September 1, 1923
Died: August 31, 1969
Total Bouts: 49, Won: 49, Lost: 0, Drew: 0, KOs: 43
To defineRocky Marciano's career, one only needs to know: 49-0.
That is it. Forty-nine fights, forty-nine wins. Marciano is the
only world champion to complete his career undefeated.
Marciano had a 12-fight
amateur career during which he won the New England Golden Gloves
title before losing to Coley Wallace in the Eastern Championships.
It would be his last defeat inside a boxing ring.
Marciano turned pro
with a third-round knockout over Lee Epperson on March 17, 1947
in Massachusetts. A 5-10 and 185 pounds, Marciano was smaller
and slower than most heavyweights. But he had power, desire and
a solid chin.
Marciano first made
an impact on boxing in 1950 when he decisioned Roland LaStarza,
also an unbeaten heavyweight prospect. LaStarza is just one of
three men to have gone the distance with The Rock. (Don Mogard
and Ted Lowry are the other two.) A year later, Rocky knocked
out comebacking former heavyweight champion Joe Louis, who was
That bout led to a
title fight atainst 38-year-old champion Jersey Joe Walcott. Marciano
overcame a first-round knockdown to win the title on a 13th-round
knockout in 1952. The rematch lasted one round, as Marciano scored
the 11th first-round stoppage of his career.
Rocky defended the
title successfully against LaStarza and Don Cockell and also posted
a pair of exciting victories over former champion Ezzard Charles.
In the final fight of his career, Marciano recovered from an early
knockdown and dropped light heavyweight champion Archie Moore
three times en route to a ninth-round knockout. Back pain forced
Marciano into retiremtn.
One day before
his 46th birthday, on August 31, 1969, Marciano died tragically
in a plane crash near Newton, Iowa. He was en route to a birthday