CAESAR CAMPANA SR. was born in Italy on May 13, 1903 to Peter and Theresa Campana. He took up boxing at an early age and boxed professionally in and around Camden under the name of Young O'Conner. One of his opponents was Camden boxer Frank Guetherman, who boxed under the ring name of Tip Gorman.
The 1930 Census shows that he was living with his parents at 600 Point Street in North Camden, and was married at the time. His wife Judith had bore three children by this time, Lorraine, Caesar Jr. and Norma.
When Prohibition was repealed Caesar Campana obtained a liquor license, and operated a cafe at 600 Point Street as early as 1936 through at least 1943. By 1947 this property had been sold, and Caesar Campana was running a bar at 900 North 2nd Street, the corner of North 2nd Street and York Street. He would remain in business at this location through at least 1949.
The 1956 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory shows that Caesar Campana Sr. had moved to 824 Locust Street, next door to the cafe known as the A Bar. He would remain in business at this location through at least 1966. During the mid-1960s the A Bar was also known as Campana's Bar.
Caesar Campana was friendly with Tommy Skymer, a top rated amateur boxer in Camden in the late 1920s, who went on to own a beauty salon, the Merchantville Farmer's Market, and be a partner with his wife Josephine in a successful lighting business in Pennsauken NJ, Jo Skymer Lamps.
Caesar Campana Sr. later moved to Woodbury NJ. He passed away in September of 1992.
|The Known Professional Boxing Record of Young O'Connor (Caesar Campana Sr.)|
|Camden Courier-Post – August 11, 1930|
BOXER AIMS TO RETURN TO RING
'''In this corner, Young O'Connor, of Camden. He weighs 145 pounds!"
It has been many a day since South Jersey fistic followers heard that announcement within the ring. But it won't be long now before it will be shouted from roped arenas in Camden, Vineland and other cities where fights are held.
O'Connor, one of the pioneers in fisticuffs reincarnation in this section, is planning a comeback. This is welcome news to the thousands of South Jersey fans who have seen the North Camden Adonis perform in bouts which a few years ago were making history here.
O'Connor, whose real cognomen is Caesar Campana, first began 'playing' leather eight years ago, at the ripe old age of seventeen years. He represented the Philadelphia district in the 1924 Olympic tryouts in Boston.
Since that time, Caesar has engaged in 41 bouts against some of the leading lightweights and welterweights hereabouts, without ever once hearing a referee toll the fatal ten seconds. By far, most of his engagements resulted in clean-cut victories, with quite a few k.o.'s scattered among the w's.
News of O'Connor's comeback will be welcome to fans here. Caesar has always been one of the most popular boxers performing in Camden. His handsome features, clean-cut physique and gentlemanly conduct, combined with his ability and willingness to fight at all times, made him an idol. ,
A few of the better-known fighters whom O'Connor met are Roxie Allen, Tip Gorman, Sammy Fulton, Freddy Washington, Al Geffner and Frankie Nelson. Two weeks after he decisively whipped Nelson, the latter fought a twelve-round engagement with Sammy Mandell in Chicago, losing on points.
O'Connor seems like an old-timer to local fans, because he began pushing mittens professionally when only nineteen, and because he took part in the resurrection of boxing here, along with Al White, Watson Finch and others.
But Caesar is only 25 now, not too old, by any manner of means, to make a living in the squared circle. He has been working out for six months with his young heavyweight hope, James J. Priesly, in whom he sees a future Tommy Loughran. Convincing himself that he has lost none of his old-time speed and skill, he decided to reenter the ring.
Financial difficulties are another reason for the move. Caesar, a married man with a family, conducts a cigar store in his native North Camden, but present business conditions caused him to seek 'other means of livelihood.'
O'Connor wants to launch his comeback campaign in the Police and Firemen's Fund show next month. He is willing to take on any welterweight, or else will box an exhibition with his young heavyweight, gratis, to introduce the boy to local fandom.
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