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Italian American BoxersSports

Rocky Marciano

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. Professional Career Marciano began fighting as a professional boxer on July 12, 1948, winning a fight against Harry Bilizarian. He then went on to win his… Continue Reading…

Italian American BoxersSports

Willie Pep

Boxer Willie Pep was born Gugliermo Papaleo on September 9, 1922 in Middletown, Connecticut. Dropping out of high school at age 16 to box, Pep was quick in the ring and hard to pin down, He earned the nickname “Will o’ the Wisp”.  As an amateur, Pep won two Connecticut state championships – as a flyweight in 1938 and a bantamweight in 1939 – before turning professional. From the start, Pep enjoyed the lengthy and admirable continuous winning streaks that would mark his entire career.  Willie won 53 consecutive fights… Continue Reading…

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