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Newz Forum: PFL:BOXING: Rocky Marciano SportzNewz Boxing Profile

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posted on Apr, 17 2004 @ 02:06 PM
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Rocky Marciano had two goals in mind while growing up in Brockton, Mass. He didn't want to follow in his father's footsteps and work in a shoe factory. He wanted to be a major league catcher.
 

BIO - Larry Schwartz - ESPN.com
"He was relentless. The bell would ring, he would be on you. The bell would ring, he stopped. The bell would ring again, he'd be right back on you," said George Foreman about Rocky Marciano on ESPN Classic's SportsCentury series.

Rocky Marciano had two goals in mind while growing up in Brockton, Mass. He didn't want to follow in his father's footsteps and work in a shoe factory. He wanted to be a major league catcher.

Funny how things developed.
Marciano delivered 43 knockouts in 49 fights.


Marciano couldn't make it with a Chicago Cubs' farm team because he didn't have a strong enough right arm. But the arm was powerful enough for him to register 43 knockouts in 49 fights. When The Rock retired in 1956, he was (and still is) the only heavyweight champion to exit undefeated.

The odds of Marciano succeeding in boxing seemed about the same as him reaching the major leagues. He was a crude barroom brawler type. For a heavyweight, he was considered too short (5-10 1/4) and too light (183-189 pounds) for most of his fights. His reach of only 68 inches was a distinct disadvantage (no heavyweight champ ever had such a short reach).

But how do you measure a person's heart? In that area, Marciano possibly had the largest in the sport. He refused to stay down, and he refused to lose. He might be bloodied, but he wouldn't be beaten.

"Rocky couldn't box like [Gene] Tunney, and probably couldn't hit like [Joe] Louis, but in one respect he had no challenger," wrote Pulitzer Prize winner Red Smith. "He was the toughest, strongest, most completely dedicated fighter who ever wore gloves. Fear wasn't in his vocabulary and pain had no meaning."

"The Brockton Blockbuster" was amazing in his resistance to punishment - his chin seemed to be cast in concrete - and destructive in administering it. He was a ceaseless aggressor, a human tank who would gladly absorb two or three punches just for the opportunity of landing one, especially with Suzie Q, his pet name for his thunderous right.

When the esteemed Charley Goldman, who would become Marciano's trainer, first saw Rocky, he told Angelo Dundee, his assistant, "I gotta a guy who's short, stoop-shouldered, balding, got two left feet and, God, how he can punch."

Archie Moore, a knockout victim in Marciano's final bout, said, "After a fight with Marciano, you felt like someone had been beating you all over the body with a blackjack, or hitting you with rocks."

Physical condition was Marciano's forte in his monkish, monomaniacal pursuit of the title. He was as addicted to exercise as some are addicted to coc aine. It gave him more stamina than his opponent, and was instrumental in his knockout of Jersey Joe Walcott to win the heavyweight championship on Sept. 23, 1952.


Born Rocco Francis Marchegiano in Brockton, just outside Boston, on Sept. 1, 1923, he was the first of six children of Perrino and Pasqualena, Italian immigrants. Before dropping out of high school to make a few bucks - as a gardener, delivery boy, laborer for the gas company, and leather tanner at the shoe factory where his father worked - he starred in baseball and football.

He was introduced to boxing by an uncle, and fought during his stint in the Army during World War II, mostly because he wanted to avoid KP and other lousy details. He didn't think he would make boxing his career. But after his discharge from the Army in 1946, he began training.

On March 17, 1947, fighting under the assumed name Rocky Mack to protect his amateur status, he had his first fight as a pro, registering a third-round knockout and receiving $35. That was about $459,965 less than what Marciano would earn in his final fight.

That spring, Marciano's dream of becoming a major league catcher finally ended when he failed in his tryout with a Cubs' farm team in North Carolina. He continued to box as an amateur for another year before turning pro for good, at almost 25.

With his instinct for the attack and the power of his right hand, Marciano knocked out his first 16 opponents, nine in the first round. By now he was under the tutelage of Goldman, who trained fighters for New York manager and promoter Al Weill. Goldman instructed Marciano to fight out of a crouch.

