Rocky Marciano


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Rocky Marciano "The Brockton Blockbuster "was born on 1st Septembert 1923, both his parents where Italian immigrants who had since settled in Brockton, Massachusetts where they raised their six children, 3 boys and 3 girls. Marciano held the heavyweight boxing title for four years in the 1950s, and he is the only boxing champion to ever retire undefeated.

Marciano was a typical Italian American kid and took a keen interest in several sports including Baseball and Football, Marciano dreamt of reaching the top so his parents would be financially secure. In March 1943, Marciano was drafted into the Army for a term of two years. Stationed in Wales, he helped ferry supplies across the English Channel to Normandy. After the war ended, he completed his service in March 1946 at Fort Lewis, Washington. It was in the Army Marciano was first introduced to Boxing. Representing the Army in 1946 Marciano won the amateur armed forces boxing tournament.

Still dreaming of a professional career in Baseball on March 1947, Marciano travelled to Fayetteville, North Carolina, to try out for the Fayetteville Cubs. After three weeks, Marciano let go from the team.

Early Boxing

Marciano returned home to Brockton where he began focusing on the sport of boxing, Marciano started training with a friend peppering himself for the professional ranks. In the basement of his home a large mail bag was filled hung from the ceiling where Marciano spent endless hours preparing him-self for the tough road ahead. Rocky was born Rocco Francis Marchegiano, the name Marciano was adopter after ring announcers failed to pronounce his surname correctly. Rocky Marciano made his professional debut on 17th March 1947, although some records suggest he officially turned professional in his next fight on 12 July 1948.

Professional Career

Marciano had raw talent and brute strength, evident in winning his first 16 bouts by knockout, 9 of them coming in the first round; with no-one lasting past 5 rounds. Over the next two years, Marciano terrorised the division knocking out almost everyone in his path.

Marciano’s popularity grew as he was showcased on national television 1951; he was matched with the man he idolised as a kid, Joe Louis. The old champion (Louis) had returned to the sport after financial difficulties and on this night was no match for the younger and fresher Marciano, Louis and finally succumbs to the pressure in the eighth. This would be the last fight form Joe Louis, many at ringside where in tears including Marciano who had a tear in his eye.

World Champion

The following year Marciano scored four knock-out wins culminating in a title shot against then Champion Jersey Joe Walcott. Walcott had captured the title the previous year from Ezzard Charles; who was making the ninth defence of the heavyweight crown. The bout was staged in Philadelphia on September 23, 1952. A 38-yearold Walcott dropped Marciano in the opening round for the first time in career, and went on to built up a comfortable lead on the scorecards, when, in the thirteenth round Marciano landed a huge right; labelled his “Suzie Q”, Walcott was knocked out and left suspended on the bottom rope, an Image cemented into boxing history. (Video Below) Marciano’s first defence came eight months later against Walcott, who this time was knocked out in the first round.

Before the end of the year, 1953, Marciano stopped challenger Ronald La Starza in the eleventh round, the bout was awarded the 1953 ring magazine fight of the year.

Then in 1954 came two consecutive bouts against former world heavyweight champion and light-heavyweight legend Ezzard Charles, who became the only man to ever last fifteen rounds against Marciano. Marciano won the first fight on points and the second by an eight-round knockout.

His penultimate fight came against British and European champion Don Cockell, Marciano scared another knockout win, this time in the ninth round. Marciano’s last fight was in 1955 against the fighting legend that was Archie Moore, the champion was sent to the canvas in the second round but recovered en-route to a ninth round stoppage to retain his heavyweight crown for the 6th time.

The undefeated reigning heavyweight champion announced his retirement on April 27, 1956.

Death

In 1969, on the eve of his 46th birthday, Marciano was a passenger in a small Cesna private plane,. It was at night, and bad weather set in. The pilot, Glenn Belz, had only 231 total hours of flying time, only 35 of them at night, and was not certified to fly in Instrument Meteorological Conditions. Belz tried to set the plane down at a small airfield outside Neweton, Iowa, but hit a tree two miles short of the runway in Des Moines, Iowa. Marciano, the pilot and, and 22 year old Frankie Farrell (son of Italian mobster Louis Fratto Louis) were killed instantly.

