Tom McCarey

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Baby Arizmendi with Tom McCarey

"Uncle" Tom McCarey was the first great promoter in the Los Angeles area and his impact was enormous. During his tenure from 1901 to late 1914, he put Los Angeles on the map as a major boxing venue.

Before he started staging cards, bouts were staged at short-lived boxing clubs in front of crowds which numbered in the hundreds, at best in the Los Angeles area. After McCarey started staging bouts, crowds numbering in the thousands were a normal thing. At Hazard's Pavilion (1901-1904), Naud Junction Pavilion (1905-1910), and Vernon (ca. 1910-1914), McCarey staged a large number of major and World Championship bouts. A look at the lists of World Champion bouts in the 1986-87 Ring Record Book gives one a good idea of McCarey's impact on the Los Angeles boxing scene.

Yet McCarey's promoting career ended in late 1914 when he was only in his early 40s. In the November 1914 election, the California voters passed an anti-pro boxing amendment. He would live until 1936.

McCarey had two sons who were movie directors, Leo and Raymond. Leo McCarey would go on to direct a number of well-known movies, including Duck Soup, Going My Way, and Bells of St. Mary's. He would win two Academy Awards as Best Director and another Academy Award for best story.

Written by Chuck Johnston, International Boxing Research Organization Member & BoxRec Editor

See also, 20 Dec 1908 Los Angeles Herald [1]