- ROCKY MARCIANO'S MOST COMPLETE, TRUE AMATEUR RECORD: 9-4 (7 KO's),
- OTHER UNDEFEATED CHAMPS, WAYS TO IMPROVE BOXING,
- LUBEK'S ROCKY'S STATUE IN BROCKTON
- IMPORTANCE OF NORMAL HEADBAND
These interesting stories shed some light on Rocky's still unclear amateur career
and on other little known things in the world of boxing. In a plural definition, this is a story within a story. First of all, I would like to inform you that Rocky Statue will finally be erected in Brockton, Rocky's boyhood hometown. Statue is the Original concept I proposed, recommended & envisioned. In early 2006, I proposed to various groups, organizations & boxing clubs around the world to build Rock the statue, at least give him a bust. Well finally, it's on its way. But I am deeply disappointed in american & wbc statue committees and their dubious decisions making. Brockton does not deserve it a bit! Pathetic, promise breaking WBC took statue idea of mine and never thanked me nor informed me, they are such totally ungrateful people, so are many so called Rocky's 'friends,' especially older ones. My statue is being built in Mexico, that worries me a little bit, because the artist does not know foreign culture and its customs. If I am not mistaken, the statue will be in bronze and bronze is not good in the long or even short run, it consists of some oxidizing metallic molecular structure, those particles/elements change, thus statue darkens over time. Corrosion is not immediate big problem but after passage of time it may become one. Bronze is generally 85% copper & 15% tin mixture, melted together combination. These metal combination from which most artifacts are made are not naturally occurring in the ground. Instead they are alloys or combinations of several different refined metals melted together and mixed up to create a new raw metal with certain useful characteristics such as low melting temperature and/or resistance to corrosion or flexibility during manufacturing process. But there is much more to Rock Statue, it will be twice as big as Marciano was. Why not make it 100 times bigger instead ? Why make Rocky a 12 feet+ creature ? The only good output of this statue is more pay to the builders and their cheap, brittle material suppliers! I can already visualize unveiling of the statue, an ugly giant monster, nothing resembling Rocky! Statue without its soul is nothing. Marciano was mostly a simple man and he only demanded what he earned or what was his, nothing more, nothing less. His pugilistic greatness was in his unusual stand & small physique for a heavyweight boxer and he was crude & awkward. As a heavyweight he was 180cm (5'11) tall, his reach was only 68 inches, the shortest of any heavyweight champ. Even for his times he was an average size fighter. His walking weight was over 220lbs but his fighting weight did not go over 190lbs but his assets were toughness, power, determination, crouching aggression, super-human endurance, intelligence, reflexes. He could give a strong punch and endure strong punishment! I am not sure if this is true but some Californian study concluded that one of Rocky's good punches with his right hand was like a Yugo or Fiat automobile hitting a pedestrian head on. If Rocky was to fight today he would be classified as the cruiser weight division fighter, that division comes from 175 to 200 lbs. I proposed changing the weight by three pounds from 178 lbs to 201 lbs. Pounds system should be eliminated and only metric weight system should be used thus avoiding metric conversion confusion, 178 would amount to exactly 81kg, 175 lbs is somewhat unclear because that amounts to an uneven median, converted number of 79.5kg.
One gets shocked, staggered and flabbergasted when one finds out that
fake Rocky Balboa has a statue in Philadelphia. Another statue was erected in 2007 in some weird village of Zitiste in Serbia, Yugoslavia. No doubt there is at least one more statue of Balboa somewhere. Rocky Marciano was for real, Stallone never had one professional fight in his life. He can't fight, he cant even act right, except shoot at people, Rambo is not a moral character! There was even a crazy movie script in the works for Rocky V that was thankfully rejected, in it Stallone was to travel in time to fight 1953 Marciano. What ? Balboa is a make believe character. If Rocky really fought Balboa, I think the fight would have gone the distance of 15 rounds but Marciano would have won on points, unanimous decision. NO KO's for Balboa. In real life a good boxer tries to avoid all the punches and not get hurt. In rocky movies, fighters get all the crap beaten out of them. In Philadelphia, these people built a statue to freaking Stallone, now he is worshipped like some god and he does not need any more fame nor money.
