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Boxing – 1982 – HBO Special – Boxing’s Best – Rocky Marciano


Rocky Marciano was an American professional boxer who competed from 1947 to 1955….while holding the world heavyweight title from 1952 to 1956….who went undefeated in his career….and defended the title six times….against Jersey Joe Walcott, Roland La Starza, Ezzard Charles (twice), Don Cockell and Archie Moore…..and although Marciano is a true legend of boxing….he just simply didn’t have but 6 title defenses in 12 years….and 3 were against natural light heavyweight in Charles and Moore…whereas other boxing legends like Larry Holmes had 20 title defenses in 7 years as heavyweight champ….so, as a fighter….we at ImaSportsphile don’t have Marciano rank on our Heavyweight Boxing Legends list above any of the six boxing legends from the golden age of boxing (1964 – 1995)….which includes Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Holmes, Tyson and Holyfield.     

Rocky Marciano was known for his relentless fighting style, formidable punching power, stamina and exceptionally durable chin….but so did Smokin Joe….which he proved against Ali 3 times….shoot, there isn’t one boxer in the 6 that Rocky retained his title against that could have taken Frazier in the best of three…and in our opinion….none of the six would have made it to the 3rd fight.    Then there is The Greatest, Muhammad Ali….who defended his title 23 times in 13 years….and remember, he had his three best years taken away for a crime he didn’t commit. 

Marciano has been included by boxing historians in lists of the greatest boxers of all time because his knockout-to-win percentage of 87.75 remains one of the highest in heavyweight boxing history. 

Early in his career, he changed the spelling of his last name Marchegiano….as the ring announcer in Providence, Rhode Island, couldn’t pronounce Marchegiano….so Rocky’s handler, Al Weill, suggested they create a pseudonym….when the first suggestion was Rocky Mack….which Rocky rejected….and he decided to go with the more Italian-sounding Marciano.

Marciano is commonly remembered as a swarmer due to his use of constant pressure in the ring….but he has also been called a slugger and a brawler….for in our view he was essentially all three.  Rocky was a  late starter in the sport with little training and a short amateur career….for he lacked the skills and finesse of most heavyweight champions….but he made up for it in brute force and raw power. Early in his career, he was notorious for his punching power after holding 11 first-round knockouts to his name. As the opposition got better….Marciano relied on his incredible stamina, relentlessness, and ability to fight rough….and swarm on the inside to get him through fighters with just as much punching power as his. He sometimes went entire fights being pummeled by opponents such as Jersey Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles, and Archie Moore, but came on strong as his opponent faded. He was also noted for hitting his opposition on their arms while they were blocking. Although this did not score points, over the rounds, it made their arms numb and essentially useless. Rocky faced criticism over his career for poor foot movement and for taking too many shots: he used weaving, but was often caught coming in. This, however, did not matter because he was able to take the shots. He is now known for having one of the best chins in boxing history, being knocked down just twice in his entire career, both times more to do with poor balancing rather than being dazed.    Any way you cut the pie….Rocky Marciano is a boxing legend….which any boxing would consider MUST SEE TV.  ENJOY!!!


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