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Rocky Marciano

Rocky Marciano

Overview
Rocky Marciano born Rocco Francis Marchegiano, was an American boxer and the heavyweight champion of the world from September 23, 1952, to April 27, 1956. Marciano is the only champion to hold the heavyweight title and go undefeated throughout his career. Marciano defended his title six times. He holds notable wins over Ezzard Charles
Ezzard Charles
Ezzard Mack Charles was an African-American professional boxer and former world heavyweight champion. He holds wins over numerous Hall of Fame fighters in three different weight classes. Charles retired with a record of 93 wins, 25 losses and 1 draw.-Career:He was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia,...

 and Joe Louis
Joe Louis
Joseph Louis Barrow , better known as Joe Louis, was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949. He is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time...

.

Marciano was born and raised in Brockton, Massachusetts
Brockton, Massachusetts
Brockton is a city in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States; the population was 93,810 in the 2010 Census. Brockton, along with Plymouth, are the county seats of Plymouth County...

 to Pierino Marchegiano and Pasqualina Picciuto.
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Encyclopedia
Rocky Marciano born Rocco Francis Marchegiano, was an American boxer and the heavyweight champion of the world from September 23, 1952, to April 27, 1956. Marciano is the only champion to hold the heavyweight title and go undefeated throughout his career. Marciano defended his title six times. He holds notable wins over Ezzard Charles
Ezzard Charles
Ezzard Mack Charles was an African-American professional boxer and former world heavyweight champion. He holds wins over numerous Hall of Fame fighters in three different weight classes. Charles retired with a record of 93 wins, 25 losses and 1 draw.-Career:He was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia,...

 and Joe Louis
Joe Louis
Joseph Louis Barrow , better known as Joe Louis, was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949. He is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time...

.

Early years


Marciano was born and raised in Brockton, Massachusetts
Brockton, Massachusetts
Brockton is a city in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States; the population was 93,810 in the 2010 Census. Brockton, along with Plymouth, are the county seats of Plymouth County...

 to Pierino Marchegiano and Pasqualina Picciuto. Both of his parents were immigrants from Italy: his father was from Ripa Teatina
Ripa Teatina
Ripa Teatina is a comune and town in the province of Chieti, in the Italian region Abruzzo. Ripa Teatina is renowned for its vineyards and olive groves which surround and embrace this tranquil part of Abruzzo.-Notable people:...

, Abruzzo
Abruzzo
Abruzzo is a region in Italy, its western border lying less than due east of Rome. Abruzzo borders the region of Marche to the north, Lazio to the west and south-west, Molise to the south-east, and the Adriatic Sea to the east...

, while his mother was from San Bartolomeo in Galdo
San Bartolomeo in Galdo
San Bartolomeo in Galdo is a comune in the Province of Benevento in the Italian region Campania, located about 90 km northeast of Naples and about 35 km northeast of Benevento, on a hill overlooking the valley of the Fortore river....

, Campania
Campania
Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country...

. Rocky had three sisters—Alice, Concetta, and Elizabeth—and two brothers—Sonny and Peter. When he was about eighteen months old he got pneumonia
Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

, from which he almost died.

In his youth, he played baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

, worked out on homemade weightlifting
Weight training
Weight training is a common type of strength training for developing the strength and size of skeletal muscles. It uses the weight force of gravity to oppose the force generated by muscle through concentric or eccentric contraction...

 equipment (later in his life, Marciano was also a client of Charles Atlas
Charles Atlas
Charles Atlas, born Angelo Siciliano , was the developer of a bodybuilding method and its associated exercise program that was best known for a landmark advertising campaign featuring Atlas's name and likeness; it has been described as one of the longest-lasting and most memorable ad campaigns of all...

), and used a stuffed mail bag that hung from a tree in his back yard as a heavy bag. He attended Brockton High School
Brockton High School
Brockton High School, established in 1871, is a high school located in Brockton, Massachusetts and is the largest high school in Massachusetts and New England. Although it is smaller by approximately 200 students than Reading High School, Brockton is one of the largest high schools east of the...

, where he played both baseball and football. However, he was cut from the school baseball team because he had joined a church league, violating a school rule forbidding players from joining other teams. He dropped out of school after finishing tenth grade.

Marciano then worked as a chute man on delivery trucks for the Brockton Ice and Coal Company. He also worked as a ditch digger and as a shoemaker. Rocky was also a resident of Hanson, Massachusetts
Hanson, Massachusetts
Hanson is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 9,495 at the 2000 census.-History:Hanson was first settled in 1632 as the western parish of Pembroke. The town was officially incorporated in 1820, and was named for Maryland newspaper publisher and U.S. Senator...