Not too many people are aware there Rocky statue in Italy. There is
one awkward, but nice (small) statue of Marciano in the city where his father was born. The monument is in Ripa Teatina, a small village in the Abruzzo region in middle of Italy. The town also awards annual Rocky Marciano Prize to the best regional athlete and/or boxer. Rocky's spirit is present there. There is another statue of Rocky in Italian Museum of Chicago but it was tailor made to stay inside. Both of Rocky's parents came from Italy. Rocky was first generation Italian-American. Rocky's dad came from Italy to USA in 1916, enlisted or had to enlist in the army, after the war he was honorably discharged but without benefits (as you can expect it from military; in life in general, when you are not needed, you are kicked out, forgotten but when you have dough and fame all of a sudden you have 'friends') He took part in hellish WW I battles, where he was subjected to poisonous, nerve destroying gases. Sometimes there was a fight over a meter of land that lasted for weeks. Imagine the harsh psychological and physical toll of that ordeal ? It was very hard fighting in smelly ditches and gaining territory was seldom successful. Use of chemical agents was not unusual, it was legal. Mustard gas was used on his platoon, it affected his lungs. When he returned to the America he did not find good paying job, except as a shoe maker, working in stench filled shoe factory did not improve his health.
This story will introduce readers to Rocky's amateur record and to his early
era & opponents. Whatever reliable information was available from different sources, including results from original 1940's fight cards, I researched, corrected and posted here. Most of the sources on the net claim Rocky had 12 amateur bouts but that is wrong. One will also read on many other topics; one will be informed on important changes boxing needs (in order to survive). Many people, many times on ESPN or on tv or in some boxing story compare or used to compare some fighters to Rocky; e.g. Valuev is approaching Rocky's record, Calzaghe needs four more fights to tie the Rock as the only undefeated champion in history of pugilism. My goodness, how ignorant those people are. They did not research anything. And history of boxing is rich and beautiful. Yes, one will discover here there were other undefeated boxers. Some of them fought long before Rocky was even born. No doubt, this unique story of mine covers Rocky's entire amateur record & career. Even to this day, amateur records are not kept properly. Amateur fights are different from professional. Scoring is more precise, draws happen once in a million fights and I have only seen few. Fighters of today must wear nose & headgear (that's good). These rules are in existence (at least) since 1984 Olympics. When Rocky was fighting the only difference between pros and amatatuers was weight of gloves. Fighters of today have the belt risen all the way to their necks and gloves weigh a ton. The belt needs to go down a little, it's hard to find a place where to properly punch and score a point. I personally prefer mandatory nose gear, mandatory knee pads in professional boxing as well. Knee pads should be worn by all boxers e.g. Valuev-McCline 2007, if McCline had protective pads over his knees he might have lasted all 12 rounds and produced an upset. One judge had him tied on score cards when McCline could not continue. Nose gear is productive, I hate to see a good fight end just because a fighter's nose gets broken. If fans prefer bloody noses, especially after or during first round, they should go somewhere else, it's not helping boxing or MMA or anybody. So what if it's been like that since forever but it's controversial and thus boxing remains too dangerous, keeps on getting bad reputation from rest of the 'civilized' world.
Rocky's pugilistic ring career spanned 10 years, from 1946 to 1956.
And if you think he was undefeated all those years, you have another thing coming... He was an amateur fighter between 1946 and 1947. His record was not great but respectable enough: 9-4 or 10-4. It's possible he had at least one more amateur fight but at this time there is no clear cut evidence. According to Rocky himself, he said that he fought 4 guys in Lowell in 2 nights but one name is missing. If he won four in a raw, this would mean his amateur record is 10-4, a total of 14 fights with one forfeit. Marciano fought professionally between 1947 and 1956. He abdicated his throne on April 27th but remained de facto champion until November 30th 1956, when Floyd Patterson beat Archie Moore to become the youngest lineal heavyweight champion ever. In 1960, he was the first one to regain it back from Ingemar Johannson. In 1986, Mike Tyson became a heavyweight champion of the world but Floyd's lineal record of 21 & 10 months still stands, Mike Tyson became the undisputed, lineal champion on June 27th 1988, when he beat the undefeated lineal champion Michael Spinks. He should have stayed retired & thus undefeated. Mike was 3 days shy of his 22nd birthday. When it comes to lineal heritage, it is a little known fact many people still do not notice nor understand.
