Name: Rocky Marciano
Alias: The Brockton Blockbuster
Birth Name: Rocco Francis Marchegiano
Nationality: US American
Birthplace: Brockton, MA, USA
Hometown: Brockton, MA, USA
Age at Death: 45
Height: 5' 10
Manager: Al Weill
Trainers: Charley Goldman & Al Columbo
Marciano TKO’S LaStarza
Rocky Marciano kept his world heavyweight championship tonight by gradually battering ex-collegian Roland LaStarza intosuch bloody helplessness that referee Ruby Goldstein stopped the fight at 1:31 of the llth round.
A crowd estimated at more than 35,000 in the Polo Grounds saw the "block buster"from Brockton, Mass., floor LaStarza for a count of eight shortly before the final battering on the ropes that caused the referee to call it a technical knockout.
It was the only knockdown of the fight as unbeaten Marciano registered his 45th straight victory, his 10th — straight knockout and the 40th knockout of his career.
LaStarza was bleeding profusely from cuts on his right brow, below his left eye, on the bridge of his nose, his right ear and mouth as he suffered the first knockout in his career of 57 professional fights. Lastarza, of New York, 26, tried to make a fight of it against the 29-year-old champion, but Marciano took definite command in the fifth round when he staggered his opponent with a right to the chin and drove him into the ropes. LaStarza, unexpectedly light at 184 pounds, never completely recovered from that stunning blow in the fifth round, delivered by the 185-pound champion. However, he appeared to rally-somewhat near the end of the fifth and he fought well in the sixth, which Marciano lost on a foul because of a low left hook.
But in the seventh round, the effects of the earlier punch caught up with Roland and he suffered a terrible battering as he was driven from rope to rope and into the corners after a left hook early in the round half-stunned him. After that It Just a question of how long the gamechallenger could last. He Buffered terrific punishment in the eighth, ninth and tenth rounds and finally was floored In the llth.
Roland rose from the canvas at the count of five, but the referee continued to count until he reached eight, despite the fact that the mandatory eight-count had been eliminated from tonight's championship bout.
Best In First
LaStarza's best round was the first in which he landed a hard right to Marciano's head and cut Rocky's mouth with a hard left jab. In the dressing room, Marciano said, "My right did it." He apparently was referring to the combination of right-left-right blows to the head that floored the challenger in the llth and drove him halfway through the ropes. Rocky added, "He was a lot tougher than I expected and there Were several times when 1 thought he would go down before he did."
The champion's manager, Al Weill, said,. "That LaStarza is a smart fighter." Weill meant he was smart to be able to last as long as he did under the explosive fists of the champion, making his second, successful title defense. Marciano was favored to win to-, night at 4 to 1, despite the fact that he had won only a disputed split 10-round decision over- LaStarza in their first fight on march 14,1950.That night Lastarza who had gone to City College inNew York for two years, fought such a "smart" fight that Rocky won by only three points.
Rocky tonight displayed the punching improvement that had made him a lopsided favorite for tonight's second fight. However, he still appeared very awkward in spots and in the' 10th round fell to. the canvas in a corner when his wild right merely grazed the challenger's body.
Not a Fair Fight
LaStarza's trainer, Dan Florio, said it was "okay" for Goldstein to have stopped the fight; but he charged that Marciano "did not fight a fair fight" Florio continued, "He landed at least a dozen low blows on our boy, and what good did it do us for Goldstein to take away only one round? He also butted LaStarza in nearly every round and used rough tactics throughout." Marciano was warned for butting in the second round, for hitting on the break and for hitting after the bell in the third round, and for a low blow in the seventh after he, had lost the sixth on a fouL
Made Fair Showing
According to the scoring of the ring officials, LaStarza was making a fair fight of it as they went into the llth round. Goldstein had the champion ahead seven- rounds to three, judge Arthur Susskind had him ahead, six to four; but judge Harold Barnes gave each five rounds. Barnes gave LaStarza the first four sessions and the sixth.
When LaStarza hit the canvas in the llth tonight, it was the sixth time in his career he had been floored. In his first fight with Marciano, he was dropped in the fourth round, he was floored once by Walter Hafer, once by Don Mogard and twice by Gene Gosney. Manager Weill said Rocky would not attempt his third defense of the title until next year, probably in February, when he hoped the challenger would be ex-champion Ezzard Charles of Cincinnati. He figured Charles would be the challenger if he defeatsMilwaukee. In case of another Charles defeat, however, the challenger might be picked from among Dan Bucceroni of Philadelphia; Don Cockell of England, or Nino Valdes of Cuba.
