Marciano, Rocky (1923-1969)

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Marciano, Rocky (1923-1969)

Rocky Marciano (born Rocco Francis Marchegiano) is the only champion in the history of boxing to remain officially unbeaten and untied throughout his entire professional career. Heavyweight champion from September 1952 to April 1956, "The Brockton Blockbuster" burst into the American consciousness with a brutal knockout of an aging, twice-retired Joe Louis. Rocky then cemented his status as a popular culture icon with championship performances against a triumvirate of dangerous veteran fighters: Jersey Joe Wallcott, Ezzard Charles, and Archie Moore. Once retired, Marciano never attempted a comeback, but in 1969, he did engage in a "computer fight" against a then exiled-from-the-ring Muhammad Ali. A computer was fed data on both Marciano and Ali and calculated who would win. Marciano and Ali then staged the fight according to the computer's projections, and the film was shown in closed circuit theaters throughout the world. Tragically killed in the crash of a private plane, Rocky Marciano never got to see his 13th round "knockout" of Muhammad Ali.

—Max Kellerman

Further Reading:

Cutter, Robert Arthur. The Rocky Marciano Story. New York, W. Allen Publishing, 1954.

Skehan, Everett M. Rocky Marciano: Biography of a First Son. London, Robson Books, 1977.