Many wonder why Floyd Patterson never fought Rocky ? He would not even dream about it, it would have been a total destruction of Floyd and possibly his career if he fought him in 1956. On Floyd's 21st birthday (1.4.56), his manager Cus Amato (Constantine Cus D'Amato) claimed Floyd was ready to fight Rocky but that was only big talk just to get some attention. In reality, Amato wanted Floyd to fight Rock when he gets old or when he retires. (Speaking of Amato, I am almost certain if he had lived beyond 1985 when Tyson became champ, Tyson might have been kept out of major trouble, at least, he might have even retired undefeated, there was nobody to guide him, except greedy people who only saw a buck in him, not a human being) We need to remember that at the time when Marciano retired Floyd was not a ranked heavyweight fighter. He was the logical challenger for Archie Moore's light heavyweight title and he had no real plans fighting Rocky before September of 1957 and by then Rocky would have been 34. For a slugger, that's not young. Patterson was to fight Archie Moore first, fall 1956. Well, he did but for the heavyweight title. Only after Rocky retired, on May 2 1956, Floyd was moved with the big boys, all the way to the fifth ranked heavyweight. Just before facing his old friend Tommy Hurricane Jackson on June 8th, he was moved again to tje fourth spot behind Bob Baker. After barely beating Tommy by SD in 12 rounds, he was ranked second behind Archie Moore, the 'Old Mongoose'. Archie Moore is the only boxer who fought Patterson, Marciano & Ali, three champions from three different eras. Archie remained active boxer until 1963 when he was 50 years old. He retired by winning his last bout against wrestler Mike Dibiase. Wrestlers were never any challenge to boxers. Walcott, Dempsey, Marciano never had any problems beating them, of course no wrestling rules were used. Then there was Onuki-Ali "fight" in 1976 but that was a circus, a bad joke. People lost money to see the "fight" and Ali, Onuki and promoters were glad to relieve the customers of their extra weight, baggage in their pockets. As far as Ali goes he said Rocky was the greatest boxer people will ever see in a ring, if he did say that, he probably did not repeat it.
Floyd was to fight Archie Moore before October 2nd 1956, but due to fractured finger (from Hurricane fight), the fight was postponed for 2 months. Floyd broke his fourth metacarpal of his right hand in the fourth or later round. The longer interval between fights benefited much younger Floyd. Moore was not getting any younger. Moore thought he would beat the young whippersnapper; he did not keep in shape as he did for Marciano fight, he damaged his body by having 11 fights in 1956 before facing Floyd and no wonder he lost, it was coming to him. If he came into the fight in a shape he was for Rocky fight, he would have been champion, unanimous decision, 15/15.
Rocky Marciano had one Split Decision victory over Roland LaStarza in March of 1950. By today's standards, this fight most likely would have been a draw. At the time and for a long time, Pennsylvania and New York had supplemental points scoring system in case of a close fight. If it wasn't for Rocky's accidental hit below the belt (where he lost a point), result would have been a majority or unanimous decision victory for Rocky. Long before the Rock had to fight LaStarza, who was also undefeated at the time (37-0), Rock had to get some boxing experience. Yup, he was an amateur. Before 1946, Rocky started his boxing career in the U.S. army in 1943. After getting into a fight with some soldier, he was punished, put into a hole and became good potato peeler. But some smart dude realized Rocky was wasting time as potato peeler. That great job did not help him psychologically, so they decided it would be best for Rocky to fight in the army. Rock spent 3 years there, from 1943 to 1946 and it was during World War II. He did not take part in combat operations, he was stationed in Europe. Marciano was assigned to the 150th Combat Engineers. He was stationed in Wales where he was involved in operations on the English Channel and later in Normandy. He drove trucks with supplies to Allied troops.
Rocky planned to do some exhibitions in Italy in 1957. He supported a charity group there and an exhibition was planned to help the 'Boys club' but Rocky never looked good in exhibitions. The 1957 trip never happened. Rocky did visit Italy (and other countries including UK) at least once in September of 1966. He visited St. Anthony's orphans home in Padua. He began an appeal to America for funds to make that home the greatest orphan children's center in the world. He was also asked if he planned a comeback, he replied: "I chopped a little wood here and there but that does not mean I am planning a comeback." In 1959 he tried some serious training but he was unable to get back into any serious condition, after Floyd regained title there was no more motivation for a comeback. His friend and trainer Allie Colombo warned him in 1956 to stay in shape until 1960 but Rock did not listen, he just ate like a horse. Eventually, he wanted to stage a comeback against Ingemar Johannson in 1960 but for many reasons, including Floyd Patterson's rematch clause, those plans never materialized, so he settled for behind the scenes role by becoming sort of a matchmaker, organizing the rematch, trying to secure the best venue, etc... If Floyd was to lose again, most likely Rocky would have fought Ingemar in 1961.
