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Al McCoy

Sport: Boxing

Born: October 23, 1894

Died: August 22, 1966

Town: Rosenhayn

Alexander Rudolph was born October 23, 1894 in Deerfield Township. Al grew up in a Jewish family. When he was a boy, the families in his tiny agricultural enclave built the Rosenhayn Synagogue, and this section of the Township soon became known as Rosenhayn. Al was built like a farmer, but had little interest in a farming career. As a teenager he discovered he could take a punch and deliver crunching blows himself, so he gravitated toward boxing.

Fighting as Al McCoy, he lost his first fight to Gus Murphy in Boston in 1910 at the age of 15. In the fall of 1914, Al earned a bout in Brooklyn with George Chip, the reigning world middleweight champion. An unorthodox lefthander known for clinching and dodging punches, George shocked Chip with a first-round knockout and took the crown. He was not the youngest world champ, but he was the first lefty to claim a world title.

McCoy1964Most people openly questioned the legitimacy of Al’s championship. Although Chip qualified as a middleweight, Al was too light at the time. Boxing scribes gave him little respect. He became a master of the no-decision, which helped him hang onto his title for several years despite absorbing significant beatings. By the rules of the day, he had to be knocked out to lose his crown. In a 1917 fight, young Harry Greb practically killed Al, but could not put him on the canvas for the 10 count.

Al finally lost to Mike O’Dowd in a 1917 fight that typified Al’s style. O’Dowd dropped Al five times in the sixth round, but he clambered to his feet each time. The sixth knockdown, however, was too much for Al.

Al fought out of Brooklyn most of his career. He retired in 1924 with a record of 99 wins, 40 losses, and 18 no-decisions. Only 26 of his victories came by knockout. He stood 5’8” and fought as a middleweight and welterweight.

Al retired to California, where he continued to involve himself with boxing. His home in Los Angeles was destroyed by fire in 1964. Though uninjured, he was homeless, and lived in a room at a local mission until he passed away two years later.


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