|The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia -- Title Contender|
|BORN||February 16 1912; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|WEIGHT||122-143 1/2 lbs|
|MANAGERS||Joe Bradley, Sam Weinberg|
PHILADELPHIA’S EDDIE COOL … "PRIDE OF TACONY"
By Chuck Hasson
It has long been the perception that the typical Philadelphia fighter is a fearless, all action warrior who must be carried out on his shield before he will concede defeat. Indeed, Philly has had more than its share of this type of battler. But, generally overlooked is the fact that the city ha produced legions of highly skilled craftsmen, experts in the art of boxing.
Tommy Loughran, Philadelphia Jack O’Brien, Midget Wolgast, Harold Johnson, Jeff Chandler, and Joey Giardello all won world titles due largely to their boxing technique. Of course, other top Philly men like Tyrone Everett, Johnny Hutchinson, Georgie Benton, Boogaloo Watts, Wesley Mouzon, Jimmy Young, Dick Welsh, Willie Monroe, Tyrone Crawley and many others were known primarily for their boxing skills. But, perhaps the best of them all was a cocky, undisciplined Irishman from the Tacony section of Northeast Philadelphia named Eddie Cool.
During the height of his career, Eddie was a drunk – not an alcoholic, but a "passed out in the gutter" drunk, which he freely admitted. His escapades were legendary and he totally exasperated three of Philadelphia’s all-time greatest trainers – Jimmy Coster, Jack Brady, and Jimmy Wilson, each of whom took turns trying to keep Eddie in harness and take advantage of his superlative talent.
Cool was born on February 16, 1912 and the sudden death of his father at age 15 forced him to become the sole support of his mother. Eddie, who loved to fight, figured boxing was the best (and only) way for him to succeed. After a short amateur career, he turned pro on Thanksgiving Day 1928, winning a four rounder from Mike Palmer at the Cambria where he would build a rabid following. Managed by a neighborhood iceman named Joe Bradley, Cool was virtually self-taught in the nuances of the fight game by facing unusually stiff competition at the beginning of his career. Suffering eight losses and three draws in his first 34 matches, Eddie learned his trade the hard way. He developed a swift counter-punching style that when properly trained was beautiful to watch.
By 1932, Eddie had become a constant winner. But, it was his victory over flashy Jackie Willis, the pride of the 20th and Federal, that really made people sit up and take notice. Eddie snapped Willis’ 32 bout unbeaten streak with a magnificent display of precision punching on April 22, 1932 at the Cambria, winning 9 out of 10 rounds.
Two upset victories over long time lightweight contender Lew Massey in November and December at the Arena put Eddie in the ratings. His second win over the downtowner was particularly impressive as he picked himself up off the floor being badly hurt in the second round to stage a spectacular rally to nip Lew at the wire.
Philadelphia, at this time, was a lightweight hotbed that included Cool, Massey, Willis, Tony Falco, Johnny Jadick, Tony Morgano, Georgie Gibbs, Young Firpo, and the top dog, Benny Bass, that provided the city’s boxing fans with an exciting local round-robin of cross-town rivalries and neighborhood feuds, as all of the above faced each other in hectic matches. When the smoke cleared, Cool and Bass had licked all the others and become their own chief rivals.
On September 9, 1933, Cool scored a brilliant victory over Frankie Klick after ten torrid rounds at the Arena and issued challenges to Junior Lightweight Champion Kid Chocolate, who had dethroned Bass in July of 1931, and Barney Ross, recent winner of the lightweight crown from Tony Canzoneri. The Klick match was promoted by Morris Fried and Rudy Fishman, rivals of the top Philly promoters Herman Taylor and Bobby Gunnis, who now offered Cool the big money shot with Benny Bass on December 28, 1933 at Convention Hall. Fried and Fishman had tried to match Cool against Chocolate and after being outmaneuvered by Taylor-Gunnis, they countered by persuading "the Keed" to defend against Klick at the Arena on December 26. Klick scored a sensational seventh round upset knockout to win the championship.
Meanwhile, on the 28th, Cool seemed in awe of the legendary Bass and gave him a little too much respect in front of 8,500 fans who braved a monstrous snowstorm to witness a fast paced action match. Disappointed by losing both the Bass bout and the title shot, Eddie reportedly went on a long binge.
Now under the management of Sam Weinberg, after Cool replaced Joe Bradley whom he considered "too strict", Eddie would look great some nights and unmotivated on other nights and it was no secret that his conditioning and life style left much to be desired.
Matinee idol, handsome, and impeccably dressed, Eddie was hotly pursued by the young ladies and liked to step out on the town but after marrying in the summer of 1934, he seemed for a while to re-dedicate himself to boxing and wowed them at Madison Square Garden with a couple of outstanding performances, beating Al Roth and Teddy Loder. The New York press wrote "Cool was a brilliant boxer who landed with the precision of a fencer, stabbing and jabbing his opponent at will" after the Roth bout.