Reporters were not permitted in LaStarza's dressing room until 15 minutes after the fight. The sports writers wanted to know immediately if he would continue fighting or retire. He said, "I'll have to keep on fighting. I just can't quit until I win that title. I didn't have my usual stamina tonight. Maybe I was a little weak because I came in three pounds lighter than I had planned to weigh." Roland disclosed he had suffered an injured left elbow in the third round when he blocked a right hand punch to the body. Dr. Vincent Nardiello said the injury may be a dislocation. The fight, held in clear, cool weather with the temperature about 60 degrees at ringside, was watched by about 1,500 sports writers, a record for a boxing bout. They came from Canada, Europe and Latin America, as well as from all over the United1 States.
Marciano landed the first punch of the fight – a left jab.He later caught
LaStarza against the ropes and landed a looping right to the head. The champion
did rnost of the hitting early In the round before LaStarza landed a right and
left to the head. LaStarza landed another left and right. Neither did much damage
late In the round. United Press Sports Editor Leo Petersen gave the first
round to LaStarza.
Marciano waswild with a right early In the second round but led with a left
and drove a left to the Jaw. Marciano landed a left to the head and right to the
body. Referee Ruby Goldstein warned the champion for butting.
LaStarza forced Marciano back midway In the round. Marciano drove a hard
right to the head and opened a cuit over LaStarza'a right eye. It started bleeding
heavily. The cut seemed to be In the corner of LaStarza’s right eye.
Marciano landed two lefts as the round ended.
round to Marciano.
Marciano landed a light right to LaStarza's cut eye as the third round started.
Rocky connected with a hard left to the cut eye and seemed to be concentrating
his punches there. The crowd booed as Rocky landed a light left an they broke
from a clinch. Lastarza landed a hard right to the ribs. Marciano drove LaStarza
Into the ropes but missed a right. round to marciano.
Marciano was booed between rounds for landing a punch after the bell had
Ended the third round. They started the fourth round with a flurry, but neither
Did any damage. Marciano landed rights to LaStarza'’s cut eye and the ribs
Rocky scored with left and right to the head at close quarters.
Mariciano backed LaStarza into the ropes with a right to the chin. LaStarza
Fought back but took two punches to the body. Marciano kept working on
LaStarza 's cut eye. round to Marciano.
Lastarza gotin good counter punches at the start of the fifth round, but
Marciano came back with a right to the body. Marciano staggered LaStarza with
a right t to the Jaw.
Rocky followed with a left hook and missed another as LaStarza tied him up
Rocky followed up with a right, to the body and left to the head before they
clinched again. round to Marclano.
At the end of five rounds, the United Press scorecard gave four rounds to Marciano
one to LaStarza.
Marciano was the aggressor in the fifth round and forced the action again .
There was no longer was any trace of blood .from LaStarza's
right eye. Rocky kept pressing the attack, with LaStarza still counter-punching
and throwing out left jabs. Rocky was wild with a right and left—Just as he had
been so often in the earlier rounds. Marciano was warned again for a low left
Rocky landed a left as the round ended.
The referee took the sixth round from Marciano because of the low blow.
Marciano missed as many punches as he landed to start the seventh round
Rocky started working on LaStarza's right eye again. He forced LaStarza. Into a
clinch with two rights and a left. Then Marciano drove the challenger Into the
ropes. Rocky punched away and again drove LaStarza to the ropes with four
rights and a left. Marciano was the heavy punching and concentrated on
LaStarza's head. again the champion cornered LaStarza against the ropes and
landed almost at will. Blood started flowing again from LaStarza's right eye
Marciano backed him Into the ropes again and connected with solid rights
to the head and body. seventh round to Marciano.
Marciano started quickly In the eighth round, driving LaStarza Into the ropes
In the first few seconds. LaStarza fought back but Rocky hit harder. Marciano
opened a cut on the left side of LaStarza's nose with a left and got LaStarza
against the ropes again. Marciano drove a series of hooks to the head and a hard
right to LaStarza's right eye. LaStarza seemed to be almost out on his feet. Marciano
kept punching away with both hands, and LaStarza seldom returned a
punch. LaStarza hung on desperately as the eighth round ended. The United
Press gave the eighth round to Marciano.