In both pro and amateur boxing, duration of each round did not change over time; 2 minutes for amateur boxing, 3 minutes for professional boxing. Amateur boxing can only have five two minute rounds maximum. It's worth noting that as an amateur, Sugar Ray Robinson amassed an impressive 85-0 record. There are some professional bouts with two and three rounds. Australia commissions 3 pro rounders since the beginning of the 20th century. I am proposing same format everywhere. I propose an official time change to all boxing federations: At least 3:01 minute rounds with 61 seconds breaks. The extra second is the difference needed for the time lost on the bell and having referee get out of fighters' way. The time should not start until referee moves away. I have seen fights where each round lasted 3:03 minutes with 63 seconds breaks. There are many other important changes I proposed including the importance of draws. If a fight is scored with only one point difference: 112-111, 111-112, 111-112, one point should not be enough for a win, it's not proportional and not fair. You may say one fighter worked harder for that one point ? Not really, such questionable SD victories are never accepted as true victories, giving prelude to controversies, they may never even properly end. They only abound and linger around like ghosts. Italian welterweight Duilio Loi had 127 fights in his career, 3 losses, 8 draws. No doubt some of those draws are controversial but they are not bad. As I have been proposing for a long time: If a fight is too close, it should be declared drawn. For example... The 1926 Grab-Flowers world middleweight title fight should have been declared a draw. That was legendary Grab's last fight, he died shortly after. Harry Grab was the only fighter to defeat 'the fighting marine' Gene Tunney.
ROCKY'S AMATEUR CAREER (4/1946-3/1948):
Everett Skehan is totally wrong in his book published in 1977, 'Biography
of a First Son' he says (and other idiots) Rocky had 12 amateur fights and his record was 8-4, hat is partially true. At the time, I guess, he did not have access to all the proper information. Rocky's true amateur record was 9-4, a total of 13 fights. Everett does not even mention names of some of the opponents, he is only stating them under unknown category. One victory came through disqualification or walk over as some call it but that was not Rocky's fault. It's victory just like in every other sport when one waits & another does not show up.
1945 - 1946, Unofficial Champion of United States Armed Forces, supposedly undefeated with unofficial record of 30-0 but army never kept any records; this record is disputed but undefeated record seems realistic. All sources say Rocky ran out of opponents in the army. But that's stretching it a bit. After defeating George McInnis having his hand fixed, Rocky resumed his pro career on 7.12.1948. His first fight was under Rocky Mack name. That was to hide his amateur career & to hide the fact that Rocky made a living as a boxer to his mother. She did not want her son to make a living by getting hurt & beating up others.
Now, let's travel in time to circa 1946 and see what was
Rocco Marchegiano doing in the amateur circles:
1. April 15 - Henry Lester, L - DQ 3 (kick with the knee to the stomach, supposedly). Rocky was losing the bout big time, he was smacked around all over the ring like a little brat, so the knee blow was the only way he knew how to save himself from getting killed. "It's all about the survival," he candidly told Colombo and relatives. Not long after, folks in his neighbourhood teased and laughed at him by calling him 'The Nuts Cracker Expert'. That was his temporary nickname. Something he resented, did not appreciate. After this fight he understood he should always be ready for his opponent and be in shape. He thought nothing of tough Henry Lester who was a three time golden gloves champ. After getting beat up, he gained new respect for Henry but he also realized it will be a long, arduous way to the top. But Rocky had the tools and the means to get there. And there was no looking back.