"Charley taught the technique that if you are short, you make yourself smaller," Dundee said. "Charley let him bend his knees to a deep knee squat. He was able to punch from that position, come straight up from the bag and hit a heck of a shot. . . . It was just bang-bang-bang-bang-BANG and get him outta there."

Victim No. 38 for the up-and-coming Marciano was old-and-should-have-stay-retired Louis, with Marciano sending the former champ into permanent retirement. He knocked Louis out with a powerful right to the jaw in the eighth round on Oct. 26, 1951. In the locker room afterwards, Marciano wept when he visited Louis.

Eleven months later at Philadelphia's Municipal Stadium, Marciano fought for Walcott's title. In the first round, for the first time in his 43-fight pro career, Marciano saw what it was like to look up from the canvas at the guy who just put you there.

A clever boxer, the 38-year-old Walcott frustrated Marciano, cutting him between the eyes and on the forehead. After 12 rounds, the champ was in total control, ahead by four rounds from one official, three by another and two by the third.

Marciano needed a knockout to take the title. Though battered and bloodied, The Rock wouldn't give in to defeat. Thirty seconds into the 13th round, with Walcott backed into the ropes, the exhausted Marciano delivered one of the most devastating punches in boxing history, a short right from Suzie Q to the side of Walcott's chin. Walcott sank to one knee, his left arm hooked around the middle rope, head resting on the canvas. Walcott was out, and Marciano was in as heavyweight champ.

There was no drama in the rematch, Marciano knocking out Walcott in the first. He had a more difficult time in his third and fourth defenses, against Ezzard Charles in 1954. In the first fight, after falling behind on points early, Marciano's right did more damage than Charles' left, and he kept his title on a unanimous decision.

The rematch was even tougher. Charles hit Marciano with a left hook that split his left nostril down the middle in the sixth round. In the seventh, Charles inflicted a cut on Marciano's left brow. With blood spurting from both wounds, and aware that the referee was considering stopping the fight, a desperate Marciano unleashed a furious attack in the eighth and knocked Charles down twice, the second time for the count.

In Marciano's sixth - and final - defense, he came back from a second-round knockdown to KO Moore in the ninth round. Seven months later, Marciano, at 32, announced his retirement.

A Sports Illustrated story in 1993 didn't paint a pretty picture of Marciano's life after boxing. It said he was obsessed with collecting his payments for personal appearances in cash, evading paying income tax, having numerous sexual encounters with women other than his wife, never picking up a check, consorting with Mafia figures, and loaning more than $100,000 to finance a Cleveland loan shark.



On Aug. 31, 1969, the day before Marciano's 46th birthday, Barbara Marciano had planned a joint birthday party for her husband and herself (Barbara had turned 40 on August 30) in their Fort Lauderdale home. But Marciano, in Chicago, chose not to attend. Instead, he flew with the nephew of a mobster to make a personal appearance in Des Moines, Iowa. The small plane crashed in a cornfield in Newton, Iowa, killing both passengers and the inexperienced pilot.


At the funeral service of the popular former champion, Louis said, "Something's gone out of my life. I'm not alone; something's gone out of everyone's life." He bent over and kissed the casket.

PROFILE - boxrec.com
Sex: Male
Nationality: United States
Alias: The Brockton Blockbuster
Hometown: Brockton, MA
Birthplace: Brockton, MA
Division: Heavyweight
Date of Birth: 1923-09-01
Date of Death: 1969-08-31
Age at Death: 45
Reach: 67"
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 5' 11
Trainer: C. Goldman, A. Columbo
Manager: Al Weill


Rocky Marciano Career Record

Record: 49 Wins, 0 Loss, 43 Knockouts
Born: Born September 1, 1923
Died: August 31, 1969
- boxing.about.com

