If you claim to be a boxing fan without knowing the subtle details and facts about boxing legends such as Rocky Marciano, are you even a real fan?
Well, there is still a chance to right that wrong. There are many boxing facts that you should know as a core fan. That includes details of seasoned boxers (both past and present) and, if you are one of those who doesn’t know enough about the legendary boxer, Rocky Marciano, this article is for you.
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Moving on, this post breaks down into details every relevant and interesting information about Rocky Marciano. The article will take a look at his early life, fights, Rocky Marciano record, and titles, as well as other things to know.
Early History of Rocky Marciano
The legendary American boxer was born in Brockton, Massachusetts, in 1923. Marciano did not have it easy during his early life, with a father working at a shoe factory which prompted the family to live on a shoelace budget. Before venturing into boxing later in his life, he spent a huge chunk of his early life figuring out ways to help out his family. This led him to work in a candy factory and a shoe factory. He also took on a dishwasher job, and he was also a gardener at some point. He also engaged in football and baseball at some point, hoping to grow his career around sports someday.
Aside from juggling various jobs to support his family, one could say that growing up within a tough neighborhood where learning to stick up for oneself was a necessary act for survival helped Marciano hone his early boxing skills.
Boxing Life and Career
As far as Rocky Marciano was concerned, no boxing no life was the kind of mantra he lived by. He earned the legendary title of an undefeated world heavyweight champion at age 31. This was a big deal then.
Gaining attention in boxing and enjoying the fame he enjoys many years after his death did not come immediately for Marciano. Undoubtedly, it took him a lot of turns before he got the attention of the world.
The boxing attention began in 1949 after he had knocked out his very first 16 opponents, which in the boxing field, is a show of excellent skills. Between 1949-1950, the level of his boxing opponents grew, yet he continued to win each of the matches.
In boxing history, Rocky Marciano is most notable for his unique boxing technique, which he learned from his then trainer, Charles Goldman. For all the years he spent as a boxer, his technique became a defining style for him. It brought him a lot of success and record in boxing, which includes the timeless record of going against Joe Louis.
Rocky Marciano vs Joe Louis
One of the most remarkable fights of Rocky Marciano’s career was his match against Joe Louis.
After having succeeded in knocking out all his numerous opponents from 1949-1950, by 1951, Marciano had already gained a position and made a name for himself in the ring and generally in boxing. His record within this time was 37 wins with 32 out of it being through knockouts.
At the turn of every career height, even in boxing, the challenges faced in order to become a champion will increase in magnitude. The onus is on the individual to rise up to the challenge and come out unscathed.
In October of 1951, Rocky Marciano came in contact with his most challenging opponent, Joe Louis, a former heavyweight champion. The fight between both parties will become one to be remembered in the history of boxing. At the time, the internet was not available to everyone as it is now. After the match, the question was, who won the fight? was the most common question among boxing faithful all over the world.
After what seemed like a heated power tussle, the 28 years old boxer, Marciano took out the 37 years old Joe Louis who was his hero. It was a thrilling fight that won Marciano higher stakes, yet, it was not one without its bouts of emotion as Rocky Marciano cried in Louis’ dressing room after the fight was over.
Championship: Emerging a Heavy Weight Champion at 31
In his 20s, Rocky recorded a lot of success – defeating all of his opponents. As he gets close to 30, it was already glaring that there was no other place to go but up.
As a skilled boxer, Marciano had to face up to the challenges of being one. His exploits in the ring led him to defend his title six times. Some of the bouts he had during this time include;
- A match with Joe Walcott in 1952
- A rematch with Walcott in 1953
- A fight with Ezzard Charles in 1954
- A defense fight with Don Cockell in 1955
- The last defense fight which was with Archie Moore in September 1955
Of all the defense fights he had to win over the years, one of late 1955 tops the record as one of the highly watched boxing matches, with over 400,000 Americans watching Rocky Marciano defend his championship for the last time.
Last Days: Retirement & Death
At the early age of 31, in April 1956, Rocky Marciano announced that he was retiring from boxing. Even though there had been a lot of speculations surrounding his early retirement from the ring, what sticks out the most is that his early retirement was for him to have more time to spend with his family.
As though everything about him was fated, 13 years after his retirement, in August 1969, Marciano died in a plane crash in Iowa.
So much surrounding Rocky Marciano’s life as a boxer is his strength and skill in the sport. He kept a straight record of wins throughout his career – a record that only a few have been able to match till date.