; the house he lived in still stands on Main Street.

In March 1943, Marciano was drafted into the Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 for a term of two years. Stationed in Swansea
Swansea
Swansea is a coastal city and county in Wales. Swansea is in the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan. Situated on the sandy South West Wales coast, the county area includes the Gower Peninsula and the Lliw uplands...

, Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, he helped ferry supplies across the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

 to Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

. After the war ended, he completed his service in March 1946 at Fort Lewis
Fort Lewis
Joint Base Lewis-McChord is a United States military facility located south-southwest of Tacoma, Washington. The facility is under the jurisdiction of the United States Army Joint Base Garrison, Joint Base Lewis-McChord....

, Washington.

Amateur circuit


Marciano's amateur record was 8–4. While awaiting discharge, Marciano, representing the army, won the 1946 amateur armed forces boxing tournament. His amateur career was interrupted on March 17, 1947, when Marciano stepped into the ring as a professional competitor. That night, he knocked out Lee Epperson in three rounds. In an unusual move, however, Marciano returned to the amateur ranks and fought in the Golden Gloves
Golden Gloves
The Golden Gloves is the name given to annual competitions for amateur boxing in the United States. The Golden Gloves is often the term used to refer to the National Golden Gloves competition, but it also can represent several other amateur tournaments, including regional golden gloves...

 All-East Championship Tournament in March 1948. He was beaten by Coley Wallace
Coley Wallace
Coley Wallace was an American actor and heavyweight boxer who outpointed by Rocky Marciano in a three-round amateur fight....

. He continued to fight as an amateur throughout the spring and competed in the AAU
Amateur Athletic Union
The Amateur Athletic Union is one of the largest non-profit volunteer sports organizations in the United States. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs.-History:The AAU was founded in 1888 to...

 Olympic tryouts in the Boston Garden
Boston Garden
The Boston Garden was an arena in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Designed by boxing promoter Tex Rickard, who also built the third iteration of New York's Madison Square Garden, it opened on November 17, 1928 as "Boston Madison Square Garden" and outlived its original namesake by some 30 years...

. There, he knocked out George McInnis, but hurt his hands during the bout and was forced to withdraw from the tournament. That was his last amateur bout.

In late March, 1947, Marciano and a few of his friends traveled to Fayetteville, North Carolina, to try out for the Fayetteville Cubs, a farm team for the Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. They are one of two Major League clubs based in Chicago . The Cubs are also one of the two remaining charter members of the National...

 baseball team. Marciano lasted three weeks before being cut. After failing to find a spot on another team, he returned to Brockton and began boxing training with longtime friend, Allie Colombo. Al Weill
Al Weill
Armand "Al" Weill was a boxing manager. He managed four world champions Rocky Marciano, Marty Servo, Lou Ambers, Joey Archibald and several other boxers. He moved to the United States from his birthplace of France at the age of 13, where he eventually began his career.-References:*...

 served as his manager and Charley Goldman
Charley Goldman
Charley Goldman was a famed boxing trainer who trained five world champions. Goldman's most famous pupil was the undefeated heavyweight champion of the world, Rocky Marciano....

 as his trainer and teacher

Professional career


Although he had one professional fight (against Lee Epperson), on his record, Marciano began fighting permanently as a professional boxer on July 12, 1948. That night, he notched a win over Harry Bilizarian (3-6-0). He won his first sixteen bouts by knockout, all before the fifth round, and nine before the first round was over. Don Mogard (17-9-1) became the first boxer to last the distance
The distance (boxing)
The distance, in boxing, refers to the full number of rounds in boxing matches. It is frequently used in the expression "going the distance," which means fighting a full bout without being knocked out...

 (full 10 rounds scheduled) with "The Rock," but Marciano won by decision.

Early in his career, he changed the spelling of his last name. The ring announcer in Providence, Rhode Island
Providence, Rhode Island
Providence is the capital and most populous city of Rhode Island and was one of the first cities established in the United States. Located in Providence County, it is the third largest city in the New England region...

 could not pronounce Marchegiano, so Marciano's handler, Al Weill, suggested they create a pseudonym. The first suggestion was Rocky Mack, which Marciano rejected. He decided to go with the more Italian-sounding "Marciano".

Marciano won three more fights by knockout, and then he met Ted Lowry
Ted Lowry
Tiger' Ted Lowry , was an American boxer.- Boxing career :Ted Lowry's career started out strong, with 8 successful fights , before losing to Sam Shumway, whom he had previously beaten before, and would defeat again in their next fight. Afterwards, he fought regularly, winning some and losing some...

