Marciano, b.

Marciano, “Rocky” (b. Rocco Francis Marchegiano)

(1923–69) boxer; born in Brockton, Mass. After he failed at becoming a professional baseball player, he took up boxing, winning 27 of 30 amateur bouts before turning professional in 1947. After being only the second boxer ever to knock out Joe Louis (no longer the champion), he won the heavyweight title in 1952 by knocking out “Jersey Joe” Walcott in the 13th round. He successfully defended his title six times before retiring in 1955, the only undefeated heavyweight champion in boxing history; his professional record was 49 victories (43 knockouts). Only 5 feet 11 inches tall, he had an aggressive style and a devastating punch. He died in a small airplane crash.