US boxer and world heavyweight champion (1952–56).
Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, Rocky Marciano earned a living as a labourer, working for a time in a shoe factory. He turned professional in 1947. He was short for a heavyweight and many considered his style to be crude. However, he ensured that few opponents could stand up to him. In 1951 he knocked out Joe Louis and the following year took the title by beating ‘Jersey Joe’ Walcott. Marciano successfully defended his title six times before retiring, undefeated, in 1956: he was the only world heavyweight champion in the history of boxing who never lost a professional fight. He was killed in an air crash in 1969, just before his forty-sixth birthday.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945) — Sport and Leisure.