Rocky Marciano career timeline

Updated: July 5, 2007, 5:14 PM ET
By Bert Randolph Sugar | Boxing Historian

Rocky Marciano lands a right to the face of Joe Louis during their Oct. 26, 1951 fight. Marciano KO'd Louis in the 8th round.
  • Born Rocco Francis Marchegiano, 9/1/23 in Brockton, Mass.
  • Fought first pro bout as Rocky Marsh, 3/17/47, in Holyoke, Mass.
  • Returned to amateur ranks after 3-round KO of Lee Epperson.
  • Billed as Rocco (Socko) Marchegiano, lost to Coley Wallace in preliminary round of Tournament of Champions Golden Gloves, 3/1/48.
  • Re-started professional career, 7/12/48, in Providence, R.I.
  • Won first 16 pro bouts by knockout.
  • Ended Joe Louis' career with eighth-round knockout, 10/26/51.
  • Won heavyweight title with thirteenth-round KO of Jersey Joe Walcott in Philadelphia, 9/23/52.
  • Ended Walcott's career with first-round knockout in rematch in first defense of title, 5/15/53.
  • Made successful title defenses against: Roland LaStarza, KO 11, 9/24/53; Ezzard Charles, W 15, 6/17/54, and KO 8, 9/17/54; Don Cockell, KO 9, 5/16/55; and Archie Moore, KO 9, 9/21/55.
  • Retired as undefeated champion, 4/27/56.
  • Shortest reach of all heavyweight champions -- only 68 inches.
  • Fought an average of fewer than five rounds per bout.
  • Only six bouts were not won by knockout -- two of those opponents, LaStarza and Charles, were knocked out in rematches.
  • Fought only two bouts outside the Eastern seaboard.
  • Returned to train for filming of computer fight with Muhammad Ali in 1968.
  • Known as "The Brockton Blockbuster."
  • Killed in crash of private plane, 8/31/69, outside Des Moines, Iowa.
  • Elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame, 1990.
  • Complete record: 49 bouts, 49 wins, 0 losses, 43 knockouts.

    From "Boxing's Greatest Fighters"
    copyright 2006, Lyons Press

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