Although he may not rank in the top five boxers of all time in terms of skill, speed or power, Rocky Marciano had raw aggression and a relentless style that was enough to compensate, and his fans recognized his grit and determination. A sports writer commented that if all the heavyweight champions of all time were locked together in a room, Marciano would be the one to walk out.

Rocky Marciano became a member of the Boxing Hall of Fame when he was inducted on 1990.

Rocky Marciano Professional Record: 49-0-0 (43)


1955
     
21 Sep Archie Moore W KO 9 Yankee Stadium, New York
  World Heavyweight title
19 May Don Cockell W TKO 9 San Francisco, California
  World Heavyweight title
1954
     
17 Sep Ezzard Charles W KO 8 Yankee Stadium, New York
  World Heavyweight title
17 Jun Ezzard Charles W UD 15 Yankee Stadium, New York
  World Heavyweight title
       
1953
     
24 Sep Ronald LaStarza W TKO 11 Yankee Stadium, New York
  World Heavyweight title : Bout was awarded 1953 fight of the year
15 May Jersey Joe Walcott W KO 1 Chicago, Illinois
  World Heavyweight title
1952
     
23 Sep Jersey Joe Walcott W KO 13 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  World Heavyweight title
28 Jul Harry Matthews W KO 2 Yankee Stadium, New York
12 May Bernie Reynolds W KO 3 Providence, Rhode Island
21 Apr Gino Buonvino W KO 2 Providence, Rhode Island
13 Feb Lee Savold W RTD 6 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
       
1951
     
26 Oct Joe Louis W TKO 8 MSG, New York
27 Aug Freddie Beshore W KO 4 Boston, Massachusetts
12 Jul Rex Layne W KO 6 MSG, New York
30 Apr Willie Applegate W UD 10 Providence, Rhode Island
26 Mar Art Henri W TKO 9 Providence, Rhode Island
20 Mar Harold Mitchell W TKO 2 Hartford, Connecticut
29 Jan Keene Simmons W TKO 8 Providence, Rhode Island
       
1950
     
18 Dec Bill Watson W TKO 1 Providence, Rhode Island
13 Nov Ted Lowry W UD 10 Providence, Rhode Island
18 Sep Johnny Shkor W TKO 6 Providence, Rhode Island
10 Jul Gino Buonvino W TKO 10 Hartford, Connecticut
5 Jun Eldridge Eatman W TKO 3 Providence, Rhode Island
24 Mar Ronald LaStraza W SD 10 Boston, Massachusetts
       
1949
     
30 Dec Carmine Vingo W KO 6 MSG, New York
19 Dec Phil Muscato W TKO 5 Providence, Rhode Island
2 Dec Pat Richards W TKO 2 MSG, New York
7 Nov Joe Dominic W KO 2 Providence, Rhode Island
10 Oct Ted Lowry W UD 10 Providence, Rhode Island
29 Sep Tommy DiGiorgio W KO 4 Providence, Rhode Island
16 Aug Pete Louthis W KO 3 Bedford, Massachusetts
18 Jul Harry Haft W KO 3 Providence, Rhode Island
23 May Don Mogard W UD 10 Providence, Rhode Island
2 May Jimmy Evans W TKO 3 Providence, Rhode Island
11 Apr Jimmy Walls W KO 3 Providence, Rhode Island
28 Mar Artie Donato W KO 1 Providence, Rhode Island
21 Mar Johnny Pretzie W TKO 5 Providence, Rhode Island
       
1948
     
14 Dec Gilley Ferron W TKO 2 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
29 Nov James Patrick Connolly W TKO 1 Providence, Rhode Island
4 Oct Bob Jefferson W TKO 2 Providence, Rhode Island
30 Sep Gilbert Cardone W KO 1 Washington DC
20 Sep Bill Hardeman W KO 1 Providence, Rhode Island
13 Sep Humphrey Jackson W KO 1 Providence, Rhode Island
30 Aug Jimmy Weeks W TKO 1 Providence, Rhode Islan
23 Aug Eddie Ross W KO 1 Providence, Rhode Island
9 Aug Bobby Quinn W KO 3 Providence, Rhode Island
19 Jul John Edwards W KO 1 Providence, Rhode Island
12 July Harry Bilzerian W TKO 1 Providence, Rhode Island
       
1947
     
17 Mar Lee Epperson W KO 3 Massachusetts, USA