJ, USA W PTS 10
1937-06-08   Andre Jessurun   24-5-4
           
New York Coliseum, Bronx, NY, USA L PTS 10
1937-05-26 150½ Atilio Sabatino 152½ 18-5-2
           
Hippodrome, New York, NY, USA L PTS 8
1937-05-24   Atilio Sabatino   17-5-2
           
St. Nicholas Palace, New York, NY, USA L PTS 8
1937-03-19   Saverio Turiello   51-25-30
           
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA W PTS 10
1937-03-12   Johnny Clinton   20-2-2
           
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA W PTS 8
1937-02-26   Paulie Walker   21-12-9
           
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA W PTS 6
1937-01-08 148 Bobby Pacho 145½ 41-26-9
           
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA L PTS 8
Reportedly a terrible decision.
1936-09-25   Wicky Harkins   0-1-0
 
Philadelphia, PA, USA W PTS 10
1936-08-11   Tony Falco   86-28-10
           
Camden, NJ, USA W PTS 10
1936-04-07   Andre Jessurun   10-0-3
           
New York Coliseum, Bronx, NY, USA L PTS 10
1936-02-24   Walter (Wildcat) O'Connor   7-6-4
           
St. Nicholas Palace, New York, NY, USA L PTS 8
1936-02-10   Howard Clark   5-6-0
           
St. Nicholas Palace, New York, NY, USA W PTS 6
1936-01-27   Mickey Serrian   5-5-3
           
Washington, DC, USA D PTS 10
1935-12-09   Johnny Santo   0-0-0
Arena, Philadelphia, PA, USA W PTS 6
1935-09-16   Phil Furr   9-6-0
           
Washington, DC, USA W PTS 8
1935-07-15   Phil Furr   9-5-0
           
Washington, DC, USA W PTS 6
1935-02-04   Relampago Saguero   62-21-4
           
St. Petersburg, FL, USA L PTS 10
1934-12-11   Gene O'Laris   0-1-0
 
Philadelphia, PA, USA W PTS 10
1934-11-26   Gene O'Laris   0-0-0
Philadelphia, PA, USA W PTS 8
1934-09-20   Toney Manus   0-1-0
 
Philadelphia, PA, USA W PTS 6
1934-02-02   Frankie Caris   0-0-0
Philadelphia, PA, USA L PTS 6
1934-01-12   Toney Manus   0-0-0
Philadelphia, PA, USA W PTS 6
1933-08-18   Eddie Faris       Pennsauken, NJ, USA D PTS 6
1933-08-02   Reds Foy       Pennsauken, NJ, USA W KO 1

Camden Courier-Post - August 14, 1933

BLAIR IN DANGER IN HEINSMAN TIFF
Promising Youngster Meets Stiff Puncher in Second Pro Skirmish

Frankie Blair, South Camden Italian, today is the toast of Little Italy's boxing fans.

Frankie, brother of Mickey Blair, who ruled South Jersey feather weight ranks several years ago makes his second bow in professional boxing circles next Friday at Charley Grip's Pennsauken Township open-air Arena. Blair is slated to meet Lou Heinsman of Lindenwold, in the opening six-rounder of a card which is featured by a double-wind­up.

In the final set-to, Johnny Duca, Paulsboro "Paralyzer," meets Charley Fusel of Philadelphia, and Johnny Peppe, also of Philadelphia, faces Joe Smallwood of Wilmington. Del., in the first-half of the double-bill.  Both are eight-rounders.

Although Blair made an impressive showing in his professional debut here by knocking out "Reds" Foy, another local boxer, in less than a round, the South Camden Italian is flirting with danger in signing to meet Heinsman. Lou was kayoed by Terry McGovern in four rounds in his first fuss, but Heinsman displayed good hitting power in each hand, several times rocking McGovern before the latter dropped Lou for the full count.

However, Heinsman was handicapped after the first round as he broke a small bone in his left hand when he clipped McGovern on the jaw. Heinsman was late in reporting and did not get an opportunity to bandage his hands and his left fist was nearly twice its normal size when the glove was cut off after the match.

The injured member now is as good as ever and when Matchmaker Lou McFarland offered Lou a tiff with Blair, Lou jumped at the chance to meet the downtown young­ster, Blair knows more about the finer arts of the game, but Heinsman hits just as hard as Frankie and the bout, should be a slugfest through­out. 

Two other six-rounders also will be staged. "Mushy" Green of Camden, takes on Joe Lawson, also of Camden, while Marty Little of Waterford, clashes with "Sonny" Carley of the United States Marines Corps. 