National Junior Heavyweight/AAU Championship Tournament, August (Apparently all the matches were held on the same day):
2. Aug 22 - Frederic L. Ross Portland, OR KO 1 3. Aug 23 - Richard Jarvis Portland, OR Semi-Final Bout KO 1 4. Aug 23 - Joe DeAngelis Portland, OR Final L 3/3
Massachusetts State Amateur Heavyweight Championship, January (Both bouts were held on the same date):
5. Jan 17 - Jim Connolly Boston, Ma KO 1 6. Jan 17 - Bob Girard Boston, Ma L 3/3
In March of 1947 Rocky fought his first professional bout against Lee Epperson from MA, it was a KO in third round. Rocky fought under presumed name of 'Rocky Mack'. He did not want his mom to find out and wanted to protect his amateur statue, he was not even sure if that fight classified as pro. Rocky's mom never wanted her son to be a fighter, in a way (modesty?), she never wanted anybody to get hurt. After March, Rocky did not fight until January of 1948. It's possible he might have fought few more bouts in between, even a professional bout but there is no proof of that. He was working as a ditch digger, the physical strain improved his endurance but did not do any good to his back and in his spare time he was practicing to get into Chicago Cubs as a catcher. After a tryout in March of 1947 and January 1948, the Chicago Cub's farm team eventually let him go. He could hit pretty coul but one day he got a sore arm and he could hardly get a ball to second base. It seems Rocky had two try outs with the Cubs' Minor league. No doubt, Rocky knew how to play the game but after three weeks of practice coach told him: "Rocky, you are a good kid and dude you hustle real good, but a catcher without an arm ?" He told him to go home and if the arm got any better to come back. This is where people get their facts wrong. Rocky was not kicked out, he was simply suspended but he was allowed to come back. However, Rocky returned to the ring instead. Baseball lost but boxing gained. Then when he came home he was feeling pretty low; he picked up the local paper and saw an ad: '1948 Golden Gloves Entries Open.' He sent in his application and next week went up to Lowell, Mass. He won four fights in two nights, all knockouts and became New England Heavyweight Champion. I agree it was two nights and one fight might have been a bye to Rocky's advantage. Later on, Rocky might have forgotten if he fought 3 or 4 opponents but 4-0 score is correct. He thought forfeit as a knock out victory. It seems that Rhode Island victory was needed first to qualify for the New England championship.
Massachusetts/Rhode Island Golden Gloves Heavyweight Championship, Ferbruary (Two bouts were held on 2 days):
14. Feb 2? - Joe Sidlaskis* Lowell, Ma KO 1 7. Feb 2 - Dan Solomont Lowell, Ma TKO 1 8. Feb 9 - Charles Mortimer Lowell, Ma KO 3
- This was a novice section, it's possible Rocky fought somebody else than
Sidlaskis and it's possible Sidlaskis fought in both tournaments but not on the same day, it was not unusual. Since Rocky participated in the Open class, they might not have met there. Originally reported as January 26th but there ware no fights on that day, heavyweights were hard to find too. If Sidlaskis did not fight Rocky, somebody probably fought Rocky. Somebody must have fought him because this was not national or regional championship and no fighter gets into semi finals out of the blue or without name recognition (no matter what other sources say) of a defending champion, for example. Whoever Rocky's opponent was, his name was not recorded or there is no full record of this event from 60 years ago. Rocky claimed he won 4 fights in a row, he was talking about Lowell area, that would mean both New England and Rhode Island tournaments. Therefore this must be it, Rocky's record is either 9-4 or 10-4 if Joe Sidlaskis ever fought RM.. All fights ocurred on Mondays; Feb 18 was Wednesday.
-Rocky wins Mas/RI Golden Gloves Championship
New England Tournament of Champions - Heavyweights, February:
9. Feb 16 or 18 - Ralph Piscopo Lowell DSQ (w/0) Piscopo did not show up for unknown reasons, Piscopo was disqualified and lost W - DQ Rocky won by default, advanced to the next round, so many articles, books on Rocky overlook, dont count this fight! 10. Feb 18 - George McInnis* Lowell, Ma TKO 1
- McGinnis name is incorrect as some sources state
-Marciano wins the Golden Gloves Heavyweight Championship of New England
All Eastern Coast Golden Gloves Championship, New York, March:
11. March 1 - Coley Wallace Brooklyn, NY L 3/3 Controversial SD loss on points, should have been a draw. Rocky won 2 rounds. After 'beating' Rocky, Coley improved to 4-1. Not 18-0 as many sources give. It seems Coley started his amateur career in July of 1947. Contrary to popular belief, Wallace was not undefeated when he faced Rocky. This was a controversial decision. The decision was a joke, draw would have been fair decision! I doubt Marciano was clear winner too; fans booed for 15 minutes and threw bottle corks, beer cans & debris into the ring. Coley Wallace was Ray Robinson's protege who was heralded as the new Joe Louis. After Rocky, Wallace lost to Bob Baker and another time to Norvel Lee. My research indicates that Wallace also fought a 5 rounds amateur bout against Paul Simpson in 1947. In a rematch 6 months later, Wallace won, giving Baker his only amateur loss.
