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 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
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.
According to the Associated Press, his real name was Harry Rudolph.
According to an Associated Press report published on August 9, 1972, McCoy "nearly
thew a fit when he saw me in the box office for the first time. He says, 'There's no way
that I'm going to work with that redhead,'" Aileen Eaton explained. "My later-to-be
husband (Cal Eaton) tells him, 'She came with the lease, so cool it.' Now, after all these
years, I'm just one of the boys." Reportedly, McCoy and Cal taught Aileen "everything" to
include matchmaking, advertising, the promotion, scaling of the house, and the sale of
In that same article, Aileen said: "I think Babe McCoy was without a doubt one of the
finest matchmakers I've ever known."
Research by Tim Hornbaker
November 3, 2010