Thomas E.
"Tommy Ricco"
Lauria




THOMAS ENRICO LAURIA, who boxed professionally under the name of Tony Ricco, was born in Camden on April 19, 1917 to Francesco "Frank" Lauria and his wife, the former and Angelina Siria. His father had come to America in 1909 from Italy, and brought his mother, older brother Anthony and sister Rose over in 1911. The family is listed in Camden City directories from 1913 through 1918 at 817 Dauphin Street. By January of 1920 the family had settled in at 307 Line Street in South Camden. Four more children would come in the 1920s, sisters Anne, Irene and Florence and a brother Vincent Lauria. Sadly, Francesco Lauria passed away in 1931, not having reached the age of 50. 

Thomas Lauria boxed professionally out of Camden in the 1930s and into 1940 under the name of Tommy Ricco. His professional career got of to a fast start in 1936. "Tommy Ricco" won ten out his first eleven fights on record, the exception being a draw against Pete Kelly on August 5, 1937 in Camden. He returned to the ring on August 9 in Baltimore, scoring a technical knockout over veteran Benny Kessler. Unfortunately, "Tommy Ricco" broke his hand in this fight, and did not fight again for over a year. He was never the same fighter after that, and although he continued to be active as a boxer, mostly in Baltimore and Washington, he lost twelve of his next eighteen fights. No longer an up-and-coming contender after breaking his hand, perhaps the highlight of his boxing career was a trip to Florida in the summer of 1939 where he fought three veteran boxers, Red Hutchins, Chino Alvarez, and Justo Jimenez, scoring a TKO against Hutchins, then losing a split decision to Alvarez, then losing to Jimenez on points. He fought six times in 1940 in the Baltimore and Washington area, then called it a career. The 1940 Camden City Directory shows him living at 307 Line Street in South Camden with his widowed mother and brother Vincent. The Directory does not state where he was working at the time that ot was compiled, nor that whether he had married or not. He did wed not long afterward, however.

On January 4, 1943 Thomas Lauria was inducted into the United States Army. After serving his country, he returned to Camden. The 1947 Directory shows him living with his wife at 307 Line Street. By the winter of 1952 he had moved to 1296 Van Hook Street. In the 1950s and 1960s he worked for the city's Highway Department. In the early 1950s he also supplemented his income as a numbers writer. Working in this capacity got him arrested in February of 1952 and cost him a very short jail sentence. 

Thomas Lauria died from a heart attack at the age of 42 in 1960. His younger brother Vincent Lauria passed away from heart-related problems on February 24, 1974 at the age of 53. Noting that their father had also died before he turned 50, this may have been a congenital heart issue. Thomas Lauria was survived by his wife Ida and sons Frank and Thomas.

Younger brother Vince "Duke" Lauria boxed as an amateur and was an AAU Diamond Belt champion before his induction into the United States Army on May 5, 1943 at Camden, New Jersey. He returned to Camden and boxing in 1945, and made his professional debut in May of that year as a bantamweight. Vince Lauria went undefeated in 22 known fights, wining 21 and settling for a draw only once, in June of 1947. His last fight was in September of 1947. 



Thomas "Tommy Ricco" Lauria's Known Professional Boxing Record
16 wins - 13 Defeats - 3 Draws

Date

Opponent

W-L-D

Location

Result

 

1940-10-28

Pee Wee Lewis

3 6 0

Riverside Stadium, Washington

D

PTS

1940-10-14

Vince Tuminello

5 0 1

Carlin's Park, Baltimore

D

PTS

1940-09-04

George Vlahos

5 6 2

Griffith Stadium, Washington

W

PTS

1940-07-15

Paul Shinn

1 1 0

Carlin's Park, Baltimore

L

PTS

1940-06-03

Vince Tuminello

debut

Griffith Stadium, Washington

L

PTS

1940-05-13

Gilbert Mayo

debut

Riverside Stadium, Washington

L

PTS

1939-09-18

Justo Jimenez

12 8 0

Beach Arena, Miami Beach

L

PTS

1939-09-01

Chino Alvarez

121 38 17

Benjamin Field Arena, Tampa

L

SD

1939-08-21

Red Hutchins

60 40 18

Beach Arena, Miami Beach

W

TKO

1939-08-07

Justo Jimenez

 