Before facing Wallace, Rocky drew a bye in the semi-final bout, it seems
another opponent did not show up. Wallace also defeated Clarence Henry. Wallace is mostly remembered today for his starring role in the Joe Louis Story, a biographical movie.
Next came Rocky's Olympic tryouts but some sources say this was AAU New England's
Championship event only. That may be true but it's possible this was the official step towards the Olympic tryouts, direct qualification for the qualification. The full sub-regional Olympic Trials took place on June 7th.
AAU Heavyweight Championship/Olympic tryouts in Boston, March 22:
12. Sal (Salvatore) Fichera KO 3 (Fred Fischera as most sources say is incorrect) 13. George McInnis W 3/3 PTS
-Rocky wins AAU Heavyweight Championship, qualifies for 1948 Olympic elimination tourney in the heavyweight category.
When Rocky knocked out Fichera, he damaged his already broken knuckle.
But he insisted on fighting. Allie Colombo, his companion & trainer, left bandages on between fights. Fighting right handed only, Rocky hammered McInnis down twice in the third round and took home the AUU Heavyweight Title. His hopes of going on to the Olympics were shattered. His knuckle on the thumb was out of place and the thumb itself was broken. By the time it healed, Rocky moved on to professional boxing on July 12th 1948. It's safe to assume Rocky would have been the favorite in the Olympics. But, amateur's loss, was professional boxing's gain. I bet many of you did not know this or did not look at the following this way: Even though Rocky's Pro record could have been much more than 49, we should remember he won two straight bouts (for AAU as a heavyweight), before going pro, thus the unbroken streak of victories is at least 51-0. Rocky's only SD victory was against LaStarza in 1950. If it was not for the low punch that took a point away for that round, it would have been a Majority Decision victory, at least. There there was Mexico's flyweight Ricardo Lopez who retired at 51-0-1, but he did not win 51 straight. He won 47 straight fights. The Polish Light Heavyweight maestro, Tiger - Dariusz Michalczewski won 48 straight before losing 49th. Michalczewski lost to Julio Cesar Gonzalez by split decision & to some that fight seemed like a draw. A year later Michalczewski was knocked out by French maestro Fabricio, who comes from the boxing Tiozzo family. Tiozzo retired after beating Henry Saenz with respectable 48-2 record. When Tiozzo and Michalczewski met, they both had 49 professional fights on their records. Larry Holmes was 48-0 before losing to Spinks. Strange, it's as if God was watching over Rocky's record, not allowing anybody to get to 50-0 if he truly does not deserve it. There were other boxers who had a perfect record of 25 or more wins in different divisions but those fights were not considered significant or they were fought before 1920's when newspaper writers decided who won, there were no judges, so biases were definitely a contributing factor in decisions. Results, records keeping was not accurate nor was it kept for many fights or fighters. Poor fighters had to fight many rounds, usually a no contest was declared if there was no knock out. Many times cops came in and broke up a fight, arresting anybody they could get their hands on. A classic example was Joe Chojnski (original Polish name vs Choynski/y) - Jack Johnson fight, boxing was still illegal in many parts of USA in the early 1900's. Here's the scoop: It was February 25th 1901 in Harmony Hall, Gavleston, Texas. Jack lost to Joe by KO in round 3 of 20. At the beginning of round 3, Johnson fell forward into the arms of Chojnski and then sank gradually to the floor. Johnson managed to roll onto his back but was unable to rise before the referee's count had reached 10. Referee Bernau said after the fight that it was a feint with the left followed by a right strike on the jaw that did the damage. After he went to his corner, Chojnski was put under arrest by a Texas Ranger and escorted to his dressing room on the floor below. Chojnski was a legend, also forgotten today. Chojnski and Johnson were both jailed after this fight and were not released until they both posted a $1000 bond on March 22. Talk about freedom, truth, justice, pursuit of happiness... But this injustice had some good in it. Both Johnson and Chojnski were locked up in the same cell, they had nothing better to do, so they trained, Chojnski taught Johnson many fundamental skills he was lacking. Johnson was forever grateful. If it was not for Chojnski, Johnson might not have been champion, it was after Chojnski fight that Johnson developed skills and confidence. Chojnski is one of the forgotten heroes of boxing's past. He fought draws with great Jim Jeffries who outweighed him by some 50 pounds, he drew Bob Fitzsimmons. He weighed 170 pounds. He later trained Jeffries in his comeback fight against Johnson. In retirement, Choynski toured with another forgotten great Pete Jackon in a production of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin.' Chojnski was also a consultant on the production of the Jim Corbett biopoc: 'Gentleman Jim!'