 (58-48-9), who, according to many scribes and witnesses, probably managed to win three or four of the ten rounds from Marciano. Nevertheless, Marciano kept his winning streak alive by beating Lowry by decision. Four more knockout wins followed, including a five rounder on December 19, 1949 with Phil Muscato (56-20-0), an experienced heavyweight from Buffalo, New York
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

, and the first "name fighter" Marciano would face. Three weeks after that fight, Marciano beat Carmine Vingo (16-1-0) in a fifth round knockout in New York that almost killed Vingo.

Marciano vs. Roland La Starza I


In a March 24, 1950 Marciano fought Roland La Starza
Roland La Starza
Roland La Starza was a retired American boxer and actor. Originally from the Van Nest section of the Bronx, La Starza fought 66 professional bouts from July 7, 1947 to May 8, 1961...

, winning by split decision, La Starza may have come closer than any other boxer to defeating Marciano. The scoring for the bout was 5–4, 4–5, 5–5, and Marciano won on a supplemental point system used by New York and Massachusetts at that time. (It should also be noted that this scoring system did not award an extra point for a knockdown, and that Marciano scored a knockdown in this fight). Referee Watson decided the bout, scoring it 9-6 for Marciano. Both boxers were undefeated at the time of the fight, with La Starza's record at 37-0.

Subsequent bouts


Marciano won three more knockouts in a row before a rematch with Lowry (61-56-10). Marciano again won, by unanimous decision. After that, he won four more by knockout, and, after a decision win over Red Applegate
Red Applegate
Red Applegate was a United States boxer. His professional career took off with 4 consecutive wins, 2 by knockout , but he was stopped by Austin Johnson. He won his next fight, and lost the next three. He fought several more fights afterwards. Overall, he compiled a record of 11-16-2...

 (11-14-2) late April 1951, he was showcased on national television for the first time, when he knocked out Rex Layne
Rex Layne
Rex Layne was born in Lewiston, Utah on June 7, 1928. He died on June 7, 2000-Background:According to the Oct. 29, 1949 Tacoma News Tribune, Layne was a Mormon who was a staff sergeant with an airborne division in World War II for 19 months, serving some time in Japan. He did not start boxing...

 (34-1-2) in six rounds on July 12, 1951.

On Oct. 27, 1951, the 27 year old, Marciano, took on the 37 year old, Joe Louis. Coming into the bout, Marciano was 6½ to 5 underdog. Marciano would upset the favorite, Louis, in what would be the latter's last career bout, a result that left him with mixed emotions, as Louis had been his childhood idol.

After four more wins, including victories over 35 year old, Lee Savold
Lee Savold
Lee Savold was a heavyweight boxer who held the British and European version of the World Heavyweight championship between 1950 and 1951 and was a leading contender in the forties and early fifties....

 (96-37-3) and Harry Matthews (81-3-5), Marciano got his shot at the title.

Championship fights


Marciano, 28, faced the world heavyweight champion, 38-year-old Jersey Joe Walcott
Jersey Joe Walcott
Arnold Raymond Cream , better known as Jersey Joe Walcott, was a world heavyweight boxing champion. He broke the world's record for the oldest man to win the world's Heavyweight title when he earned it at the age of , a record that would be broken on November 5, 1994, by George Foreman, who...

, in Philadelphia on September 23, 1952. Walcott dropped Marciano in the first round and steadily built a points lead; but in the thirteenth, Walcott used his trademark feint to set up his right hand, but Marciano's "Suzie Q" landed first. Marciano landed a glancing left hook as Walcott slumped to his knees with his arm draped over the ropes. He lay motionless long after he had been counted out, and Marciano became the new world heavyweight champion. At the time of the stoppage, Walcott was leading on all scorecards, 8-4, 7-5, 7-4.

His first defense came a year later, a rematch against Walcott, 39, who this time was knocked out in the first round.

Next, it was Roland La Starza
Roland La Starza
Roland La Starza was a retired American boxer and actor. Originally from the Van Nest section of the Bronx, La Starza fought 66 professional bouts from July 7, 1947 to May 8, 1961...

's turn to challenge Marciano. After building a small lead on the judges' scorecards all the way to the middle rounds, Marciano won by a technical knockout in the eleventh round.

Then came two consecutive bouts against former world heavyweight champion and light-heavyweight legend Ezzard Charles
Ezzard Charles
Ezzard Mack Charles was an African-American professional boxer and former world heavyweight champion. He holds wins over numerous Hall of Fame fighters in three different weight classes. Charles retired with a record of 93 wins, 25 losses and 1 draw.-Career:He was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia,...

