Babe McCoy

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Matchmaker

Babe McCoy (real name "Harry Rudolph"), brother of former World Middleweight Champion Al McCoy, perhaps is best known as the matchmaker for the Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium from 1942 to the mid-1950s. He is regarded as the driving force at this famed arena during that era. Before becoming a matchmaker at the Olympic in 1942, McCoy was a well-known figure in Los Angeles boxing circles for close to a decade. For much of the 1930s, he was manager of boxers. But during the early 1940s, he would switch over to promoting and matchmaking at various Los Angeles area venues -- including the Wilmington Bowl, the Eastside Arena, and the Ocean Park Arena.

When a colorful Australian sports legend and the manager of the Los Angeles Athletic Club's Riviera Polo Fields, Snowy Baker, became the boxing promoter at the Olympic Auditorium, which was owned by the Los Angeles Athletic Club (L.A.A.C.), Baker hired a veteran matchmaker, Joe Waterman. An all-around boxing man, Waterman had a great deal of success as a matchmaker at many venues, including the Olympic during at least two previous stints. But in 1942, Waterman didn't stay long because of personal health problems. As a result, Babe McCoy became Waterman's replacement.

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Snowy Baker was the boxing promoter at the Olympic Auditorium for about a year. After Baker left, Cal Eaton took over the post. About the same time, a red-headed woman named Aileen LeBell would become the business manager. Lebell had worked for the L.A.A.C. or for one of the bigwigs of the club, Frank Garbutt. Eaton, Lebell, and McCoy would form a formidable trio, with McCoy being regarded the key member at the time, due to his knowledge of the boxing business.

Since World War II was raging at the time, unemployment was practically nil and people had plenty of money to spend. As a result, the timing of the trio couldn't have been better. Despite the fact that the Olympic Auditorium had gone through some tough times during the 1930s because of the Great Depression, it was regarded as a venue with great potential. In fact, a number of boxing people had some success at the Olympic previously. They included Joe Levy, Jack Doyle, Wad Wadhams, and Joe Waterman.

In 1956 the California State Athletic Commission banned Babe McCoy for life for having arranged fixed matches along the West Coast from the late 1940s through the mid-1950s.