Marciano picked up In the ninth round where he left off In the eighth. Rocky
drove LaStarza to the ropes and opened up with both hands. Marciano put a
hard left to LaStarza’s right eye and staggered him with a left hook to the head.
Marciano forced LaStarza into a clinch. LaStarza took heavy punishment and
seldom landed a punch himself. Marciano worked on his man with both hands,
and LaStarza's mouth started to bleed. LaStarza appeared to be out on his feet
as the ninth round ended. Unlted Press gave the round to Marciano.
Marciano led. 7 round -to-2, on the United Press scorecard as the 10th round
began LaStarza was bleeding from the mouth and left eye as he continued to
take punishment. Marciano grazed a right off LaStarza's Jaw, and Rocky fell to
the canvas as the punch missed. Marciano got up Immediately and drove a hard
right to the head. Both fighters were smeared with blood—LaStarza's blood.
LaStarza bled from the mouth, right eye and right ear. LaStarza hit the champion
with a hard right to the Jaw. Murclano came back with a solid right to the face
as the 10th round ended.
United Press gave the round to Marciano,
Marciano opened a cut over LaStarza's left eye with a looping right as the llth
round started. LaStarza was knocked down but managed to get up on the count
of eight. Marciano drove a series of hard rights and lefts as LaStarza hung helplessly
on the ropes. Referee Ruby Goldstein stepped In and stopped the fight .Marciano
was the winner by a technical knockout
Rocky v Cockell
Rocky Marciano sent courageous Don Cockell home to England on his shield Monday night, a blood-spattered technical knockout victim in 54 seconds of the ninth round in the fifth defense of his world heavyweight title.
Referee Frankie Brown enfolded the fat hog farmer in his arms to stop him from further punishment after he reeled drunkenly toward the ropes. Cockell had been knocked through the ropes for a count of two when the bell rang ending the eighth round. Out for the kill the unbeaten 30-year-old Brockton, Mass., slugger swarmed over game Don with all the fury of his animal attack in the ninth. A terrific Suzy-Q right to the jaw, following up bitter punishment, dropped Cockell early in the ninth. Refusing to surrender under blazing fire, he dragged himself to his feet On came-Marciano, a frown creasing his swarthy brow, to cut loose with a furious barrage that sent Cockell down once more. This time he got up at five only to back off, weaving as he -went, to bring the merciful ending from the referee.
While he lasted, the beefy Briton put up a whale of a scrap, belying his horrible performances in the gym. He just didn’t have the punch to match Rocky's nor the ability to keep, on taking those wild swings. In the last few rounds he was. an open target but a target that always kept coming back for more. Cockell bled from a gash on his forehead as early as the fourth round and blood' spurted from his nose at the same time. There.was a red mark on his right cheek in the fifth. Referee Brown scored it 49 ½ -38 ½ , Judge Jack Downey and Judge John Bassaneffi. both had it 49-39 all with Marciano out in front.
Cockell at 205 pounds, was his lightest in many fights and 'Marciano at 189, was his heaviest ever as a champ. The Englishman was in shape for the battle of his life and went down swinging to earn the respect of the customers.
As the Battersea blimp left the ring, he drew a loud salvo i1 from the crowd of close to 25,000. If the 16 ½ foot ring bothered Cockell, it didn't show. At times he outboxed the champion with his sharp left. Once in the sixth round he crashed home a beautiful right on Marciano's chin when Rocky surged in wildly.
Twice .Marciano pounded home a body punch after the bell—in the third and sixth rounds—as Cockell was backed into a neutral corner under a body barrage. It was difficult to hear the bell at ringside so Rocky couldn't be blamed.
The first Englishman to fight for the heavy title since Tommy Farr went 15 rounds, with Joe Louis in 1937, Cockell fought back gamely as long as he could. He didn't look like any 10-1 bet. but it was apparent early that he couldn't go on catching all night. Eager for the kill, Marciano was winging those old Suzy-Q rights with reckless abandon. Time after time he missed his target but he always had another coming up.
Cockell was every bit as strong as the champ in the early rounds, bulling him around in the clinches and pushing-him off in a manner that reminded the "experts" how far they had been wrong on Farr 18 years ago.
COCKELL WINS SECOND
Both the referee and Judge Downey gave Cockell the second round and the other judge had it even. Other than that it was a clean sweep for the champ. It was the third round before , Marciano really began to catch up with the Englishman. A left hook sagged Don's knees in a neutral corner just before the bell.