, 33, who became the only man to ever last fifteen rounds against Marciano. Marciano won the first fight on points and the second by an eighth-round knockout. Then, Marciano met British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an champion, Don Cockell
Don Cockell
Donald John Cockell was an English boxer. He fought for most of his career as a light-heavyweight and became the British and European champion at that weight. Later in his career he moved up to heavyweight and held the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles...

. Marciano knocked him out in the ninth.

Marciano's last title bout was against 38 year old, Archie Moore
Archie Moore
Archie Moore, born Archibald Lee Wright , was light heavyweight world boxing champion who had one of the longest professional careers in the history of that sport....

, on September 21, 1955. The bout was originally scheduled for September 20, but because of hurricane warnings, it had to be delayed a day. Marciano was knocked down for a four count in the second round. Marciano recovered, and retained his title by way of a knockout in round nine.

Marciano announced his retirement on April 27, 1956.

After boxing


Marciano considered a comeback in 1959 when Ingemar Johansson
Ingemar Johansson
Jens Ingemar Johansson was a Swedish boxer and former heavyweight champion of the world. Johansson was the fifth heavyweight champion born outside the United States. In 1959 he defeated Floyd Patterson by TKO in the third round, after flooring Patterson seven times in that round, to win the World...

 won the heavyweight championship from Floyd Patterson
Floyd Patterson
Floyd Patterson was an American heavyweight boxer and former undisputed heavyweight champion. At 21, Patterson became the youngest man to win the world heavyweight title. He was also the first heavyweight boxer to regain the title. He had a record of 55 wins 8 losses and 1 draw, with 40 wins by...

 on June 26, 1959. After only a month of training in three years, Marciano decided against it and never seriously considered a comeback again.

After his retirement, Marciano entered the world of television, first appearing in the Combat! episode "Masquerade", and then hosting a weekly boxing show on TV in 1961. For a brief period, he worked as a troubleshooting referee in wrestling (Marciano was a good wrestler in high school). He continued as a referee and boxing commentator in boxing matches for many years. He was also active in business as a partner and vice president of Papa Luigi Spaghetti Dens, a San Francisco based franchise company formed by Joe Kearns and James Braly.

In late July 1969, shortly before his death, Marciano participated in the filming of the fantasy, The Superfight: Marciano vs. Ali
The Super Fight
The Super Fight was a fictional 1970 boxing match between Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali. At the time, Ali and Marciano were the only undefeated heavyweight champions in history and fans often debated who would win had they met in their primes...

. The two boxers were filmed sparring, then the film was edited to match a computer simulation of a hypothetical fight between them, each in their prime. It aired on January 20, 1970, with Marciano winning by knockout in round 13.

Death


In 1969, on the eve of his 46th birthday, Marciano was a passenger in a small private plane, a Cessna 172
Cessna 172
The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is a four-seat, single-engine, high-wing fixed-wing aircraft. First flown in 1955 and still in production, more Cessna 172s have been built than any other aircraft.-Design and development:...

 headed to Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines is the capital and the most populous city in the US state of Iowa. It is also the county seat of Polk County. A small portion of the city extends into Warren County. It was incorporated on September 22, 1851, as Fort Des Moines which was shortened to "Des Moines" in 1857...

. 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 Newton, Iowa
Newton, Iowa
Newton is a city in and the county seat of Jasper County, Iowa, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 15,254. It is the home of Maytag Dairy Farms and was formerly home to the Maytag Corporation's corporate headquarters until the Whirlpool Corporation acquired it in 2006...

, but hit a tree two miles short of the runway. Rocky, Belz (the young pilot), and 22 year old Frankie Farrell (son of Italian mobster Louis Fratto
Louis Fratto
Louis Thomas Fratto , born Luigi Tomaso Giuseppi Fratto, also known as "Lew Farrell" and "Cock-eyed", was a labor racketeer and organized crime figure in Chicago, Illinois, from the 1930s to 1960s. Fratto was allegedly shifted over to become Des Moines, Iowa's, top crime boss in about 1940, until...