Cool was to prove a disappointment in his next New York appearance losing to Sammy Fuller with a lackluster performance. And it was about this time that reports of Cool sitting on the curb passing the bottle with the neighborhood rummies and passing out in the gutter, dead drunk in his cashmere topcoat, persisted.
Often, when questioned by boxing people and fans alike about the possible effects upon the success of his career by alcohol [abuse], Cool answered with a nonchalant but tragic retort, "My father died a drunk at a young age and I guess I will die the same way."
He still managed to remain highly ranked in spite of it all. Although he would drop a decision here and there, usually on the road, he was still able to score big victories over such top fighters as Benny Bass, Harry Dublinsky, Fritzie Zivic, Red Cochrane, Chino Alvarez and, in his greatest performance, outpoint Lightweight Champion Lou Ambers on October 28, 1936 at the Arena. Ambers in his previous match six weeks earlier had taken the crown from Tony Canzoneri. This victory catapulted Cool to the number one contender in his division where he remained for over a year hoping in vain for a shot at Ambers with the title on the line. But, Al Weill (Ambers’ manager) considered Eddie too much of a risk with too little financial inducement to even consider.
Eddie’s lifestyle would shortly catch up with him and he was totally washed-up by age 27. He crowded 140 pro fights into his career of which he lost 28, scoring only 15 knockouts, depending upon his boxing ability to thwart his opposition.
When discussing Cool with those who saw him perform, their descriptions of him could best be described as "shoulda, woulda, coulda." Willie O’Neill, former trainer of Jeff Chandler, said Cool was "when in shape, the second greatest boxer ever to come out of Philly" (rating Midget Wolgast as the best).
The late Dan Cavanaugh (who saw almost every fight card in Philly from 1917 to the early 1970s), a great admirer of Tommy Loughran, said of Cool "when he was right, he was the best Philadelphia boxer of them all." And, long-time trainer Sam Solomon said "Eddie was a wonderful boxer who coulda been champ."
1928 Nov 29 Mike Palmer Philadelphia, Pa W 4 Dec 3 Kid Bates Atlantic City, NJ KO 1 Dec 25 Marty Casper Atlantic City, NJ KO 1 1929 Jan 14 Mike Palmer Atlantic City, NJ W 4 Feb 8 Joe Capelli Philadelphia, Pa W 6 Mar 4 Bill Squires Atlantic City, NJ KO 2 Mar 8 Jimmy Stewart Philadelphia, Pa KO 2 Apr 1 Lou Tecco Atlantic City, NJ KO 4 Apr 22 Tony Falco Atlantic City, NJ W 6 May 6 Tony Falco Atlantic City, NJ W 8 May 23 Eddie Law Elam, Pa W 6 Jun 20 Benny Britt Philadelphia, Pa W 6 Jun 24 Dick Welsh Atlantic City, NJ L 8 Aug 8 Bobby Dechter Philadelphia, Pa D 6 Aug 22 Bobby Dechter Atlantic City, NJ W 8 Sep 13 Al Giraldi Philadelphia, Pa L 6 Oct 2 Bobby Dechter Atlantic City, NJ W 8 Oct 11 Bobby Weir Philadelphia, Pa W 8 Oct 14 Bobby Dechter Atlantic City, NJ L 8 Oct 18 Joe O'Donnell Camden, NJ D 8 Nov 28 Jack Daley Philadelphia, Pa L 8 1930 Jan 20 "Young" Patsy Wallace Atlantic City, NJ D 8 Feb 14 Lew Lafferty Philadelphia, Pa L 8 Feb 22 Lew Jackson Millville, NJ W 8 Mar 7 Tom McGoneghy Philadelphia, Pa W 8 Mar 10 Tiger Taylor Atlantic City, NJ W 8 Mar 24 Luigi Quadrini Philadelphia, Pa LK 1 Apr 25 Tony Morgano Norristown, Pa L 6 May 16 Johnny Lucas Camden, NJ D 8 Jun 20 Nick DiMotto Egg Harbor, NJ W 8 Jul 14 Tiger Taylor Atlantic City, NJ W 8 Aug 18 George Kelly Philadelphia, Pa W 6 Sep 8 Joe Leone Philadelphia, Pa W 6 Oct 10 Johnny Lucas Camden, NJ W 8 Oct 20 Phil Zwick Philadelphia, Pa LK 3 Dec 12 Jack Branton Philadelphia, Pa W 6 1931 Jan 9 Teddy Edwards Philadelphia, Pa W 6 Jan 23 George Kelly Philadelphia, Pa W 6 Feb 6 Teddy Edwards Philadelphia, Pa W 6 Feb 27 Ad Elton Philadelphia, Pa L 8 Mar 13 Ad Elton Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Mar 20 Johnny Lucas Millville, NJ W 8 Mar 28 Lew Lafferty Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Apr 10 Mike Marshall Philadelphia, Pa KO 8 Apr 17 Lew Lafferty Wilmington, De W 6 Apr 24 Mickey Michaels Philadelphia, Pa W 10 May 1 Joe Scalfero Wilmington, De W 8 May 21 Mickey Michaels Wilmington, De W 8 Jul 13 Sid