Rocky Marciano To Be Honored With Statue In Massachusetts

20.11.07 - By Matthew Hurley: The World Boxing Council announced that it plans to erect a statue in honor of heavyweight boxing legend Rocky Marciano in his home state of Massachusetts. During the annual WBC convention in Manila the secretary for the sanctioning body, Gabriel Penagaricano said the organization approved of the statue and was is now seeking the permission of US authorities to set up the statue in either Marciano’s hometown of Brockton, Massachusetts or in Boston..

rocky marciano Marciano, who was born Rocco Francis Marchegiano on September 1st, 1923 compiled a record of 49-0 with 43 knockouts and reigned as heavyweight champion from 1952 to 1956. Nicknamed the “Brockton Blockbuster” Marciano fought for the last time against Archie Moore, knocking the light heavyweight champion out in the ninth round at Yankee Stadium in New York on September 9th, 1955. His pristine record remains the benchmark for all undefeated, reigning champions.

The record itself reached a fever pitch in 1986 when heavyweight champion Larry Holmes reached 48-0 before taking on light heavyweight champion Michael Spinks. Holmes, who had been critical of Marciano’s ranking among all time heavyweight greats would vent his anger after losing by decision to Spinks by uttering the now infamous diatribe, “Rocky couldn’t carry my jockstrap.” The remark was born of frustration and Holmes, a great champion himself, later apologized for the remark.

Marciano went on to appear in numerous television commercials and hosted a boxing show in which the genial fighter would sit down and review films with current fighters of the day. The program is sometimes shown on ESPN Classic.

In retirement Marciano became notorious for his frugality and rarely accepted checks, preferring cash which he horded and sometimes hid away. He also led a hectic life that led him to one engagement after another. That itinerary finally caught up to him on August 31, 1969. He was scheduled to fly home to Fort Lauderdale for a birthday party when a friend asked him if he would first deliver a speech at a Des Moines steak house. Rocky agreed and postponed his return home and then bordered a single-engine airplane on a blustery night. The small plane lost power over a field near Newton, Iowa and struck a tree upon its descent. All three passengers on the plane, including Marciano, were killed instantly.

Marciano’s death was shocking and further cemented his legend. In the wake of his passing foes such as Joe Louis and Jersey Joe Walcott lamented their former conqueror and friend. His final opponent, Archie Moore, paid tribute to Marciano by reciting a poem in the middle of a San Diego boxing ring. His remarkable record of 49-0 remains unbroken.

Article posted on 20.11.2007

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