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Luther Rawlings 1929-2012

Born Lucius Minor on March 24, 1929 in Memphis Tennessee, Lucius entered into the sport of boxing accidentally when he accompanied his older friend Rawlings to a bout in Chicago. The other fighter saw them both believing them for brothers asked to fight the younger Lucius to fight instead. The bout lasted 3 rounds and from that day forward Lucius became Luther Rawlings. He was 14 years old at the time and would go on to box for twelve years to become a top ten contending boxer during that time in both the lightweight and welterweight divisions.

Luther Rawlings died Wednesday, March 7, 2012 due to complications from Alzheimer's disease at the age of 82. He lived in Washington Heights' neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side with his wife Georgia. They were married for 56 years. Luther is survived by his daughters, Roslyn Rawlings-Thomas and Renata Robinson; his son, Ronald, and his nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

The Celtic Boxing Club of Chicago honors the memory of Luther Rawlings.

Career Highlights:

• Former boxing champ with Chicago’s Catholic Youth Organization.
• Was a top lightweight contender who once sparred with the great Sugar Ray Robinson.
• His career lasted seven-years and he fought in 65 bouts.
• Known for when he knocked out fellow lightweight Talmadge Bussey in the ninth round at Arcadia Gardens in Detroit in 1949. Bussey tragically suffered a brain hemorrhage and died the next day.
• He went the distance against undefeated welterweight Johnny Saxton
• Lost a 10-round split decision to lightweight champion Jimmy Carter in 1957.
• He opened an after-hours club in the Bronzeville neighborhood called Luther's Lounge, customers included famous entertainers such as: Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Duke Ellington and Count Basie.


Boxer mentored hundreds of fighters
Maureen O’Donnell - The Chicago Sun Times
March 13, 2012
In 1949, before the rules and safeguards that govern boxing today, a powerful punch from Luther Rawlings tragically killed a man in the ring. [Read More]

Professional boxer became a top contender in the '50s
Ronnie Reese - The Chicago Tribune
March 15, 2012
Luther Rawlings left his hometown of Memphis, Tenn., for Chicago when he was 14 years old without his mother's permission and with no designs on becoming a professional boxer. [Read More]

Luther Rawlings Career bouts
Career stats in the ring. [Read More]

Luther Rawlings 1929-2012Vindicated Magazine Fall 2015
Click Here to Read

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