Lampe Wilmington, De L 6 Nov 13 Steve Smith Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Nov 30 Patsy Wallace Atlantic City, NJ W 8 Dec 3 Al Rowe Philadelphia, Pa W 8 Dec 14 Al Rowe Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Dec 21 Mickey Blair Atlantic City, NJ W 8 Dec 25 Wesley Ramey Philadelphia, Pa D 10 1932 Jan 18 Buster Brown Philadelphia, Pa W 6 Feb 5 Buster Brown Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Feb 8 Sammy Dorfman Philadelphia, Pa D 10 Mar 4 Mike Marshall Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Apr 8 Bobby Burns Philadelphia, Pa KO 5 Apr 22 Jackie Willis Philadelphia, Pa W 10 May 6 Sid Lampe Philadelphia, Pa W 10 May 25 Tony Caragliano Philadelphia, Pa KO 5 Jul 18 Joey Costa Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Aug 8 Jack Portney Atlantic City, NJ L 10 Sep 12 Joey Costa Philadelphia, Pa W 8 Nov 4 Pete Nebo Philadelphia, Pa D 10 Nov 28 Lew Massey Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Dec 26 Lew Massey Philadelphia, Pa W 10 1933 Jan 30 Harry Dublinsky Philadelphia, Pa L 10 Feb 20 Harry Dublinsky Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Apr 3 Johnny Jadick Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Apr 25 Joey Costa Philadelphia, Pa W 8 Sep 8 Frankie Klick Baltimore, Md L 10 Oct 6 Buster Brown Wilmington, De W 8 Oct 10 Harry Dublinsky Detroit, Mi W 10 Nov 3 "Young" Joe Firpo Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Nov 27 Frankie Klick Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Dec 27 Benny Bass Philadelphia, Pa L 10 1934 Feb 9 Phil Rafferty Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Apr 2 Cleto Locatelli Philadelphia, Pa L 10 Jun 20 Johnny Jadick Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Sep 9 Pete Nebo Philadelphia, Pa W 8 Sep 19 Buster Brown Leiperville, Pa W 10 Oct 26 Eddie Ran Philadelphia, Pa KO 6 Nov 2 Al Roth New York, NY W 10 Nov 23 Teddy Loder New York, NY W 10 Dec 14 Sammy Fuller New York, NY L 10 1935 Jan 18 Mickey Serrian Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Feb 18 Benny Bass Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Mar 14 Joe Ghnouly Kansas City, Mo L 10 Apr 26 Georgie Gibbs Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Jun 24 Cleto Locatelli Philadelphia, Pa L 10 Aug 23 Charley Gomer Atlantic City, NJ L 10 Sep 19 Tony Morgano Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Sep 27 Johnny Jadick Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Sep 30 Joey Ferrando Holyoke, Ma L 10 Oct 18 Charley Gomer Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Nov 5 Al Casamini New York, NY W 10 Nov 8 Maxie Strub Erie, Pa L 10 Nov 29 Gene Salvatore Chicago, Il D 8 Dec 13 Tony Falco Philadelphia, Pa W 10 1936 Jan 13 Fritzie Zivic Pittsburgh, Pa W 10 Jan 28 Wesley Ramey Brooklyn, NY L 10 Feb 17 Howard Scott Washington, DC W 10 Mar 2 Eddie Dolan Wilkes-Barre, Pa W 10 Mar 20 Johnny Craven Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Apr 17 Chino Alvarez Tampa, Fl L 10 Jun 16 Chino Alvarez Tampa, Fl D 10 Oct 28 Lou Ambers Philadelphia, Pa W 10 1937 Jan 27 Patsy Mattia Allentown, Pa KO 4 Feb 19 Freddie "Red" Cochrane Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Mar 1 Johnny Toomey Camden, NJ W 10 Jun 2 Al Casamini Long Island, NY D 10 Jul 12 Al Casamini Philadelphia, Pa D 10 Jul 21 Pete Galiano New York, NY W 10 Aug Chino Alvarez Philadelphia, Pa KO 10 Oct 14 Luis Angel Rodriguez Tampa, Fl KO 6 Oct 25 Felix Garcia White Plains, NY W 8 Nov 5 Freddy Foran Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Nov 9 Johnny Bellus New York, NY D 8 Dec 10 Johnny Turco Philadelphia, Pa KO 1 1938 Mar 7 Tommy Cross Philadelphia, Pa L 10 Aug 25 Tommy Cross Philadelphia, Pa D 10 1939 Mar 31 Gene Galotto Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Apr 24 Young Chappie Philadelphia, Pa KO 5 May 8 Pete Galiano Philadelphia, Pa KO 7 May 23 Leonard Del Genio Philadelphia, Pa LK 7 Jun 27 Mike Evans Philadelphia, Pa L 10 Aug 29 "California" Jackie Wilson Los Angeles, Ca LK 4 Oct 18 Jimmy Tygh Philadelphia, Pa LK 4
Record courtesy of Chuck Hasson, Historian, International Boxing Research Organization
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