) were killed on impact. The National Transportation Safety Board report said, "The pilot attempted an operation exceeding his experience and ability level, continued visual flight rules under adverse weather conditions, and experienced spatial disorientation
Spatial disorientation
Spatial disorientation is the inability to correctly interpret aircraft attitude, altitude or airspeed, in relation to the Earth or point of reference. Spatial disorientation is a condition in which an aircraft pilot's perception of direction does not agree with reality...

 in the last moments of the flight."
Marciano was on his way to give a speech to support a friend's son and there was a surprise birthday celebration waiting for him. He had hoped to return early morning for his 46th birthday celebration with his wife. He was coming from a dinner in Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 at STP
STP (motor oil company)
STP is an American brand and trade name for the automotive additives, lubricants and performance division of Armored AutoGroup.Founded in 1953 in Saint Joseph, Missouri, the company’s name, STP, was derived from “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”...

 CEO Andy Granatelli
Andy Granatelli
Anthony "Andy" Granatelli was the CEO of STP.Along with brothers Vince and Joe, Andy first worked as an auto mechanic and 'speed-shop' entrepreneur, modifying engines such as the 'flathead' Ford into racing-quality equipment...

's home.

He is interred in a crypt at Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

. His wife, who died five years after him at the age of 46, is entombed next to him. His father died in March 1972, his mother in early January 1986.

Legacy


In 1971, Nat Fleischer
Nat Fleischer
Nathaniel Stanley Fleischer was a noted American boxing writer and collector. Fleischer inaugurated in 1922, encouraged by Tex Rickard, the Ring Magazine publication...

, perhaps boxing's most famous historian and also editor and founder of Ring magazine, named Marciano as the 10th greatest Heavyweight
Heavyweight
Heavyweight is a division, or weight class, in boxing. Fighters who weigh over 200 pounds are considered heavyweights by the major professional boxing organizations: the International Boxing Federation, the World Boxing Association, the World Boxing Council, and the World Boxing...

 champion ever. Nat Fleischer
Nat Fleischer
Nathaniel Stanley Fleischer was a noted American boxing writer and collector. Fleischer inaugurated in 1922, encouraged by Tex Rickard, the Ring Magazine publication...

 wrote that in terms of boxing ability Marciano was "crude, wild swinging, awkward, and missed heavily. In his bout with Light heavyweight
Light heavyweight
In boxing, the light heavyweight is a weight division above 168 pounds [12 Stone or 76.204 kilograms] and up to 175 pounds [12.5 stone or 79.38 kilograms]), falling between super middleweight and cruiserweight...

 champion Archie Moore
Archie Moore
Archie Moore, born Archibald Lee Wright , was light heavyweight world boxing champion who had one of the longest professional careers in the history of that sport....

, for example, he missed almost two-thirds of the fifty odd punches he tossed when he had Archie against the ropes, a perfect target for the kill."

John Durant author of The Heavyweight Champions wrote in 1971 (pg. 123) “Critics do not rate Rocky with the great ones, like Jeffries
James J. Jeffries
James Jackson Jeffries was a world heavyweight boxing champion.His greatest assets were his enormous strength and stamina. Using a technique taught to him by his trainer, former welterweight and middleweight champion Tommy Ryan, Jeffries fought out of a crouch with his left arm extended forward...

, Johnson
Jack Johnson (boxer)
John Arthur Johnson , nicknamed the “Galveston Giant,” was an American boxer. At the height of the Jim Crow era, Johnson became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion...

, Dempsey
Jack Dempsey
William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey was an American boxer who held the world heavyweight title from 1919 to 1926. Dempsey's aggressive style and exceptional punching power made him one of the most popular boxers in history. Many of his fights set financial and attendance records, including the first...

, Tunney
Gene Tunney
James Joseph "Gene" Tunney was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1926-1928 who defeated Jack Dempsey twice, first in 1926 and then in 1927. Tunney's successful title defense against Dempsey is one of the most famous bouts in boxing history and is known as The Long Count Fight...

, and Louis
Joe Louis
Joseph Louis Barrow , better known as Joe Louis, was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949. He is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time...

. He never faced top-notch fighters like they did. It was not Rocky’s fault, of course, that there was not much talent when he was fighting. He fought them all and that is what a champion is supposed to do.”

In December 1962, a Ring magazine poll of 40 boxing experts had Jack Dempsey
Jack Dempsey
William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey was an American boxer who held the world heavyweight title from 1919 to 1926. Dempsey's aggressive style and exceptional punching power made him one of the most popular boxers in history. Many of his fights set financial and attendance records, including the first...

 rated the #1 Heavyweight
Heavyweight
Heavyweight is a division, or weight class, in boxing. Fighters who weigh over 200 pounds are considered heavyweights by the major professional boxing organizations: the International Boxing Federation, the World Boxing Association, the World Boxing Council, and the World Boxing...

 of all time with Joe Louis
Joe Louis
Joseph Louis Barrow , better known as Joe Louis, was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949. He is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time...

