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Marciano family celebrates Champions Park, Rocky statue

By Erik Potter
Enterprise Staff Writer
Posted Apr 01, 2012 @ 03:57 AM
Last update Apr 01, 2012 @ 09:27 AM

Photo Credit: Marc Vasconcellos
A model of the Rocky Marciano statue that will be erected in September is shown at City Hall. A ground-breaking for the park that will surround the statue will be held Saturday, March, 31, near Marciano Stadium at Brockton High School

BROCKTON - The brother and son of Brockton native and world champion boxer Rocky Marciano joined city officials and residents at a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday afternoon at the future site of Champions Park at Brockton High School.

The late boxer's brother, Peter, and son, Rocky Jr., attended the event.

The park will include a bigger-than-life-size statue of Marciano landing his knock-out punch against Jersey Joe Walcott which will stand on a hexagon-shaped granite platform surrounded by a 32-foot-wide circle of brick pavers, ringed by a wrought iron fence and a brick wall with plaques boasting of The Brockton Blockbuster's accomplishments.

A 27-foot-long walkway, lined by day lilies and flowering trees, will lead to a 10-foot-wide wrought iron arch welcoming visitors into the "Champions Park."

That is the design of semi-retired Brockton landscape architect Bob Keene.

A brass plaque mounted on a large stone to honor Allie Colombo, Marciano's trainer, will also be part of the park.

Read more: http://www.enterprisenews.com/answerbook/brockton/x586836537/Brockton-to-unveil-plans-for-Champions-Park-home-for-Rocky-Marciano-statue#ixzz1tFXgxY6z


Brockton, Massachusetts breaks ground for Rocky Marciano statue

The brother and son of Brockton native and world champion boxer Rocky Marciano joined city officials and residents at a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday afternoon at the future site of Champions Park at Brockton High School.

View more pictures here: http://www.enterprisenews.com/photos/x760613880/Brockton-breaks-ground-for-Rocky-Marciano-statue


Kickin’ It with the Hard Rock

One of the most recognized names in the world the Hard Rock Café of Times Square NY is stepping in the ring to help Knockout Bullying with the only unique and powerful anti-bullying organization ever created the: BULLYING...We're Kickin' It National Campaign, partnering together for an event that will Rock the World!

Click here for more information:  Kickin' It with the Hard Rock


Fashion Sighting: Rocky Marciano D&G t-shirt in Glamour

The perfect pairing: wearing a trendy Dolce and Gabbana Rocky Marciano t-shirt next to teen heartthrob, Justin Bieber.

This picture was taken from September 2010's issue of Glamour on newsstands now. Get your hands on this stylish shirt here.


Rocky Marciano, 49-0: “The Real Rocky” Tribute | Bleacher Report

49-0. Something we may not ever see again in the heavyweight ranks. Giving up 27 pounds a fight, something we will never see in any rank.

Remembering a true champion and good human being.

Rocky Marciano "The Real Rocky"

Click on the link to read the full article: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/390366-49-0-the-real-rocky-rocky-marciano-triubte


Marcianos support anti-bullying campaign

Credit: The Miami Herald

We're Kickin' It, across America, a national campaign to combat bullying, is proud to announce its latest supporter -- The Rocky Marciano Foundation.

"Rocky [a boxing legend] was always considered the underdog,'' Rocky's nephew, Peter Marciano Jr., said in a release. "He was a humble and kind man. Bullying is something he would not tolerate, and he would do anything to help the kids.''

Marciano is the only undefeated heavyweight boxing champion in history, retiring at 49-0 with 43 knockouts. Marciano won the crown by knocking out Jersey Joe Walcott in the 13th round of their Sept. 23, 1952 title bout.

The Marciano family is proud to hold that historic statistic, which is likely never to be surpassed.

The Rocky Marciano Foundation helps at-risk youth and provides scholarships and gym membership fees to children and young adults in the community.

A common issue encountered by youngsters in every community is Bullying. It is an ever growing epidemic, having long lasting detrimental affects on our youth. It is a persistent issue that can not be ignored.

The Rocky Marciano Foundation' wants to step into the ring with Kickin' It to help knock out this problem.

The Marciano family and Kickin' It will collaborate and set forth on an aggressive mission to help eradicate bullying, while encouraging positive behavior among the youth, offering support and comfort to communities across America.

