March 21, 2021
Marciano was born as Rocco Francis Marchegianon on September 1, 1923, in Brockton, Massachusetts, to Italian immigrants Pierino Marchegiano and Pasqualina Picciuto. Marciano and his three sisters and two brothers lived across the street from the James Edgar Playground, where Marciano spent countless hours playing baseball. At a young age, he worked out on homemade weights and did chin-ups until he “was totally fatigued.
Marciano began fighting as a professional boxer on July 12, 1948, winning a fight against Harry Bilizarian. He then went on to win his first 16 fights by knockout, all before the fifth round, and nine of them before the end of the first round. During this time, a ring announcer in Rhode Island could not pronounce “Marchegiano,” so Weill suggested that they create a pseudonym. “Marciano” was chosen.
On September 23, 1952, Marciano fought against Walcott for the world heavyweight championship. He was knocked down in the first round, and was behind for the first seven, but won in the 13th round, knocking out Walcott with an accurate right punch. The punch was later referred to as his “Susie Q.” Marciano went on to defend his title six times, winning five by knockout. His last title fight was against Archie Moore, on September 21, 1955, where he knocked out Moore in the ninth round. Marciano announced his retirement on April 27, 1956. During his career, he won an unrivaled 49 straight fights, 43 of which were by knockout. 49 wins and 0 losses.
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