 2nd, Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson may refer to :*Jack Johnson , one of Wyatt Earp's possemen during his "vendetta ride"*Jack Johnson , first African-American heavyweight boxing world champion...

 3rd and Marciano 7th. Charley Rose, a historian, and John McCallum's Survey of Old Timers, (survey of a group of historians and writers), rated Marciano at #8 and #9 of greatest Heavyweights of all time.

In 1998, Ring magazine named Marciano as the 6th greatest heavyweight champion ever. In 2002, Ring Magazine numbered Marciano at #12 on the list of the 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years. In 2003, Ring Magazine rated Marciano #14 on the list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. In 2005, Marciano was named the fifth greatest heavyweight of all time by the International Boxing Research Organization. A 1977 ranking by Ring magazine listed Marciano as the greatest Italian-American fighter. In 2007, on ESPN.com's list of the 50 Greatest Boxers of All Time, Marciano was ranked #14.

Marciano holds the record with Heavyweight
Heavyweight
Heavyweight is a division, or weight class, in boxing. Fighters who weigh over 200 pounds are considered heavyweights by the major professional boxing organizations: the International Boxing Federation, the World Boxing Association, the World Boxing Council, and the World Boxing...

 Brian Nielsen for the longest undefeated streak by a heavyweight. He also has the record for being the only world heavyweight champion to go undefeated throughout his career. Julio César Chávez
Julio César Chávez
Julio César Chávez is a retired Mexican professional boxer.He is a six-time world champion in three weight divisions, and for several years he was considered the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world...

, who holds the record for longest win streak with eighty-eight straight until he suffered a draw in 1993, tied Marciano's record but lost his 50th fight against Dicky Ryan. Willie Pep
Willie Pep
Guglielmo Papaleo was an American boxer who was better known as Willie Pep. Pep boxed a total of 1956 rounds in the 241 bouts during his 26 year career, a considerable number of rounds and fights even for a fighter of his era. His final record was 229-11-1 with 65 knockouts...

, a featherweight
Featherweight
Featherweight is a weight class division in the sport of boxing. There are similarly named divisions under several Mixed Martial Arts organizations and in Greco-Roman wrestling.-Professional boxing:...

, had a perfect 62-0 record before he was defeated once, followed by a 72-0-1 undefeated streak. Packy McFarland was a lightweight (fighting between 1904–1915) who lost his first fight and then won his next 98, though he never won the lightweight title. Heavyweight champion Gene Tunney
Gene Tunney
James Joseph "Gene" Tunney was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1926-1928 who defeated Jack Dempsey twice, first in 1926 and then in 1927. Tunney's successful title defense against Dempsey is one of the most famous bouts in boxing history and is known as The Long Count Fight...

 never suffered a defeat at heavyweight and retired as champion, although he did lose one fight at light heavyweight.

Throughout history, only a few boxers have retired as undefeated world champions. As of 2009 apart from Marciano only Michael Loewe, Pichit Sitbangprachan
Pichit Sitbangprachan
Pichit Sithbanprachan also known as Supap Hanwichachai is a retired boxer in the Flyweight division. All 27 of his fights took place in his native Thailand.- Career history :...

, Harry Simon
Harry Simon
Harry Eugene Simon was an American sport shooter who competed in the 1908 Summer Olympics.In 1908 he won a silver medal in 300 metre free rifle event and took 19th place in the individual free rifle competition, scoring 86 points out of a possible 100 at the distance of 1000 yards.He was born in...

, Sven Ottke
Sven Ottke
Sven Ottke, known as "The Phantom", is a German former professional boxer who was the IBF/WBA super middleweight champion...

 and Joe Calzaghe
Joe Calzaghe
Joseph William Calzaghe, CBE, MBE is a Welsh former professional boxer. He is the former WBO, WBA, WBC, IBF, The Ring & British super middleweight champion and The Ring light heavyweight champion....

 retired with a perfect record containing neither defeats nor draws.

Marciano was knocked down to the canvas only twice in his professional career. The first occurred in his first championship against Jersey Joe Walcott, 38, and the second occurred against Archie Moore, 38.

Marciano's punch was tested and it was featured in the December 1963 issue of Boxing Illustrated: "Marciano's knockout blow packs more explosive energy than an armour-piercing bullet and represents as much energy as would be required to spot lift 1000 pounds one foot off the ground."