Somebody sent me the following alternate take on Rocky's amateur career:
In February 1948, Marciano entered the Massachusetts-Rhode Island Golden Gloves
Championships in Lowell, Massachusetts. He scored a first round TKO over Dan Solomont, Solomont decisioned Bob Girard who beat Rocky in 1947 in the preliminaries. Chuck Mortimer was awaiting Marciano in the finals and the newspapers were predicting an exciting slugfest. All these fighters weighted at least 200lbs. Chuck scored a spectacular first-round knockout of his own in the semifinals. Marciano had some difficulty adapting to Mortimer's southpaw style (here we see that Rocky fought left handed boxers well); according to the Lowell Sun, Rocky came to life with startling suddenness in 1:20 of the third, stepping inside Mortimer's guard while coming off the ropes to deliver a roof-raising right uppercut that put Mortimer face down until the seconds hustled in to roll him over. A little over a week later, Marciano fought in the New England Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions. His opponent in the finals, George McInnis, was pressing Marciano and managed to completely avoid Rocky's inside right uppercuts, his best weapon that floored Solomont and Mortimer. Rocky won the fight on a hook thrown at close quarters; referee examined the resulting cut and sent McInnis back to the dressing room in 2:10 of the final bout of the evening. In March, Rocky went to New York as the New England representative in the Eastern Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions. His first fight was against Coley Wallace. After a sensational seesaw battle, Wallace got a split decision that did not sit well with the crowd. In three weeks time, Marciano entered the New England AAU Championships. He got a bye into the semifinal round and knocked out Salvatore Fichera, the runner-up in the 1947 New England Golden Gloves (light heavyweight class). Unfortunately, Rocky broke his thumb in this fight. Undeterred, he went on to capture the title by beating old friend George McInnis in a super human slugging match. Lowell Sun: "Marciano belted McInnis to the canvas near the end of the second round for a count of nine, and had the Belmont gamester on the floor twice in the third round to win decisively."
Rocky broke a knuckle on his right hand, his hand was put in a cast up to
his shoulder. At the time Rock was working for a gas company and when he went to work the next day his boss said what was that ? Rocky said it will 'only' be a month and he replied he can not use him like that. It did cost him some money to fix the thumb, he could not have fought for the Olympics try outs. He once recalled: "Here I get all the writeups in the papers but I was without a job, so I thought I might as well earn some money fighting, I will turn pro and make a lot of dough and be the best there is." Funny thing happened, after Rocky became champ, his old boss came around and asked him if he could get him tickets to see him fight. He said he will give him ringside tickets because he did him the biggest favor of his life by firing him, how ironic and distasteful... By the time RM's hand healed, Rocky was through with amateur boxing. His style of fighting changed in 1949 but his powerful punch aka 'Susie Q' never changed, except adjusted. It also helped him win his street fights when he was younger. The Susie Q was a popular dance in the 1930's and 1940's as was the Jitterbug style, a lively dance for couples, usually accompanied by swing music. Susie Q had lot of arm and hand motion, may be that's why Rocky called his punch the 'Susie Q', after all he met his wife at a dance. When he became champ, he privately sang and danced to the lyrics/tune of: 'Hey Susie Q, baby I'll keep you, & many envy & fear you!' And why not ?
OTHER GREATS & UNDEFEATED CHAMPIONS: ----------------------------------------------
ROCKY IS CERTAINLY NOT THE ONLY UNDEFEATED FIGHTER OR CHAMPION IN HISTORY OF PUGILISM.
