Boxing / halloffame
The Brockton Bomber | Just How Good Was Rocky Marciano?
As we head towards the ides of August, I always get reminded of the 31st. One of my favorite fighters of all time died that day, and his name Rocky Marciano. 'RockMarc' or 'The Brockton Bomber' has become a trademark of hip hop and boxing apparrel worldwide, but do people really know how much of a legend this guy was? Before the Knicks and music concerts ruled Madison Square, that place was Rocky Marciano's home. He would sell out MSG every time he fought there, and with his relentless style and undefeated record, Rocky was the pride of American prizefighting! [Image Source]Although Rocky did most of his 'hall of fame' achievement earnings in the latter end of his career, he still beat 50 men in the ring over a span of only 8 years (with 43 knockouts). Until recent years, Rocky held one of the highest knockout ratios of all time with nearly 88%... until the modern era of heavyweight, that was unheard of! One must also note that heavyweight champions of this era are never mandated to fight the toughest rivals, only the ones that 'make sense' for the fighter. [Image Source]There was a fearlessness in fighters that came from the old guard. 50s and 60s boxing carried into the 15th round with both men throwing hands as ferciously as the 1st! Rocky was a true savage in there, and although I think he lacked a lot of solid boxing technique, his fundamentals and heart were always soundly intact. [Image Source]His wins over Ezzard Charles and Joe Louis highlighted his career (as they were the dons of that era). Although Joe Louis was 9 years Rocky's senior, he was still one of the greatest heavyweights of all time with immense celeberity status; Louis was also the favorite by a solid margin to defeat Rocky that night. One can say the old guard passed anew the night of October 26th, 1951, and Rocky took the title from Joe Louis 8th round knockout after a war for the ages! Rocky also went on to fight Jersey Joe Walcott (who I've spoken of in previous posts and will speak of again) and defeat him twice.. although Joe too was somewhat out of his prime. [Image Source]The stigma with calling Rocky the GOAT is that he fought great champions all a bit out of their primed potential. The results may have been the exact same, but we will never know if the brutish style of Marciano could match the slickness and deceptive timing of a man like Joe Louis. Both men are legends, and both men left this Earth too soon. Oddly enough Rocky died a day before his 46th birthday. His plane leaving from Iowa crashed due to inclement weather; this happened in the same area that Buddy Holly too lost his life in a plane crash. Both Louis and Marciano were entered into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, and Joe Louis was in fact buried in Arlington National Cemetery for his time served in the military. You wouldn't believe that young Ronald Reagan had something to do with that, and it was wonderful to hear of Joe's pardoning earlier this year. [Image Source]Make your own history, but respect the legends.
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