Rocky Marciano: A Subjective View
By Simon Graham
Rocco Francis Marchegiano, best known as Rocky Marciano, was a dominant heavyweight during the early 1950s he reigned as champion from 1952 to 1956 and retired undefeated the only world heavyweight champion to do so without taking a loss.
Of course, you do not need me telling you this unless you have lived on the moon for the last 63 years.
Whenever I hear or read debates about the greatest heavyweights of all time The Rock is always in the top 10, perhaps the top 5 and occasionally number one, I must admit I consistently raise one eyebrow and reply “Really !!” to that claim.
My Article is not to cause offense or knowingly try to be controversial and it is most definitely not my intention to besmirch Marciano’s unique career.
When researching boxers, one must look at their careers in much the same way a lawyer would repeatedly go over his files before entering a court of law, the facts and evidence must be correct, how else can one expect their judgement and opinions to be taken subjectively.
Marciano was a stocky powerful man, equipped with a thunderbolt left hook and granite chin, the stereotypical brawler who would swarm over his opponents soaking up their best shots setting up his own powerful punches, he notched up 16 straight wins all by KO or TKO when he first turned professional.
In his 19th fight he fought highly respected Phil Muscato Marciano’s first notable opponent stopping him by TKO after 9 knockdowns over 5 rounds, Marciano went on to win numerous bouts racking up more KOs and TKOs before hitting the TV audience in 1951 beating Rex Layne in his 36th fight.
Marciano was now considered a top contender on the rise for the world title beating the Legendary Joe Louis along the way in what was billed as a passing of the torch, many ringside that night witnessed a massacre, Louis clearly over the hill and out of his depth with the young mauler.
Marciano beat Jersey Joe Walcott in 1952 to become the world heavyweight champion, Ring magazine had it as their fight of the year, 16th Greatest Title Fight of All-Time and the 13th round picked as round of the year. It was a stunning victory by Marciano.
Marciano went on to defend his title 6 more times retiring undefeated after 49 fights a magnificent feat it is superb winning record with a tremendous knockout ratio, of that there is no doubt but for me he is edged out of my top ten by far more superior champions.
In truth Marciano never faced top fighters, it was not his fault of course that there was a distinct lack of talent and boxers fighting long after their overdue date, he fought them all but that is what a champion is supposed to do.