Rocky Marciano was the world’s only undefeated heavyweight champion. He defied physical limitations – too small, too short, too light, too old. With just a 67-inch reach, two left feet and under six feet tall, tough, hard-hitting Marciano blasted his way to 49 wins, 43 inside the distance. He was impervious to pain: you could knock him down but you couldn’t knock him out.
Marciano KO’d Jersey Joe Walcott in a 1952 thriller to become world champion. Defending his title five times, he brought the million-dollar gate back to boxing in 1955 when he crushed Archie Moore in his final fight. He then criss-crossed America making public appearances, for cash only. He built a network of friends, businessmen and Mob guys who willingly paid his way, fed him, dressed him and flew him around. (That’s how he died, hitching a ride in a plane that crashed in an Iowa cornfield in 1969, on the eve of his 46th birthday.)
Pitch Publishing, 2018