Know Your Athlete: 10 Facts about Rocky Marciano

Earlier this week, we interviewed our latest brand ambassador, Rocky Fielding – a 27 year old boxer from Liverpool, who recently became the WBC International Super Middle Weight Champion. And whilst his nickname would suggest a career in boxing was written in the stars, most people assume it’s Sylvester Stallone’s character, Rocky Balboa, that he’s named after. In fact, Stallone based his creation on the legend that is Rocky Marciano...

To this extent, we’ve chosen Marciano as the star of our monthly feature - ‘Know your Athlete’ - so without further ado, here are ten amazing facts about the original Italian Stallion!

1. Marciano is the only boxer in history to hold the heavyweight title without a tie or defeat to his name.

2. He retired from boxing at the age of 32, with a record of 49 wins, 0 draws, 0 defeats - a record which stands to this day! And of those 49 wins, 43 of them were knockouts.

3. Renowned for his ferocious punching power, Marciano’s 87.75% knockout percentage is the highest in heavyweight history.

4. At eighteen months old, Marciano contracted pneumonia and very nearly died.

5. Before boxing, Marciano worked as a chute man, a ditch digger, a railroad layer, and a shoemaker.

Rocky Marciano vs. Jersey Joe Walcott - Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, Sept 23, 1952.

6. Marciano died in a plane accident on the 31st August 1969 - the eve of his 46th birthday. He was the passenger of a small private plane, which was being flown by an inexperience pilot. It was late, bad weather had set in, and in the pilot’s attempts to land, the plane hit a tree two miles short of the runway.

7. He’s known for having one of the best chins in boxing history, and was only knocked down twice in his entire career, both occasions of which were arguably a result of his poor poor balancing rather than being dazed.

8. In boxing terms, Marciano is considered a ‘swarmer,’ due to the constant pressure he applied to his opponents during a match. Because of his late introduction to the sport, he lacked the skills and finesse of other heavyweight champions, but made up for it with his sheer force and power.

9. Rocky Marciano was the inspiration for the name, iconography, and fighting style of Sylvester Stallone's famous fictional boxer, Rocky Balboa.

10. Following a series of tests, Marciano’s ‘knockout blow’ was described in the December 1963 issue of Boxing Illustrated, as having ‘more explosive energy than an armour-piercing bullet.’

Know any other great facts about boxing legend, Rocky Marciano? Then jot them down in the comment box below, and whilst you’re at it, let us know who’d you like to see feature in next month’s ‘Know your Athlete!’

Image Credits
Title - Boston Public Library, Flickr
Body image - RV1864, Flickr


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