Rocky's nephew, Steven Marciano, said: "We live in a social environment, and the kids aren't the only ones fighting to survive. Their families and those around them are affected. We are all affected. We need to unite and combat this problem together.''

Rocky's son, Rocky Jr., added: "His boxing record makes him a champion. What he stood for makes him a legend. My dad felt very strongly about everyone being treated equally. Our family wants his legacy to reflect that valuable trait. This collaboration will make a positive impact in this world. This is something my dad would be very proud to be a part of.''

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/25/1597118/marcianos-support-anti-bullying.html#ixzz0mDGvYyvy


Rocky Statue to Go Up Near City Hall

The World Boxing Council will pay tribute to boxing legend Rocky Marciano by erecting a statue of the famous athlete in his hometown, Brockton, Massachusetts. A city park, which is undergoing extensive renovations, and is located right next to City Hall, was finally selected as the location after many months of debate.The president of the World Boxing Council is scheduled to visit Brockton in the fall to discuss the statue. The dedication cermeony is expected sometime in early 2009.

Original Article


Everlast’s Heritage apparel collection packs a punch

Everlast Worldwide Inc., manufacturer, marketer and licensor of sporting goods and apparel, recently acquired the name and likeness rights for Joe Louis, Floyd Patterson, Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Marciano and Jack Dempsey. Along with current endorsers Larry Holmes and Sugar Ray Leonard, Everlast unveiled the Heritage Collection at the MAGIC International show in Las Vegas.

The Heritage Collection is an athletic men's fashion line that pays tribute to historic boxing champions. It features print tees, warm-up suits, cornerman button-ups and varsity jackets inspired by the fighters and the eras during which they fought.

This collection is being targeted to urban, alternative, sports enthusiast customers ages 18-35. Prices range from $24 for t-shirts, to $300 for jackets. The line will be available at department and specialty stores by Fall 2004. For more information, visit www.Everlast.com.


Marciano’s career mark unique but flawed?

Origionally posted on ESPN.com on September 21, 2005

By Tim Struby
Special to ESPN.com

Decades before Rocky Balboa fought a fictitious bout at the Philadelphia Spectrum, the authentic, original Rocky endured one of the all-time great battles en route to the world heavyweight title at Philadelphia Municipal Stadium.

The date was Sept. 23, 1952. Heading into the late rounds, 29-year-old contender Rocky Marciano already had been knocked down for the first time in his career. His quest for a 43rd career victory without a loss appeared in jeopardy. But when Marciano dropped champion Jersey Joe Walcott "like flour out of a chute" in the 13th round, the new heavyweight king forever cemented his legend in the annals of boxing lore.

Even today, graying boxing fans speak of Marciano with an almost religious reverence, always noting first and foremost the "equalizer" that was the heavyweight's right hand.

Marciano was small for a "big fellow," standing a mere 5-foot-10 and weighing 185 pounds. He moved with the grace of a man trudging through a bog. But the Brockton, Mass., native's right could, by all accounts, take down a Loxodonta Africana. Well, perhaps not an elephant, but certainly an opposing pugilist.

"He was brutally strong," says sportswriter John Schulian, who grew up following Marciano. "When you got hit you stayed hit."

Yet it is the talk of "The Streak" that Marciano's devotees savor, his unbeaten run that began in March of 1947 with a third-round knockout of Lee Epperson.

That KO became Marciano's calling card, which he delivered personally to 43 victims. That swath of destruction included Walcott (twice), Ezzard Charles, Joe Louis and finally, on Sept. 21, 1955, in the ninth round of the seventh defense of Marciano's world title, Archie Moore.

Then, with an unblemished 49-0 record, Rocky Marciano hung up his leathers for good -- retiring as the only undefeated heavyweight champion in history. This year marks the 50th anniversary of that achievement.

It is one of sport's most hallowed accomplishments. Yet some historians have opted to resist the Marciano bandwagon.

As one famed trainer reportedly said, "Show me a fighter who's undefeated and I'll show you a fighter who hasn't fought anybody."

The critics' primary grievance has always been the age of Marciano's aforementioned marquee opponents (all of them were easily old enough to run for president).

Yet age does not always bespeak talent.

"Sure Charles wasn't the fighter he once was and Louis was shot," said boxing historian and former ESPN analyst Max Kellerman. "But for their first fight, Walcott was in his prime and Moore was a legitimate contender into his 40s."