Marciano was named fighter of the year by Ring Magazine three times. His three championship fights between 1952-54 were named fights of the year by that magazine. In 2006, an ESPN poll voted Marciano's 1952 championship bout against Walcott as the greatest knockout ever. Marciano also received the Hickok Belt for top professional athlete of the year in 1952. In 1955, he was voted second most important American athlete of the year.

Marciano is a member of the International Boxing Hall Of Fame
International Boxing Hall of Fame
The modern International Boxing Hall of Fame is located in Canastota, New York, United States, within driving distance from the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown and the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta...

.

A bronze statue of Marciano was planned for a 2009 completion date in his hometown of Brockton, MA, to be a gift to the city by the World Boxing Council. The artist Mario Rendon, head of the Instituto Universitario de las Bellas Artes in Colima, Mexico, was selected to sculpt the statue. As of November 2010, the statue was still in the planning stages, with no confirmed funding from the World Boxing Council.

A bronze statue of Marciano has been erected in Ripa Teatina, Italy, to celebrate the birthplace of Marciano's father.

Contrary to popular belief, the character Rocky Balboa
Rocky Balboa (film)
Rocky Balboa is the sixth and final film in the Rocky franchise, directed by and starring Sylvester Stallone. The film, which was also written by Stallone who plays underdog boxer Rocky Balboa, is the sixth film in the Rocky series that began with the Academy Award-winning Rocky thirty years...

 from the Rocky film franchise was not inspired by Rocky Marciano, but actually Chuck Wepner
Chuck Wepner
Charles "Chuck" Wepner is a former heavyweight boxer from Bayonne, New Jersey. As a tough but journeyman boxer he went 15 rounds with world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in a 1975 fight. Wepner is credited as the inspiration for Rocky Balboa. Wepner also appeared in the book Operation Bullpen...


Professional boxing record



|-
|align="center" colspan=8|49 Wins (43 knockouts, 6 decisions), 0 Losses, 0 Draws http://boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?human_id=9032&cat=boxer
|-
| align="center" style="border-style: none none solid solid; background: #e3e3e3"|Result
| align="center" style="border-style: none none solid solid; background: #e3e3e3"|Record
| align="center" style="border-style: none none solid solid; background: #e3e3e3"|Opponent
| align="center" style="border-style: none none solid solid; background: #e3e3e3"|Type
| align="center" style="border-style: none none solid solid; background: #e3e3e3"|Round
| align="center" style="border-style: none none solid solid; background: #e3e3e3"|Date
| align="center" style="border-style: none none solid solid; background: #e3e3e3"|Location
| align="center" style="border-style: none none solid solid; background: #e3e3e3"|Notes
|-align=center
|Win
|49–0
|align=left|  Archie Moore
Archie Moore
Archie Moore, born Archibald Lee Wright , was light heavyweight world boxing champion who had one of the longest professional careers in the history of that sport....


|KO
|9
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|48–0
|align=left|  Don Cockell
Don Cockell
Donald John Cockell was an English boxer. He fought for most of his career as a light-heavyweight and became the British and European champion at that weight. Later in his career he moved up to heavyweight and held the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles...


|TKO
|9
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|47–0
|align=left|  Ezzard Charles
Ezzard Charles
Ezzard Mack Charles was an African-American professional boxer and former world heavyweight champion. He holds wins over numerous Hall of Fame fighters in three different weight classes. Charles retired with a record of 93 wins, 25 losses and 1 draw.-Career:He was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia,...


|TKO
|8
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|46–0
|align=left|  Ezzard Charles
Ezzard Charles
Ezzard Mack Charles was an African-American professional boxer and former world heavyweight champion. He holds wins over numerous Hall of Fame fighters in three different weight classes. Charles retired with a record of 93 wins, 25 losses and 1 draw.-Career:He was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia,...


|UD
|15
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|45–0
|align=left|  Roland La Starza
Roland La Starza
Roland La Starza was a retired American boxer and actor. Originally from the Van Nest section of the Bronx, La Starza fought 66 professional bouts from July 7, 1947 to May 8, 1961...


|TKO
|11
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|44–0
|align=left|  Jersey Joe Walcott
Jersey Joe Walcott
Arnold Raymond Cream , better known as Jersey Joe Walcott, was a world heavyweight boxing champion. He broke the world's record for the oldest man to win the world's Heavyweight title when he earned it at the age of , a record that would be broken on November 5, 1994, by George Foreman, who...


|KO
|1
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|43–0
|align=left|  Jersey Joe Walcott
Jersey Joe Walcott
Arnold Raymond Cream , better known as Jersey Joe Walcott, was a world heavyweight boxing champion. He broke the world's record for the oldest man to win the world's Heavyweight title when he earned it at the age of , a record that would be broken on November 5, 1994, by George Foreman, who...


