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 2rd 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.
Records compiled from the follwoing sources: 1> Laurence Fielding researched the Trenton NJ Gazette. 2> www.boxrec.com 3> Phillip Cohen reseached the Camden Evening Courier and Morning Post newspapers
Camden Courier-Post - January 3, 1928
Allen Starts New Year in Impressive Style
By Tom Ryan
year of 1928 evidently is going to be kinder to Roxie
Allen, one of the
best local lightweights, than the last one and 1927 can not be said to
have frowned upon the pugilistic careers of the downtown Italian,
despite the fact that he lost his first scrap that year
started off the New Year on the right foot by defeating Al Del Galdo,
clever New York thumper, in the feature eight-round bout at the
Convention Hall last night, while the same day last year he took one of
the niftiest pastings of his career when he encountered Basil Galiano,
of New Orleans, at the Philadelphia Arena. Allen
won four rounds of his
scrap with Del Galdo, while the invader carried three and one was as
even as a carpenter’s level.
Two of the other four set-tos on the night’s program terminated in knockouts, while the other brace of jousts went the limit. Kid Boots and Joey Michaels, the Long and Short knockout twins of Riverside, again stepped into the limelight by carting their rival foemen in rapid-fire order. Michaels knocked out Jimmy Costello of Philadelphia, in the second round, while Boots flattened Stanley Criss, another Pere Penn scrapper, in the first round of the third bout.
Grande Proves Too Elusive For Ross
Grande, of New York, proved too elusive for Pee Wee
flyweight, in the eight round semi-final and won hands down. Jackie
Hindle, another local product, also finished on the short end of the
verdict in his fracas with Joey Blake, of Conshohocken, Hindle’s
wildness leading to his downfall.
the main fracas held the interest of the crowd as Del Galdo was
confident before the contest that he would overpower the local Italian.
Al simply failed in what many another mitt wielder has felt certain he
could accomplish as Allen
was crafty enough to take the lead during most
of the fuss, and, after jolting home a few shots at long range, would
sew Al up tight as a drum when they came to close quarters.
was clearly entitled to the verdict as he landed far more punches than
Del Galdo, took the initiative more often and sustained less damage than
the good-looking New Yorker.
downtown Italian one-twoed his way to the decision, first stabbing his
left to the head, then crossing with the right to the same spot. Del
Galdo centered his attack upon Allen's body for the first six rounds
and attained very little for his efforts as that is one of Allen's
strong points and a spot on which few of his opponents ever attempt to
stage an assault in order to beat him.
But Del Galdo wised up after the sixth, shifted his attack to the head in the seventh and almost brought Allen to the mat with a crushing right hook to the jaw. It was the hardest punch of the bout and Allen's knees sagged a bit under the impulse of the wallop, which forced him to hold until he collected his bearings. After the break Al followed up with a stiff left hook to the body and Allen did the sailor’s hornpipe for the remainder of the round.
was Del Galdo’s best session, and the only round in which either lad
was in a precarious position.
best round was the fifth. In that period he hit Del Galdo with at least
a dozen rights on the chin, but none of the slams carried enough
pressure to daze the New Yorker, who kept coming forward after every
punch. Allen also carried the final session by quite a fair margin, and
gave Al plenty of “roughing” in doing so.
There was little to rave about the first four rounds, one or two mixups on the ropes constituting the major part of the scrapping, but those scrambles led the fans to belies that something might turn up in the closing sessions and it did. Allen had won the first and third rounds by mere shadows, while Del Galdo copped the fourth with the second being even, but from the fourth on the boys stepped on “it” and finished in whirlwind fashion.
Last Four Rounds of Action
Allen romped away with the fifth in great style; Del Galdo came back and won the sixth and also grabbed the seventh, while Allen fought his way back to an edge in the eight and every session was crammed full of action. All things considered, it was a satisfactory skirmish and sent the mob home well pleased.
The surprise of the night cropped up in the semi-final. Ross, who has been traveling at a fast pace in his last few bouts, was expected to win over Grande, but alas and alack, Pee Wee stubbed his toe. Grande proved to be a regular whill-of-the-wisp and Ross found it difficult to locate the bigger portion of the foe.
Grande displayed a dandy left hand. In fact, he did more tricks with it than a monkey can do with a peanut. He jabbed, hooked, and uppercutted with his unorthodox plan until Ross appeared to be bewildered. Nevertheless Pee Wee finished strong and had Grande holding in the final session. Grande copped five rounds, four of them by wide margins, while Ross gained a slight edge in the fourth and sixth and won the eighth by a wide gulf. Ross weighed 110½ while Grande came in at 114 pounds.
While Hindle won three rounds of his skirmish with Blake the latter won the periods credited to him by wider margins than any credited to Jackie. The local lad carried the first three rounds, while Blake carried off the honors in the last half of the battle.