Some detractors claim Marciano benefited from favoritism. Some allege that slick, undefeated heavyweight Roland LaStarza was robbed in his first bout with Marciano.

There is some validity to the accusation that Marciano might have found himself the beneficiary of a bit of luck, but luck is an inherent part of any monumental streak.

Even Joe DiMaggio benefited from luck during his 56-game hitting streak when -- on two occasions -- borderline errors were ruled hits.

Others, such as Don King matchmaker Eric Bottjer, question the validity of Marciano's unbeaten record.

"The streak is bogus," he said. "It's not unique. Gene Tunney had a longer unbeaten streak [52 fights], and Marciano wasn't the only champion to retire undefeated; just look at flyweight Ricardo Lopez [ret. 2001]."

Although both claims are true, both Tunney and Lopez incurred a "blemish" -- a draw -- during their respective streaks.

But even Marciano's most stringent naysayers acknowledge the streak is significant on many fronts.

The first, and perhaps most obvious, is the mode in which he disposed of his foes, as if he took it personally that they were trying to blemish his record.

His 88 percent career knockout rate surpasses that of Mike Tyson (78 percent), Sonny Liston (78 percent) and far exceeds that of Muhammad Ali (66 percent).

Secondly, even critics acknowledge that 49 consecutive victories speaks of Marciano's indefatigable work ethic. Marciano's monastic training regimen was no secret; the man so easy with a smile out of the ring conditioned himself with a seriousness like no other heavyweight in history.

Long runs and healthy living were a part of daily life. Marciano ignored the distractions of money and fame.

But the single-most impressive aspect of the streak was not a result of Marciano's action, but his restraint. Unlike so many other fighters in history, he resisted temptation to step back in the ring.

Considering the toll fighting takes on the body, retirement would seem like the most appealing option. It is not.

For one, there are obvious fiscal considerations. Few fighters have ever donned gloves to climb out of the suburbs, including Marciano, whose devotion to the dollar bespoke of his impoverished childhood in the shadow of the Brockton shoe factories.

"It's so hard to retire undefeated," says HBO analyst Larry Merchant. "You used to work so hard for peanuts and now you're getting your due. When you're at the top, a marquee name, you think one or two more fights couldn't hurt."

It often does, however. Merely look at Tyson, Larry Holmes and particularly Ali.

But there is more to it than a bottom line. Fighting is, simply, what fighters do best. For some, it's all they know. It's who they are.

Champions are master craftsmen, using their hands in lieu of a brush or a pen. Imagine if Picasso put away his oils at the height of his fame? Or that Hemmingway never wrote another book after "The Sun Also Rises"?

Stepping out of the ring undefeated might just be the hardest decision a fighter makes in his life.

"There's the old saying that every athlete dies twice," said Schulian. "Once, when he takes his last breath and the other when he hangs it up."

Why then, did Marciano retire when he did?

Experts have cited a number of reasons.

His lumbering style -- preventing longevity -- might have been a factor. There was also a dearth of quality opposition.

And there was Marciano's bitterness after discovering manager Al Weill had his hands in the proverbial cookie jar.

Yet the reasons might run deeper.

Though far from a man of letters -- as a teenager, Marciano opted to spend his days at James Edgar Playground rather than his high school -- a lack of education never squelched his powerful sense of pride.

"He wasn't aware of the importance of the legacy," says biographer Everett Skehan, whose book on Marciano, "Undefeated: Rocky Marciano -- The Fighter Who Refused To Lose" is being released this fall.

"But he knew he wouldn't end his career with a loss."

Marciano's career perfection remains one of the monumental individual streaks in sports history.

But on this, the 50th anniversary of his retirement, where does this streak stand in comparison to others?

The answer is not easy, as there's no computer program or mathematical formula for such a question. Polling sports fans on the significance of streaks is similar to polling a roomful of economists about the country's current standing. It's a safe bet they'll all somehow provide different, yet equally persuasive answers.

Record books hold notable individual sports streaks as varied as a Ben and Jerry's sampler.

Were Marciano's fights more exhausting than Lance Armstrong's seven Tour de France victories?

Did winning 49 bouts without a loss require more concentration than Tiger Woods' 142 straight tournaments without missing the cut?

