Kid McCoy

An old flyer describing Kid McCoy's corkscrew punch.

Norman Selby was born October 13, 1872. By the age of 17 he had become a pro fighter and took on the name Charles "Kid" McCoy. He invented the "corkscrew" punch described above.

In 1897 McCoy won the middleweight boxing title by a knockout over Dan Creedon. He moved into the heavyweight class and was knocked out by Tom Sharkey in 1899.

McCoy not only used his famous "corkscrew" in his fights but he resorted to all kinds of screwy trickery including spreading rumors that he wasn't training or that he was injured or that he was very sick. For the latter he sprinkled talcum powder on his face to appear ale and sickly before one fight. These ploys would change the betting odds and McCoy would capitalize on them by emerging victorious in his fights.

In 1903 a new light heavyweight division was created. McCoy battled Jack Root for the title. He lost in 10 rounds. He was on a downhill slide.

By 1924 he had been married at least eight times, he had owned a tavern, he starred in some movies, and worked as a private detective. In 1924 he was convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of a married woman who lived with him. He was sentenced to 24 years in prison. He secured an early release from prison and, in 1940 he committed suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills.

McCoy's "corkscrew" punch lived on when Muhammed Ali used a similar technique many years later and claimed he invented it.


The Virtual Corkscrew Museum

©2002 Donald A. Bull