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 2nd 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.
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