Tuesday, August 22, 2017

On This Day: Al McCoy Remembered

Al McCoy was a good all-round boxer with a decent punch, and a southpaw style, which made him a tough match for anyone. McCoy was born Alexander Rudolph on October 23, 1894, in Woodbine, New Jersey. The second of nine children, Rudolph left home at the age of 14 to begin his boxing career after being forbidden to box by his father. McCoy would be managed by a number of colourful figures during his career, including A.I. Randolph, T.Brennan, Jack Daugherty, Dan Morgan and Leo Flynn. For most of his professional career McCoy was trained by Charley Goldman, an ex-fighter himself, who would later train Rocky Marciano to the heavyweight title.

Through his career, McCoy faced an impressive array of the top middleweights and light-heavyweight’s of the 1900s and 1910s, fighters such as Young Otto, Willie Fitzgerald, Gus Christie, Wild Cat Ferns, Soldier Bartfield, Willie ‘Ko’ Brennan, Zulu Kid, Mike Gibbons, George Chip, Willie Lewis, Italian Joe Gans, Young Ahearn, Jack Dillon, Harry Greb, Mike O’Dowd, and Leo Houck. However, McCoy’s career was marked by the high number of no-decision fights that he took part in, and for this reason, never truly gained the credit that he should have for his accomplishments.

McCoy won the World middleweight title on April 7, 1914, with a surprising 1st round knockout over the favoured George Chip. McCoy would hold the world title until November 14, 1917, when he was knocked out in 6 rounds by Mike O’Dowd. He was not a popular champion due to his taking part in a lot of no-decision fights during his reign. He was also adjudged to have lost quite a few of these no decision contests, but held onto his middleweight title as he could only be dethroned if he was stopped inside the distance. In April, 30, 1917, McCoy had fought a no-decision contest with Harry Greb, with both men under the middleweight limit, and had been badly beaten and out-classed by Greb, yet held onto his title because he lasted the 10 round distance.

Al McCoy retired in 1924, his final record is disputed, Box Rec has his verified record as being (31-13-6, 27koes) while the late Nat Fleischer compiled a (50-5-7, 28koes) (plus 82 no decisions) record for McCoy. It is known that he is said to have taken part in many fights which have yet to be verified.

After retiring from boxing, McCoy would try acting in Los Angeles. He would have a role in the movie “The Bowery.” He would also work in boxing promotions. The later part of Al McCoy's life was a series of unfortunate events, which started when he lost everything in a fire, then plagued by health problems he was placed in a nursing home.

Al McCoy died on August 22, 1966, at the age of 71, in Los Angeles. 

Copyright © 2017 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to www.theboxingglove.com 

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