Jack Doyle (Promoter)

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Jack Doyle was the second great boxing promoter in the Los Angeles, California area--after Uncle Tom McCarey. According to the January 30, 1944 Tacoma News-Tribune newspaper (Tacoma, WA, USA), Doyle had been a railroad fireman when he opened a boxing training camp at Arcadia, CA, in 1908. He later moved the training camp to Vernon, CA, where he also opened a famous and highly successful bar.

Jack Doyle

To entertain his customers at his bar during the early 1910s, Doyle started promoting four-round boxing cards. By the middle 1910s, regular weekly boxing cards were being staged by Doyle with the assistance of his matchmaker, Wad Wadhams. Many of these cards were staged in a small building called the Vernon Arena (not to be confused with Tom McCarey's famous outdoor arena of the same name).

When the voters in California cast their ballots in favor of an amendment limiting bouts to a maximum of four rounds, and the value of a prize to a maximum of $25.00 for a boxer, in the November 1914 election, the first important professional boxing promoter -- Tom McCarey -- ceased to stage boxing cards. As a result, Doyle would assume the mantle as the most important promoter in the Los Angeles area.

In late 1923 he built a new 7,000 capacity arena about 90 feet from his old one. In 1925, the Olympic Auditorium was built, which cut into Doyle's promotions. It was early 1927 when Doyle signed a lease to be the promoter at the Olympic. The owners killed two birds with one stone by leasing to Doyle. Doyle was a proven promoter and he shut down his fairly new Vernon Arena in early 1927.

Doyle staged the first two $100,000 gates in California boxing history. The first featured George Godfrey vs. Paulino Uzcudun, and the second featured the second bout between Mickey Walker and Ace Hudkins. In 1929, his boxing promotions took in $695,000 in gate receipts.

But the Great Depression would have an adverse effect on the boxing promotions at the Olympic Auditorium. In 1933, Doyle was staging cards irregularly because they weren't drawing well. After staging the World Welterweight Title bout between Young Corbett III and Jimmy McLarnin that drew a gate of around $39,000 with a reported loss of $20,000, Doyle and his longtime matchmaker, Wad Wadhams, ceased to put on boxing cards at the Olympic Auditorium.

During the time he was promoting boxing cards and afterwards, Doyle had other business interests. He bought the Signal Hill Lot, struck oil, became wealthy, and developed other oil fields. He died in Santa Monica, CA, aged 66 years, on January 30, 1944, leaving behind his widow Cecilia.

Written by Chuck Johnston, with assistance by Ric Kilmer: International Boxing Research Organization Members & BoxRec.com Editors.