Cockell was staggered in the fifth and his knees buckled in the sixth just before he drove Rocky back with the right to the jaw that was his best punch. As the bell ended the seventh, , Cockell was caged on the ropes with Marciano slamming away with both hands. It was obvious that the end was near.
In that eighth round barrage, Marciano kept pegging away with every punch in his power, landing eight In a row at one stage and 13 in succession at another. A tremendous right just before the bell ended the eighth round sent a badly spent Cockell . through the ropes. It was doubtful if his corner would let him come out for more. The end came mercifully early in the ninth before the Briton was seriously injured. Down twice and out on his feet, he was in no shape when it was stopped. Marciano's nose, cut in his fight, with Ezzard Charles last September, didn't open although he did bleed slightly from inside the nose early in the scrap. In his dressing room he was full of praise for his opponent.
"He was a lot better than I thought," he said. "About the 7th round I thought I had his number. He's got a lotta guts. I hurt him somep'n awful." It was Marciano's 48th straight victory and the 42nd victim he had stopped. Cockell goes back to his farm at Horam, near Eastbourne in Sussex with an enhanced reputation despite his TKO defeat. His record now is 61-11-1 for 73 starts. It was the 5th time he had been stopped. Promoter Jack Solomons of London, who was at the ringside, was so impressed with Don's showing against Marciano despite the handicap of a small 16 ½ foot ring that interfered with his footwork, that he said he would like to rematch the English challenger and Rocky for a fight in London
He said”It would draw a million dollars.” He said he would discuss The possibility with officials of the International boxing Club.
Briton Underrated ,Bravest Opponent Yet, Says champion
Rocky Marciano fingered his supposedly tender nose in the Kezar Stadium dressing room Monday night after stopping England’s Don Cockell in the ninth round of their heavyweight Championship fight.
“He’s got a lot of guts” Marciano told a crowd of news men who besieged him. “He took it,he took everything I had and he kept standing up”, “ He’s an underrated fighter.I don’t think I hit anyone else any more or often or harder.maybe Ez Charles the first time,but I don’t think so”
Marciano was asked whether his nose had bothered him at all. “Naw he didn’t hurt me at all in the nose” he said. “I think he hit me there once or twice but you can see its all right” .the nose split by Charles in their last title fight looked fine.Marciano kept rubbing it gently as he munched on an orange held in his other hand.
Marciano went on: “I hurt him something awful in the eighth round but he kept standing right up.it was a right hand that did the business near the end that got him groggy”
NEVER FOUGHT BRAVER
“He was a lot better than I thought .i was trying all the time to get him.I don’t think I ever fought a braver guy.At least he’s right up near the top.he took about as good punishment as Charles did.” “He hurt me in the sixth with a right to the jaw.It was in the same round that I thought I had his number”. asked about how Cockell suffered a cut on his forehead in the fourth round, a slash that bled almost continuously the rest of the way, Marciano said he was not sure.
“I think he got it when we both went low one time and banged heads”Rocky said.
“Either it was that ofr a right I hit him with just seconds later”.Marciano’s manager Al Weill echoed the fighters words of praise for Cockell.”He was a great fighter”..” I hope that boy gets what’s coming to him now, He certainly didn’t get it before the fight.He’ll give any heavyweight plenty of trouble. He stood up under punishment when three other champions couldn’t.
asked to name the champions he meant Weill said “Charles,Joe Walcott and Joe Louis”.Weill said that at the moment he had no immediate plans for the champion but pressed for a firmer answer admitted there was chance of another title defence in September. Everbody asked him who and Weill replied “Well,theres Bob Baker,archie Moore,if he beats Bobo Olsen – and maybe even Olsen himself”
Marciano Stops Charles In Eighth
Winnipeg Free Press 18 Sept 1954
Unbeaten Rocky Marciano, indestructible, and invincible in the seven years of his fist, fighting career, retained his world heavyweight title in.his.fourth defence by bludgeoning Ezzard Charles into submission in 2 minutes 26 seconds of the. eighth round in their twice-postponed .bout at the Yankee Stadium. Friday.
'Unable to knock out or even to knock down the plucky Cincinnati challenger in. their first encounter exactly three months before in the same ring, the 30- year-old Brockton strong boy floored Charles for a count of two in the second and ended a procession of winning rounds from the second on by smashing his foe to the canvas twice in the eighth round.
A steady barrage of driving blows, most of them missing but some landing; in a typical Marciano manner, crumpled Charles sideways in a delayed-action fall late in the eighth.round.
