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.
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.