1947
Mar 17 -- Lee Epperson, Holyoke, MA -- KO 3


1948
Jul 12 -- Harry Balzerian, Providence, RI -- KO 1
Jul 19 -- John Edwards, Providence, RI -- KO 1
Aug 9 -- Bobby Quinn, Providence, RI -- KO 3
Aug 23 -- Eddie Ross, Providence, RI -- KO 1
Aug 30 -- Jimmy Weeks, Providence, RI -- KO 1
Sep 13 -- Jerry Jackson, Providence, RI -- KO 1
Sep 20 -- Bill Hardeman, Providence, RI -- KO 1
Sep 30 -- Gil Cardione, Washington, DC -- KO 1
Oct 4 -- Bob Jefferson, Providence, RI -- KO 2
Nov 29 -- Patrick Connolly, Providence, RI -- KO 1
Dec 14 -- Gilley Ferron, Philadelphia, PA -- KO 2


1949
Mar 21 -- Johnny Pretzie, Providence, RI -- KO 5
Mar 28 -- Artie Donator, Providence, RI -- KO 1
Apr 11 -- James Walls, Providence, RI -- KO 3
May 2 -- Jimmy Evans, Providence, RI -- KO 3
May 23 -- Don Mogard, Providence, RI -- W 10
Jul 18 -- Harry Haft, Providence, RI -- KO 3
Aug 16 -- Pete Louthis, New Bedford, MA -- KO 3
Sep 26 -- Tommy Giorgio, Providence, RI -- KO 4
Oct 10 -- Ted Lowry, Providence, RI -- W 10
Nov 7 -- Joe Domonic, Providence, RI -- KO 2
Dec 2 -- Pat Richards, New York, NY -- KO 2
Dec 19 -- Phil Muscato, Providence, RI -- KO 5
Dec 30 -- Carmine Vingo, New York, NY -- KO 6


1950
Mar 24 -- Roland LaStarza, New York, NY -- W 10
Jun 5 -- Eldridge Eatman, New York, NY -- KO 3
Jul 10 -- Gino Buonvino, Boston, MA -- KO 10
Sep 18 -- Johnny Shkor, Providence, RI -- KO 6
Nov 13 -- Ted Lowry, Providence, RI -- W 10
Dec 18 -- Bill Wilson, Providence, RI -- KO 1


1951
Jan 29 -- Keene Simmons, Providence, RI -- KO 8
Mar 20 -- Harold Mitchell, Hartford, CT -- KO 2
Mar 26 -- Art Henri, Providence, RI -- KO 9
Apr 30 -- Red Applegate, Providence, RI -- W 10
Jul 12 -- Rex Layne, New York, NY -- KO 6
Aug 27 -- Freddie Beshore, Boston, MA -- KO 4
Oct 26 -- Joe Louis, New York, NY -- KO 8


1952
Feb 13 -- Lee Savold, Philadelphia, PA -- KO 6
Apr 21 -- Gino Buonvino, Providence, RI -- KO 2
May 12 -- Bernie Reynolds, Providence, RI -- KO 3
Jul 28 -- Harry Matthews, New York, NY -- KO 2
Sep 23 -- Jersey Joe Walcott, Philadelphia, PA -- KO 13
(Won World Heavyweight Title)


1953
May 15 -- Jersey Joe Walcott, Chicago, IL -- KO 1
(Retained World Heavyweight Title)
Sep 24 -- Roland LaStarza, New York, NY -- KO 11
(Retained World Heavyweight Title)


1954
Jun 19 -- Ezzard Charles, New York, NY -- W 15
(Retained World Heavyweight Title)
Sep 17 -- Ezzard Charles, New York, NY -- KO 8
(Retained World Heavyweight Title)


1955
May 16 -- Don Cockell, San Francisco, CA -- KO 9
(Retained World Heavyweight Title)
Sep 21 -- Archie Moore, New York, NY -- KO 9
(Retained World Heavyweight Title)


1956
Apr 27 -- Announced Retirement


CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
former World Heavyweight Champion
1952, 53, 54 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year


[Edited on 18-7-2004 by Ocelot]



TRD

posted on Apr, 17 2004 @ 03:37 PM
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You know this guy has one of the most impressive records ever...43 knockouts in 49 fights thats awesome and to retire undefeated.Also yet another sports star to die in a tragic death..

I wonder what he would have been like if he had been fighting in a different era like when Ali was fighting?