Camden Courier-Post - August 15, 1933

GREEN, LAWSON MAY WAGE HOT BATTLE
Newcomer Expected to Give Joey Keen Fight Here on Friday Night

A newcomer to Camden boxing circles, "Mushy" Green, South Camden featherweight, makes his debut on Friday night in the second bout of the show t6 be staged under the auspices of the Camden Sporting Club at Grip's Pennsauken township open­air arena.

Green, reported to be the son of a rabbi, is scheduled to clash with Joe Lawson, veteran Camden leather­thrower, in a six-round skirmish on a card which is featured by a dou­ble windup. Johnny Duca, Paulsboro "Paralyzer," meets Carl Fuser, of Philadelphia, in the final set-to, and Johnny Pepe, of Philadelphia, faces Joe Smallwood, of Wilmington, Delaware, in the first half of the dual windup.

The downtown section of the city is intensely interested in the outcome of the Lawson-Green battle. Both boys have been training at Ross' gym, and comparisons have been made by onlookers that Green could give Lawson, who stopped Jack Stanley several weeks ago, a close fight.

Hearing several discussions regarding the relative merits of the two, Matchmaker Lou McFarland immediately clinched the match. Now the friends of both boys are eagerly awaiting the outcome and expect their favorites to come through with a win.

Two other six-rounders complete the card. "Mush" Blair, of Camden, collides with Lou Heinsman, of Lindenwold, and Marty Little, of Water­ford, takes on "Sonny" Carley, of the United States Marine Corps.


Camden Courier-Post - August 15, 1933

SMALLWOOD LIKELY TO SURPRISE PEPE
Wilmington, Del., Middleweight, Meets Veteran Philadelphian on Friday

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.

The two are scheduled to engage in an eight-rounder which will. pre­cede the final fracas between Johnny Duca, Paulsboro "Paralyzer" and Carl Fuser, formerly of New York, but now of Philadelphia. Duca and Fuser also meet in an eight-round joust.

Pepe, who lost a hairline decision to Roxie Allen, Camden Italian, in the latter's comeback attempt here several weeks ago, may find Smallwood far more troublesome than Allen. Joe has established a great reputation in the five years he has been throwing leather.

Smallwood came to Wilmington from Washington, D.C., shortly after the advent of legalized boxing in Delaware. He started out as a preliminary boy and after three straight knockouts he was thrown into a windup with Young Johnny Ketchell, Chester middleweight who was regarded as a star.

Smallwood, according to the record book, beat Ketchell and then repeated over Tommy Rios. He enjoyed a long winning streak till he met Billy Ketchell of Millville, who held Smallwood to a draw in a sensational battle.

Last Spring he collided with Vince Dundee at Peipervllle, Pa., and dropped a close decision to the Newark Italian, who still is the outstanding contender for the middleweight championship now held by Lou Brouillard. In his last battle, Smallwood beat Jimmy Smith of Staten Island, in a great club fight.

In event that Smallwood wins a clear-cut verdict over Pepe, the Wilmington mauler may meet Dundee here as Matchmaker Lou McFarland is seriously considering staging the contest.

However, Pepe also has met the cream of the middleweights. He's a dangerous foe at close quarters and as Smallwood also likes to fight "inside," the fuss should develop into a red hot skirmish.

Four six-rounders also will be staged. Joe Montana, Camden heavyweight wrestler, makes his bow as a boxer in meeting Mickey Sullivan of Philadelphia; Marty Little of Waterford, takes on "Sonny" Carley of the United States Marine Corps; "Mush" Green and Joe Lawson, both of Camden, clash, while Frankie "Mush" Blair of South Camden, faces Lou Heinsman of Lindenwold..


Camden Courier-Post - August 19, 1933

Johnny Duca Wins Decision Easily Over Carl Fuser at Open-Air Arena
PAULSBORO LAD NEARLY HAS RIVAL OUT IN SIXTH
Takes 6 Out of 8 Rounds and Divides Another With Quaker City Youth
PEPE BEATS SMALLWOOD

LOCAL FIGHT RESULTS

Johnny Duca, 155, Paulsboro, wins decision over Carl Fuser, 155, Philadelphia, in eight rounds.

Johnny Pepe, 170, Philadelphia, won decision over Carl Fuser, 151, Wilmington, Del., in eight rounds.

Joe Montana, 181, Camden, outpointed Mike Sullivan, 200, Atlantic City, in six rounds. 

Marty Little, 142, Waterford, nosed out Terry McGovern, 136, U. S. Marine Corps, in six rounds. 

Joe Lawson, 118, Camden, outpointed "Mushy" Green, 115, Camden, in six rounds. 

Frankie Blair, 145, Camden, and Eddie Faris, 143, Wilmington, Del., drew in six rounds. 

Referee-Gus Waldron.