THE ONLY OTHER UNDEFEATED CHAMPION (WITH ONE DRAW) IN MODERN HISTORY IS A 110 lbs FLY CLASS, Mexican maestro RICARDO LOPEZ 51-0-1. His only draw was with Mexican Rosendo Alvarez on March 7th 1998, that was a fair draw. It was Lopez's 48th fight. Lopez was down at least twice and Alvarez was cruising on his way to victory. Lopez sustained a terrible cut in the 7th round and was bleeding profusely, he would not last much longer and a draw was a good call. In the upcoming rematch with Alvarez, Lopez won by a split decision. Current champ, 'New Marciano' Ruslan 'White Tyson' Chagaev has one draw against Callaway (43-3) at the time of fight) but he can only blame himself for it. He could have been disqualified. In this case technical draw was necessary because Chagaev headbutted the and bloodied his opponent, it seems after three rounds both fighters were equal on score cards. Rocky never had a split decision in a title bout, the only one he ever had was with veteran La Starza, a ten round fight in March 1950. HERE IS WHERE MY NORMAL HEADBAND IS NECESSARY, (SAME AS THEY WEAR IN NBA) SO MANY GOOD FIGHTS WERE, ARE, WILL BE LOST BECAUSE OF HEADBUTT CUTS! Except for Rocky, there were at least 8 other undefeated fighters throughout boxing history. The following are undefeated fighters in different weight categories:
1. Hungary's legend - Laszlo Papp 28-0-2 (1957-1964) (Middleweight, European Champ), 2. Britain's Terry Marsh 26-0-1 (Light welterweight champ), 3. Korea's Ji Won Kim 16-0-2 (super bantamweight champ), 4. Sven Ottke 34-0-0 (retired in 2004 but only had 6 KO's - Super Middleweight) 5. Dan Donnely - Irish champ who died at age of 32 in 1820, also undefeated, but his exact record is uncertain. 6. Jack McAuliffe 34-0-5 (1884-1897) Lightweight Champ. Jack started fighting in a period before gloved bouts, his last bout against Tommy Ryan was probably pre-arranged draw. He had a total of 42 fights, 3 of them were no contests or were they? 7. Young Mitchell 41-0-2 (1884-1893), 8. Jimmy Barry 59-0-9, (1891-1899), Lightweight champ. I would like to mention McFarland. He lost at least one fight to Dusty Miller but then he went undefeated for the rest of his career. Packy McFarland did not lose in over 90 bouts. He is considered to be the finest fighter ever to never win a world title, let alone never fought for one. He boxes as a lightweight and welterweight. His last bout was a draw against Mike Gibbons. On 1.23.1933 he was unanimously appointed to the Illinois Athletic Commission.
For the last three fighters, their authentic records is not certain.
Newspapers decided the outcomes and many times those outcomes were not accurate. They were biased, anybody can write a decision for the fighter he likes. It's very unlikely that both Mitchell and Barry were without at least one or two controversial draws. Mitchell never held a world title, McAuliffe, The Napoleon of the prize ring was lightweight champ from 1886 to 1889. It's not certain how he lost the title. If he retired in 1897, he had to give it up. Barry was bantamweight champ from 1897 to 1899. Let's remember that back then there was no such thing as a 15 rounds limit, there were no boxing associations with set rules. Back then you had to fight 40 or more rounds, until somebody dropped dead, collapsed from exhaustion, simply surrendered or had his coach or whatever bum was in his corner throw in the towel. And speaking of bums... The leading 1950's boxer, Clarence Henry, had to retire because his coach picked up a bum off the street to train with Henry (and save some money, that was so cheap) a couple of rounds with Henry when he was prepairing for a fight with Archie Moore. The street bum was hired for peanuts by Henry's smart-ass trainer. The new 'sparring partner's' elbow hit Henry in the eye causing a separation of the cornea, he fought few more times after that but without success. Clarence Henry was the only boxer who beat solid contender Bob Baker twice. We will never know how good Henry really was, he certainly had a broad potential. Between January 1 and February 3 1956, the championship bout between Baker and Rock was a done deal, almost, just about. January 4 might have had unique 11 rounds of championship match due to 28 days between Baker matches. That's one of my other rare stories, little known trivia nobody knows about, but that's another nice informative story for another time.
All Rights Reserved By: LJL LUBEK CIRCA 1.4.2006, updated on 1.3.2008 by MS Saint Wanda Nida;
(The Boxing Historian, 1950's, Classic Boxing, Historiano of Marciano), - The Rocky Statue & Memorial Group Chairrmman & Founder!!!