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Rocky Marciano

Commits To Boxing

Returning to boxing, Marciano began to make a name for himself on the amateur circuit, quickly becoming known as a hard-hitting, if somewhat awkward fighter. He became a professional boxer in 1947. Managed first by a mechanic from his home town, he soon realized the need to place himself in the care of a well-known professional if he wanted to advanced his career. He switched to the management of Al Weill, a promoter from New York who was to remain his manager throughout his career. It was the right move. Weill introduced Marciano to famous trainer Charlie Goldman, who helped Marciano hone what was to become his signature fighting style, and made him into a true professional. At five feet, eleven inches, about 185 points, and with the shortest arms of any heavyweight champion in the modern era, Marciano also tended to slouch, and was not particularly agile. But he packed a powerful punch, and that's what Goldman trained him to focus on. He also taught him to emphasize his small stature, crouching low to avoid his opponents' own punches, and moving in with powerful right punches and left hooks. Marciano also developed the ability to absorb a tremendous amount of punishment, often coming back from blows that would have finished a lesser fighter, to knock his opponents out. Broken hands, back injuries, and countless facial cuts all were meted out to Marciano during the course of his career.

Chronology

1923 Born in Brockton, Massachusetts
1943 Drafted into the army, serves in Wales
1947 Tries out unsuccessfully for the Chicago Cubs baseball team
1947 Fights in first professional boxing match, knocking out Lee Epperson in three rounds
1951 Defeats former heavyweight champion Joe Louis
1952 Defeats "Jersey Joe" Walcott to become world heavyweight champion
1953 Defeats "Jersey Joe" Walcott in a one-round rematch
1953 Successfully defends title against Roland LaStarza
1954 Defeats Ezzard Charles in two separate bouts to retain title
1955 Knocks out Don Cockell to retain title
1955 Knocks out Archie Moore, retaining title in his last professional fight
1956 Announces retirement from boxing
1969 Dies in a small plane crash outside De Moines, Iowa
1990 Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame

With Weill and Goldman's help, Marciano's career took off. He knocked out the first sixteen opponents he faced in professional bouts, steadily moving up through the boxing ranks to face stronger and more skilled opponents. Maricano continued to prove his mettle through 1949, winning all of his fights, more than half of them by knockouts. Marciano knew that he had a chance to fight for the title of heavyweight champion of the world after he defeated Roland LaStarza on March 24, 1949. The fight lasted ten rounds, and was called Marciano's in a close decision. He received national attention after a fight with Carmine Vingo on December 20, 1949 in which Marciano seriously injured his opponent when he knocked him out.

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsBoxingRocky Marciano Biography - First A Baseball Player, Commits To Boxing, Chronology, At The Top Of His Game