ESB Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Re: California Boxing
Babe McCoy was matchmaker for Cal Eaton at the Olympic Auditorium.
McCoy was the focus of a special investigative committee formed by California Governor Knight to examine professional boxing on March 19, 1956 in the Los Angeles State Building. He was on the stand all day long, fielding a range of questions, and at one point refused to answer any additional queries until he was properly represented by legal counsel. James E. Cox, an attorney for the Governor in this matter, was the man putting the most pressure on McCoy, and the latter claimed Cox was "trying to intimidate me,"
according to the Los Angeles Times (3/20/56).
One of the issues brought up was a fight between Art Aragon and Tommy Campbell at the Olympic staged on May 16, 1950, where it appeared there was some sort of collusion between the fighters. The California State Athletic Commission investigated the matter, but nothing came of it.
On March 20, 1956, Campbell appeared before the committee, and admitted to losing to Aragon on purpose six years earlier. He also said that it was McCoy who told him to drop the bout.
The next day, Cal Eaton was questioned by Cox in regards to McCoy, and talk quickly turned to McCoy's criminal history. There was also mention of underworld figures Frankie Carbo and Frank Costello. Cox inquired about McCoy's interest in boxer-turned wrestler Primo Carnera, but Eaton didn't know many details. Cox then presented some information, explaining that in 1947, Carnera received less than 1/3 of the money he made as a wrestler, coming out to about $37,000.
McCoy returned to the stand on March 23, 1956 with attorney Jake Ehrlich of San Francisco at his side. In regards to fixed fights (and there was as many as 12 alleged fixed bouts), McCoy wouldn't answer the questions posed.
Carnera was brought back up, and it was revealed that Harry Harris, a boxing manager, arranged for Carnera to come to the U.S. from Italy in 1946 to wrestle, and that he received $3,000 in financial assistance from McCoy. The Los Angeles Times (3/24/56) reported that for that investment, McCoy would make half of Harris' manager's share of 33 1/3% off Carnera. Harris, however, said that after Carnera arrived, he was moved out of the picture completely, and "Toots" Mondt moved in. Then Harris, after filing a legal suit, earned only 2 1/2%. Carnera also only received $5,000 after a tour of South America, in which he made around $100,000.
McCoy reportedly earned as much as $100,000 over a five year period with Carnera under his thumb. There was also mention of him having some sort of interest in Antonino Rocca. Both Carnera and Rocca were the top box office draws for "Toots" Mondt, and it is well known that their "take" was heavily split among a number of people.
Aileen Eaton defended McCoy when it came to the accusations that he was fixing fights, and denied that she and McCoy "robbed" boxer Watson Jones.
The Los Angeles Times on August 8, 1956 stated that McCoy and "25 other licensed boxing figures in California" have been threatened with suspension as the Governor's investigation was winding down. Eaton was also being considered. The findings made by attorney Cox recommended the license revocation of McCoy and Eaton, and some sort of disciplinary action against wrestling booker Pat O'Brien. The newspaper claimed that the report stated that Eaton "best large sums of money on 'sure things' at the Olympic Auditorium."
Also, McCoy was "truly representative of all that is wrong with boxing today."
McCoy served as matchmaker at the Olympic Auditorium from 1942 to 1954, and was highly influential on both Cal and Aileen Eaton.
On Sunday, April 22, 1962, McCoy passed away at the age of 62 in Los Angeles.
His real name was Harry Rudolph.