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Who is Rocky Marciano?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 23, 2024
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Rocky Marciano, born Rocco Francis Marchegiano on 1 September, 1923 to father Pierino and mother Pasqualena. Marcicano's birthplace is Brockton, Massachusetts and he was called The Brockton Blockbuster during his boxing career. Although Rocky loved sports such as football and baseball as a child, he didn't begin boxing until he was twenty years old and in the Army.

Marciano admits that he started in boxing as a way of getting out of the Army's Kitchen Patrol (KP) duty. When he was discharged from the Army at age 23, Rocky Marciano began fighting in the amateur boxing circuit. He tried out with the baseball team the Chicago Cubs as a professional catcher when he was 24, but wasn't accepted. By age 25, Marciano was a professional boxer and it didn't take him long to build a reputation for knocking out most of his opponents. Rocky was a lighter heavyweight at 190 pounds (86.183 kg), but by age 28 he had 37 wins and 32 knockouts before fighting former heavyweight champ, Joe Louis.

On 26 October, 1951 Rocky Marciano knocked out Joe Louis in the eighth round, but his victory was bittersweet. Louis was a hero of Marciano and was boxing past his prime. It's said that Rocky cried in Joe's dressing room post fight. Yet, the Marciano win over Louis made Rocky Marciano a serious contender in professional boxing.

On 23 September, 1952 Marciano beat the defending champion, Joe Walcott. He knocked out Walcott in round one during their 1953 rematch. Rocky Marciano continued his career in professional boxing until 21 Septemeber, 1955 when he knocked Archie Moore out in the ninth round.

Although he retired on 27 April, 1956, Rocky Marciano still made personal appearances. He announced after his retirement that he was happy to be able to spend more time with his wife, Barbara, and their two children, Rocco and Mary Anne. Rocky Marciano died just one day before his 46th birthday in a plane crash in Iowa on 31 August, 1969.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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