An Unbeatable Champion
With his defeat of Walcott, Marciano became the first white heavyweight boxing champion since 1937. He defended his title six times, winning each time. The first was in a rematch with Walcott on May 15, 1953, a bout he won handily with a knockout in the first round. He next faced his old adversary Roland LaStarza on September 24, 1953, and won in eleven rounds, putting LaStarza in the hospital for several days. LaStarza said afterwards that he wished Marciano had just knocked him out to end it instead of working him over for so long. A fifteen-round fight with former champion Ezzard Charles followed on June 17, 1954. Marciano won that match in a decision, and the two faced each other again later that year, on September 17, 1954. Charles got the better of Marciano in the sixth round, battering his nose so badly that Marciano's cornermen were unable to staunch the bleeding. The ring doctor very nearly called the fight, but Marciano rallied in the eighth round, knocking out his opponent.
Marciano's next title fight was against Don Cockell on May 16, 1955. In spite of pressure from organized crime elements to throw the fight, Marciano won it in a knockout in the ninth round, and moved on to what was to be his last title fight, on September 21, 1955. The bout took place at Yankee Stadium, and it was the third time he had defended his title there. His opponent was former light-heavyweight champion Archie Moore. Marciano knocked him out in nine rounds. The fight was witnessed by more than 400,000 people watching via the fairly new medium of television.
- Rocky Marciano - Awards And Accomplishments
- Rocky Marciano - At The Top Of His Game
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