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 02:34 PM
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I don't know whether Marciano would have beaten Clay at The Big Mouth's best. But one thing is absolutely certain: even if Marciano would have lost a decision, Clay would have endured a physical misery from Marciano that would have made the first and third fights with Frazier seem like kindergarten. And it's very possible that Marciano---with his unorthodox style, ability to resist punishment, inhuman power, stamina and determination to win---would have broken Clay down by doing to his arms what he did to LaStarza's in their second fight. Win or lose, there wouldn't have been a sequel or two for Clay against Marciano. Because The Big Mouth wouldn't have wanted to go through absolute hell again. And who could blame him?



posted on Jul, 23 2006 @ 12:30 AM
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My father was born in 1917 and was a lifelong boxing fan. He had a very quick eye and a sophisticated understanding of boxing which was wholly lost on me--including in my days as a barroom brawler. He said that Marciano was the most popular heavyweight champ in his lifetime, but that Louis and Ali were the best. He said it was not clear to him who was the better of those two.

My father died in 2002, so this pretty much covers all significant heavyweight champs.

BHN



posted on Jul, 23 2006 @ 12:48 AM
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Originally posted by thewriter
I don't know whether Marciano would have beaten Clay at The Big Mouth's best. But one thing is absolutely certain: even if Marciano would have lost a decision, Clay would have endured a physical misery from Marciano that would have made the first and third fights with Frazier seem like kindergarten. And it's very possible that Marciano---with his unorthodox style, ability to resist punishment, inhuman power, stamina and determination to win---would have broken Clay down by doing to his arms what he did to LaStarza's in their second fight. Win or lose, there wouldn't have been a sequel or two for Clay against Marciano. Because The Big Mouth wouldn't have wanted to go through absolute hell again. And who could blame him?


Dear Writer:

I've just confessed to knowing zilch about boxing from a technical standpoint. That's just as true now as it was 20 minutes ago. But I know that Ali is 6'3" and that Marciano was 5'11"; and apparently Marciano had the shortest reach of any heavyweight champ ever.

From your handle and post, it sounds like you share my late dad's knowledge of boxing. I've never been that into the sport, so I never plumbed his great knowledge of it. That being so, let me ask you:

Wouldn't Ali's tremendous edges in foot speed, reach and height have enabled him to avoid most of the punishment you are talking about? Or are you saying that 2 or 3 punches from Marciano would have been enough--even if spread out over the course of 4 rounds and, say, 10 boxing minutes--to slow Ali down and hurt him badly?

Before answering, please realize: I'm not challenging you in any way. As to boxing, I'm unqualified to challenge any knowledgeable individual, and I'm the first to admit it.

Baseball History Nut



posted on Jul, 24 2006 @ 09:00 AM
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I grew up in the 60's, when Clay was in his first reign as champion. Nobody had ever seen a heavyweight move like he did. But, in Marciano, he would have faced a force that may well have reduced his extra-terrestrial-like elements to mere mortal. Or even sub-mortal. Yes, Clay's speed and reach and style would have given Marciano a lot of trouble...at first. But Rocky would have entered the fight in almost inhuman condition. That means almost inexhausible stamina. He would have kept the pressure on throughout every minute of every round, throwing punches with BOTH hands. Frazier said before the first Clay fight that it's one thing to move when you want to; it's completely different when you HAVE to. That's what Clay would have dealt with. He would have dominated the first portion of the fight...and maybe he would have hung on to win a close decision. But Marciano, seemingly immune to pain, impossible to intimidate or frustrate, and with the desire to survive and win that most fighters---or human beings---simply can't relate to, would keep coming and turn the fight into a battle of survival. Rocky would enter the fight with the plan to punish Clay's most accessible targets, his arms. With his numbing power, eventually, Clay wouldn't be able to lift them. Then, no amount of movement would have kept him away from the tank-like Marciano. Walcott, Moore, Charles and LaStarza all wert into the ring confident that they could out-box and even out-think Marciano. To their utter distress, and possibly horror, they learned they were dealing with---as I mentioned---almost a force of nature. Again, I'm not saying that Marciano definitely would have won. But I am saying that, even if Clay would have managed to go the distance and win a close decision, he would have absorbed more punishment than he ever would have thought possible.




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