Hindle's Wildness Loses Tilt
The fact that Hindle has been inactive for a long period was very much in evidence last night and was the main cause of his losing the verdict. His judgment of distance was weird and lost him the fuss. He missed any number of swings, which if they had found their mark would have been moiré than enough to have enabled him to romp home a winner. But Jackie was away off, and as a result Blake, an awkward southpaw, got in many telling uppercuts due to Jackie's missing.
Hindle, however, fought his usual courageous battle and with a few more fight under his belt should be ready to tackle far bigger game than Blake. The Pennsylvanian was three pounds lighter than Hindle, who weighed in at 136 pounds.
Camden Courier-Post * September 12, 1928
Camden Courier-Post * September 19, 1928
Forgione Wins Decision Over Babe McCorgary
in Veteran's All-Star Benefit Show
|Camden Morning Post - December 8, 1930|
Auletto aka Roxie Allen
Theodore Guthrie - Wilfred Dube
Rox Saponare - Joseph Lack
George Probert - Charles Areni
Nicholas Dandrea - Nicholas Yenitti
A. Baer - Harry Whaland
Broadway - Central Avenue
Mt. Ephraim Avenue
South 4th Street - Spruce Street
Auletto aka Roxie Allen
Theodore Guthrie - Wilfred Dube - Rox Saponare - Joseph Lack
George Probert - Charles Areni Carmen Passarella
Salvatore Passalacqua - Nicholas Dandrea - Nicholas Yenitti Rocco DeCorda - Harry Whaland
Broadway - Central Avenue - Clinton Street - Kaighn Avenue
Mt. Ephraim Avenue - South 3rd Street - South 4th Street
Spruce Street - Washington Street
|Camden Courier-Post - June 9, 1933|
Pardons Court Spurns Plea To Parole Mrs.
Trenton, June, 8,-Mrs. Margaret Lilliendahl of Vineland, who has served six of ten years for the man slaughter of her husband, Dr. A. William Lilliendahl, today lost a second opportunity for freedom.
The New Jersey Court of Pardons refused to grant her a parole. A similar application last fall also had been turned down.
Dr. Lilliendahl was slain on a lonely road near Hammonton in September, 1927. His wife was convicted with Willis Beach, 50, South Vineland poultry farmer. He was sentenced to ten years as her accomplice and died at the state prison hospital October 13, 1930. Mrs. Lilliendahl has been serving her term at the Clinton reformatory for women.
It was reported that the pardons court had granted a parole to Rocco Auletto, 24, known as "Roxie" Allen, well known Camden boxer who was sentenced March 25, 1931 to serve four years for holdup in Atlantic City. Officials at the State Prison said they were unable to confirm this or the rumor that "Roxie" was to be released tomorrow.
The court refused to parole Samuel "Cappy" Hoffman, of Atlantic City, serving seven years for possession of narcotics and operating a gambling establishment. Tewfik Baroody, who was sentenced with Hoffman to seven years on the same charges, was paroled last November.
Seven South Jersey
prisoners serving terms for murder were among 92 who were granted
paroles. The court heard 612 appeals, The South Jersey men are:
|Camden Courier-Post - June 10, 1933|
ROXIE ALLEN FREED, WILL RE-ENTER RING
Roxie Allen came home yesterday, sans the rough and reckless spirit of the youthful ring warrior who went to state prison more than two years ago.
He left behind him the "number" 'by which he was known in the "Big House" at Trenton and returned as Rocco Auletto. Also discarded with the number was the care-free air that was a chief characteristic of the colorful battler around whom flocked thousands of sport fans in this city a few years ago.
The transformation in Roxie seems to be complete. None the less eager to spend his vast store of energy he now is serious to a depth that surprises those who greeted a solemn man in place of the precocious boy they saw "go up the river."
Allen, who was sentenced to serve four years on March 25, 1931, on holdup charges, was granted a parole Thursday by the Court of Pardons. He was one of 92 who bade farewell to Col. Edward B. Stone, warden, and Col. George L. Selby, chief deputy warden. The. court granted 114 paroles of 612 applicants. Seventeen will be freed in September.
Roxie, who is 24, was greeted by Mike DeLeece, his manager, when Allen fought in the ring as a welterweight.
Allen with four others was convicted in Atlantic county common pleas court on charges of holding up a craps game in a Vineland pool room. .
DeLeece said Allen is anxious to re-enter the ring. He will be ready to go back in the ring within two weeks," DeLeece stated. Allen weighs about 160 pounds, is browned by outdoor work as a trusty and has kept in ring training, participating in bouts within the prison. Previous to serving at Trenton, Allen was at the Bordentown State Prison Farm.
Another boxer, Jackie Hindle, who served as a Camden policeman, was reported paroled yesterday. This could not be confirmed last night.
|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 15, 1933
SMALLWOOD LIKELY TO SURPRISE
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..
|Philadelphia Daily News - March 10, 1944|
Thanks to Chuck Hasson of www.phillyboxinghistory.com for his help in creating this web page.
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