It was the beginning of the end. Marciano drove forward after his weakened 'opponent and with another volley of -blows, winding up with a raking hook, smashed Charles onto his face. The 38-year-old challenger pulled himself into a squatting posture, his knees bent, his hands resting- on the deck, as he listened to the count of referee At the count of 10, Charles hands were still on the floor. He pulled himself up an instant later, but the referee called it a 10-and-put count. Submitting- to the decision with no sign of remonstration, Charles walked over and saluted the all-conquering champion.
Though hemissed dreadfully round after round in his interminable crowding pressure on Charles, Marciano, in the end result, restored the knockout prestige, he had lost in his 15- round decision in June. He scored his 47th consecutive victory with his 41st knockout.
The knockout finish, however, unfolded a curious tableaux Charles, in knockout defeat, presented a tired but unmarked fighter in sharp contrast to last June .when he finished on his feet with his face knocked lopsided, a blood clot in his left cheek ,and his right eye bruised, swollen and partly closed.
Once again Marciano won despite hazards inflicted by the fortunes o£ the ring. His nose bled from the third round on, but that was nothing to what, happened to him subsequently as he piled into triumph. The end of his nose .was split by two raking Charles hooks late in the sixth round. He carne out with an ugly patch on it for the seventh round.
In the round that proved to be the last Marciano’s left eye Lid was gashed again .he was getting to be the normally blood Covered champion when his great strength and inexhaustible Punching power came to the rescue and demolished Charles.
Charles was making his third bid to reclaim the heavyweight title. No one ever had three chances to regainthe title. No ex-champion ever regained the ring's biggest prize, and Charles was destined to make the futile try for the third time. Where James J. Corbett failed twice and other glamorous champions like James J. Jeffries, Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis failed once each, Charles failed once more. In the heavyweignt .division, it remains true now as has for 62 years—they never come back to the title. For this unprecedented third try, Charles came in heavier Than he has been in his fighting career of 15 years. Weighing 192 ½ to Marciano’s 187. Charles was heavier and also slower .he was geared for power try,not for a war of movement or agility.
The fight started later than ever, but Marciano saw to it that it finished at least On the same day it started .Owing to the double postponement caused by wet weather And conflicting interests of a national TV fight and the Giants-Phillies baseball Game at the Polo grounds, the fight was scheduled to start at 11pm and actually got under way at 11:06.
From the outset it was obvious that the heavier,slower Charles ( who had Never won a fight when he weighed above 180 ) aimed to make a fight of it as long as he could. Instead of using speed and movement to outbox Marciano as he had for the first five rounds in June. He was swinging all but, trying to damage this walking- armored truck from ward 2 in Brockton.
IT WAS NOT the sort of fight Joe Louis and others had recommended for Charles, but it was his fight to win or lose his own way. He threw punches with more power than in June. But all it did was win him one round —the first. He landed a solid right lead on Rocky' s jaw, mauled with him in clinches, smashed another right counter to Rocky' s jaw.
Marciano wore that puzzled look of concentration as he faced the enemy, warding off blows and trying to get in a clean shot. That was the last round Charles was destined to win. Marciano, starting faster as he said he would, with only three months rest since his previous fight, plodded -forward, seeking to reach his foe, but punching away anyway.
Then . Marciano caught Charles with a right on the jaw — his overhand right he calls. his SuzieQ and how he loves her. Charles wobbled slightly., Marciano drove in with another right to the jaw. Charles trembled for a. moment, then fell on all fours, on the south side of the ring near a neutral corner. He looked like a small boy who had lost something and was groping for it in the dark.
When Charles got. up at 2, the count lost in the tumult, Marciano tried to finish him. Charles employed all the craft of his years in the ring to ward off the crusher, and fought back with two hooks. Marciano-missed a wild left after the bell.
From the second round on it was evident once again that no one around can match Marciano’s crude power and his remarkable strength—least of all a 33-year-old veteran like Charles. Ezzard threw some fine and accurate punches, but they simply bounced off Rocky's concrete enforced chassis without appearing to hurt him at all.
Charles, using his wits and his skill, evaded another knockdown or really damaging blows but he was on the losing end going nowhere through the third, fourth fifth, sixth and seventh. He was weakening. His legs were going on him. Manager Al Weill, from the corner, kept yelling at Rocky to go for the body, but Marciano pursued his head-hunting tactics and finally brought his man down.