Camden Courier-Post – January 10, 1928
Critics Predict Great Ring Future for Former Camden Catholic High School Baseball and Basketball Star
Has Scored 12 Knockouts in 17 Bouts
By Tom Ryan
Is Frankie Rapp, South Camden lightweight due to eclipse the performance of every scrapper who has ever been developed here?
That 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.
Rapp’s 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 against him.
Has 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.
Rapp’s athletic ability prior to the Courier Fund bouts had been confined to baseball and basketball. He is a graduate of Camden Catholic High School; 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 getters”.
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.