|KO
|13
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|42–0
|align=left|  Harry Matthews
|KO
|2
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|41–0
|align=left|  Bernie Reynolds
|KO
|3
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|40–0
|align=left|  Gino Buonvino
|KO
|2
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|39–0
|align=left|  Lee Savold
Lee Savold
Lee Savold was a heavyweight boxer who held the British and European version of the World Heavyweight championship between 1950 and 1951 and was a leading contender in the forties and early fifties....


|RTD
|6
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|38–0
|align=left|  Joe Louis
Joe Louis
Joseph Louis Barrow , better known as Joe Louis, was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949. He is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time...


|TKO
|8
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|37–0
|align=left|  Freddie Beshore
|KO
|4
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|36–0
|align=left|  Rex Layne
Rex Layne
Rex Layne was born in Lewiston, Utah on June 7, 1928. He died on June 7, 2000-Background:According to the Oct. 29, 1949 Tacoma News Tribune, Layne was a Mormon who was a staff sergeant with an airborne division in World War II for 19 months, serving some time in Japan. He did not start boxing...


|KO
|6
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|35–0
|align=left|  Willis Applegate
|UD
|10
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|34–0
|align=left|  Art Henri
|TKO
|9
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|33–0
|align=left|  Harold Mitchell
|TKO
|2
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|32–0
|align=left|  Keene Simmons
|TKO
|8
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|31–0
|align=left|  Bill Wilson
|TKO
|1
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|30–0
|align=left|  Ted Lowry
Ted Lowry
Tiger' Ted Lowry , was an American boxer.- Boxing career :Ted Lowry's career started out strong, with 8 successful fights , before losing to Sam Shumway, whom he had previously beaten before, and would defeat again in their next fight. Afterwards, he fought regularly, winning some and losing some...


|UD
|10
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|29–0
|align=left|  Johnny Shkor
|TKO
|6
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|28–0
|align=left|  Gino Buonvino
|TKO
|10
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|27–0
|align=left|  Eldridge Eatman
|TKO
|3
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|26–0
|align=left|  Roland La Starza
Roland La Starza
Roland La Starza was a retired American boxer and actor. Originally from the Van Nest section of the Bronx, La Starza fought 66 professional bouts from July 7, 1947 to May 8, 1961...


|SD
|10
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|25–0
|align=left|  Carmine Vingo
|KO
|6
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|24–0
|align=left|  Phil Muscato
|TKO
|5
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|23–0
|align=left|  Pat Richards
|TKO
|2
|
|align=left| 
|-align=center
|Win
|22–0
|align=left|  Joe Dominic
|KO
|2
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|21–0
|align=left|  Ted Lowry
Ted Lowry
Tiger' Ted Lowry , was an American boxer.- Boxing career :Ted Lowry's career started out strong, with 8 successful fights , before losing to Sam Shumway, whom he had previously beaten before, and would defeat again in their next fight. Afterwards, he fought regularly, winning some and losing some...


|UD
|10
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|20–0
|align=left|  Tommy DiGiorgio
|KO
|4
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|19–0
|align=left|  Pete Louthis
|KO
|3
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|18–0
|align=left|  Harry Haft
Harry Haft
Harry Haft was a professional boxer and survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp.- Life :...


|KO
|3
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|17–0
|align=left|  Don Mogard
|UD
|10
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|16–0
|align=left|  Jimmy Evans
|TKO
|3
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|15–0
|align=left|  Jimmy Walls
|KO
|3
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|14–0
|align=left|  Artie Donato
|KO
|1
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|13–0
|align=left|  Johnny Pretzie
|TKO
|5
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|12–0
|align=left|  Gilley Ferron
|TKO
|2
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|11–0
|align=left| 
|TKO
|1
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|10–0
|align=left|  Bob Jefferson
|TKO
|2
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|9–0
|align=left|  Gilbert Cardone
|KO
|1
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|8–0
|align=left|  Bill Hardeman
|KO
|1
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|7–0
|align=left| 
|KO
|1
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|6–0
|align=left|  Jimmy Weeks
|TKO
|1
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|5–0
|align=left|  Eddie Ross
|KO
|1
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|4–0
|align=left|  Bobby Quinn
|KO
|3
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|3–0
|align=left|  John Edwards
|KO
|1
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|2–0
|align=left|  Harry Bilzerian
|TKO
|1
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center
|Win
|1–0
|align=left|  Lee Epperson
|KO
|3
|
|align=left| 
|align=left|
|-align=center

External links