Beach Arena, Miami Beach

W

PTS

1939-02-14

Vince Dell'Orto

23 12 6

Turner's Arena, Washington

L

PTS

1938-11-07

Abe Denner

15 4 0

Turner's Arena, Washington

L

PTS

1938-11-01

Henry Huerta

7 23 8

Turner's Arena, Washington

W

UD

1938-10-10

Frankie Lembo

16 1 7

Turner's Arena, Washington

L

PTS

1938-09-19

Charley Gilley

14 4 1

Carlin's Park, Baltimore

W

PTS

1938-06-14

Mickey Benson

3 18 2

Fairview Arena, Camden

W

KO

1938-04-07

Tony Strazzeri

20 8 5

Olympia A.C., Philadelphia

L

PTS

1938-03-28

Charley Gilley

8 3 0

Turner's Arena, Washington

W

PTS

1938-01-24

Jimmy Tygh

16 0 0

Arena, Philadelphia

L

PTS

1938-01-03

Al Mancini

14 2 2

Turner's Arena, Washington

L

PTS

1937-12-27

Augie Kroll

14 6 1

Turner's Arena, Washington

L

SD

1937-10-22

Jimmy Tygh

8 0 0

Cambria A.C., Philadelphia

L

PTS

1937-08-09

Benny Kessler

17 43 10

Carlin's Park, Baltimore

W

TKO

1937-08-05

Pete Kelly

1 4 3

Fairview Arena, Camden

D

PTS

1937-07-26

Joe DiCarlo

20 9 2

Carlin's Park, Baltimore

W

UD

1937-06-07

Calvin Calp

13 22 3

Carlin's Park, Baltimore

W

SD

1936-10-27

Jimmy Russell

9 5 1

Convention Hall, Camden

W

NWS

1936-10-02

Tony Stenza

debut

Cambria A.C., Philadelphia

W

KO

1936-09-01

Midget Ambrose

2 3 2

Arena, Pennsauken

W

KO

1936-07-14

Jimmy Russell

3 3 1

Arena, Pennsauken

W

PTS

1936-03-23

Benny Kessler

13 34 7

Carlin's Park, Baltimore

W

TKO

1936-01-24

Johnny Gormley

1 1 0

Cambria A.C., Philadelphia

W

PTS

1936-01-10

Frankie Paul

4 4 1

Cambria A.C., Philadelphia

W

PTS

Baltimore Sun - March 24, 1936
Benny Kessler

Camden Courier-Post * July 13, 1936

...continued...
Jersey Joe Walcott - Billy Ketchell - Joey Allen - Johnny Toomey - Marty Garaguso - Anthony Georgette
Al Roth - Lou Lombardi - Maxie Fisher - Allie Rowan - Red Cochrane - Joey Costa - Harry Carlton
Lou Feldman - Norman Rahn - Joe Duca- Freddy Lewis - Joey Straiges - Billy Mariner - Jimmy Russell Tommy Ricco - Erie Ratner

Camden Courier-Post * July 15, 1936


...continued...

Joey Straiges - Billy Mariner - Johnny Toomey - Joey Allen - Freddy Lewis - Joe Duca
Billy Ketchell -
Jersey Joe Walcott - Jimmy Russell -  Tommy Ricco


Bridgewater Courier-News
July 15, 1936

Joey Straiges - Billy Mariner
Johnny Toomey - Joe Allen
Freddy Lewis - Joe Duca
Billy Ketchell -
Jersey Joe Walcott
 
Tommy Ricco - Jimmy Russell


Vineland Daily Journal
August 29, 1936


Tommy Ricco
Billy Ketchell
Midget Ambrose
Jersey Joe Walcott


Vineland Daily Journal - September 2, 1936

Tommy Ricco - Billy Ketchell - Midget Ambrose - Jersey Joe Walcott

Bridgewater Courier-News
September 2, 1936



Joey Straiges - Tony Strazzeri
Billy Ketchell - Midget Ambrose
Paul Hoft - King Kong
Al Narciso - Ted Pecana
 
Tommy Ricco - Jersey Joe Walcott








Baltimore Sun
May 25, 1937


Tommy Ricco
Calvin Calp
Johnny Lucas
Cocoa Kid










Tommy Ricco

Miami Beach - 1939


Miami News - August 8, 1939

 

 Miami Herald - August 8, 1939


 Miami Herlad - August 22, 1939
...continued...
 

Tampa Times
August 30, 1939



Tampa Tribune - September 2, 1939
...continued...
...continued...
 

Baltimore Sun
July 16, 1940

Paul Shinn


Baltimore Sun
October 15, 1940

Vince Tuminello




Camden Courier-Post
February 2, 1952

Thomas Lauria
Edward Shapiro
Gustav A. Koerner
Van Hook Street



 









Camden Courier-Post * February 2, 1952

...continued...

...continued...

Thomas Lauria - Edward Shapiro - John Moffa - Gustav A. Koerner - Thomas Murphy - Van Hook Street


Camden Courier-Post * February 14, 1952

...continued...

Thomas Lauria - Edward Shapiro - John Moffa - Anthony Marino - Benjamin Dzick


Camden Courier-Post
February 22, 1952

Thomas Lauria
Benjamin Dzick

Van Hook Street


Camden Courier-Post * February 26, 1952

...continued...

Thomas Lauria - Edward Shapiro - John Moffa - Anthony Marino - Benjamin Dzick


Camden Courier-Post * March 28, 1960


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