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