By TOM RYAN
Courier-Post Sports Editor

Johnny Duca, Paulsboro "Paralyzer," won the referee's decision over Carl Fuser, of Philadelphia, in the last half of a double-windup held at Grip's Pennsauken Township Open­Air Arena last night.

About 1000 fans saw the hard-hitting Italian win six of the eight rounds, lose one and spit even in another. Duca dropped Fuser for a count of nine in the sixth, a short right to the pit of the stomach sending the Philadelphian to the mat. Johnny tried valiantly to finish his groggy foe, but Fuser covered up and held on to last out the round and also remain on his feet till the bell ended the one-sided skirmish.

A straight left started the gore flowing from Fuser's nose in the first round and also had the claret streaming from the organ in the last two rounds. Johnny also opened a cut under Carl's right eye In the seventh and the Philadelphian was badly marked at the finish. Duca did not show a mark of the encounter.

Duca did not become serious till the start of the fifth, but from that time on won every round by a commanding margin. He won the second and third by a fair shade and split even in the first, with Fuser having the better of the fourth round.

The fact that Fuser refused to "dog it" after being dropped in the sixth had most of the crowd pulling for him to stick it out till the end. And although Duca belabored him with everything in the last two sessions, a body attack in both periods causing Fuser's knees to ·sag on several occasions, the bushy-haired Philadelphian fought back as well as he was able and was given a good hand for his for his gameness.

Both boys scaled in at 155 pounds.

Pepe Beats Smallwood

A 19-pound pull in the weights proved too big a handicap for Joe Smallwood, 151, of Wilmington, to overcome in the eight-round semi­final against Johnny Pepe, 170, of Philadelphia.

It was an uninteresting match, Pepe trying to fight inside with Smallwood tying him up continually. However, when Johnny did get inside he did enough damage to win five rounds.

Smallwood won the second and third rounds by a shade and split even in the second frame. The Wilmington youngster suffered a cut on the nose in the sixth.

At the weighing-in exercises yesterday, the weights of the two boxers were given as Smallwood, 156; Pepe, 170.

Making his debut as a boxer, Joe Montana, 181, South Camden's wrestler, outpointed Mike Sullivan, 200, of Atlantic City, in a special six-round­er. Montana won the first, second, fourth and sixth rounds, while Sullivan won the third round by a big margin, and also carried the fifth.

Sullivan, who had the usual roll of fat around his mid-section, made a clown fight of it. Montana, regarded as a good puncher, failed to rock Sullivan at any stage of the fuss.

Little Given Verdict

In an interesting match, Marty Little, 142, of Waterford, eked out a close decision over Terry McGovern, 136, of the U. S. Marine Corps, in the third six-rounder.

The last round decided the issue as Little had won the second and third rounds and McGovern won the fourth and fifth, while the first was even. Little was the hardest hitter and spilled McGovern in the second with a left hook to the jaw, but Terry was up before a count could be started.

Joe Lawson, 118, of Camden, outpointed "Mushy" Green, 115, also of Camden, in the second six-rounder. Lawson finished strong, winning the last three rounds along with the first. Green won the second and third rounds. The bout was marred by frequent clinches.

Frank Blair, 145, of Camden, and Eddie Faris, 143, of Wilmington, Del., fought a great draw in the opening bout of six rounds. Both boys won two rounds with two even.

Blair won the first and fourth rounds, Faris won the second and fifth, while the third and sixth were even. They stood toe to toe almost from start to finish and both were tired at the end.

Blair was bleeding at the nose at the end and Faris sported a "mouse" under the left eye,

Any decision other than a draw would have been unfair to both youngsters, who were in there to annihilate each other and who tried their best to turn the trick.  


Camden Courier-Post - May 16, 1934
...continued...

Camden Courier-Post - May 19, 1934
Tommy Rios Gains Verdict Over Sylvan Bass in Feature Boxing Bout at Civic Hall
WILMINGTON FIGHTER TAKES 4 OF 8 ROUNDS
Baltimore Youngster Given Two Rounds in Great Windup Struggle
BRITT GIVEN DECISION
...continued...

Camden Courier-Post

August 10, 1936

 


Camden Courier-Post - August 11, 1936
LOCAL ITALIAN GETS BAPTISM AT PENNSAUKEN
Past Performances Give Philadelphian Slight Edge in 10-Rounder
LEWIS MEETS MANCUSO
...continued...

Camden Courier-Post - August 12, 1936
BLAIR GETS DECISION OVER FALCO
2,500 SEE LOCAL ITALIAN TRIUMPH

Camden Courier-Post - October 8, 1936

Camden Courier-Post - October 12, 1936

Camden Courier-Post - October 14, 1936

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