Did Marciano exercise as much patience as Orel Hershiser did in recording 59 consecutive scoreless innings? Was it a greater show of endurance than Brett Favre's 227 consecutive starts (regular and postseason as of Sept. 21) at quarterback? Did Marciano exhibit any more talent than DiMaggio did during his 56-game hitting streak?

The answer to all of the questions is yes, no and maybe.

Streaks are subjective in nature, valued in varying degrees by those who hold them in esteem. One man's miracle is another man's matter-of-fact accomplishment.

Until sports fans no longer look upon Marciano's streak as one of the all-time greatest, it will remain one of the all-time greatest. When the Brockton native died in a 1969 plane crash, he wasn't considered the best heavyweight in history. That has not changed.

Boxing cognoscenti have never held Marciano in the iconic class of Johnson, Dempsey and Ali.

But retiring undefeated, as no other heavyweight fighter had before or has since, has elevated a simple man from Brockton to a status all his own.

"His streak doesn't make him a greater fighter," said Merchant, "but a larger figure."

And as the modern fight game changes, with boxers finding themselves with fewer and fewer opportunities to prove themselves in the ring, Marciano's 49-0 streak might remain in the record books as long as it will in the memories of the fans who adore him.

Tim Struby covers boxing for ESPN The Magazine.


Buying a slice of time

One dark day in 1919, a historic curse was initiated. A curse that some say inhibited the Boston Red Sox from winning the World Series for 85 years. Hard-hitting baseball great Babe Ruth was sold to the New York Yankees from Red Sox owner Harry Frazee to Colonel Jacob Ruppert of the New York Yankees, prompting the legendary "Curse of the Bambino" to begin. On June 10th, 2005 the sensational and historic contract sold at Sotheby's auction house in New York City for $996,000.

Ruth's contract was sold to Peter Siegel, the owner of New York City memorabilia store Gotta Have It! Collectables, through an auction by Sports Cards Plus (SCP) and Sotheby's. Siegel, a passionate baseball fan, said that he would have paid more for it and he?ll probably never sell it. He described the document as "a historical jewel, a diamond" and received a standing ovation when he won the contract with a bid of $996,000.

Interestingly, Seigel was also the top bidder for the dress Marilyn Monroe wore when she sang happy birthday to John F. Kennedy. That entertainment "diamond" set Seigel back $875,000.

The Ruth contract truly is a historic sports "diamond". The Bambino's five-page contract required $125,000 and a $350,000 loan to finance Frazee's Broadway production interests in exchange for blossoming superstar Ruth; oh, if only the Red Sox had known what they were giving up! In what became known as the "Curse of the Bambino", the New York Yankees would go on to win 39 American League Pennants and 26 World Series Titles. The Red Sox, on the other hand, did not win another World Series until 2004.

The astronomical price paid for the historical memento is only second in price to Mark McGuire's 70th homerun ball, triumphantly rocketed by McGuire back in 1998. That sold in a 1999 sale for $3 million.

Items that once belonged to Yankee legend Lou Gehrig fetched sizeable amounts at the auction as well. A bat he once used snatched up $156,000, making it the most ever paid of one of Gehrig?s items.

A rare Honus Wagner baseball card, a T206 PSA 1 FR-FD dating back to 1910, brought in a whopping $132,000 and the inaugural baseball thrown at the 1912 opening of Boston's historic Fenway Park sold for the same amount. The ball was sold through the estate of former umpire Tom Connolly and was reportedly thrown out by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

Pitching idol Lefty Grove was also well received at the sale. His signed "299th" pitch win ball from 1941 fetched $6,000. The medium toned ball also carries the date "July 4, 1941" as well as the box score on the west panel. Grove was only the twelfth pitcher to win 300 games, thus adding much significance to the ball. A game used bat signed by Grove and fellow Red Sox player Jimmie Foxx was also sold. It brought in $8000.

Tennis phenom Arthur Ashe's pair of Haggar 24-carat gold trophy tennis balls garnered $144,000. Ashe acquired the trophy when he beat Jimmy Connors at Wimbledon in 1975, becoming the only African-American to win the men's singles title at the prestigious English tournament. The unique prize weighed an unheard of 25 pounds and was sold to Ashe fan John Ramblin.

Finally, some interesting items that once belonged to boxing great Rocky Marciano were auctioned off at Sotheby's last week. His black satin Everlast robe yielded $48,000. The garment bears his embroidered name on the back and was worn by Marciano on September 3, 1952 when he beat Jersey Joe Walcott to become the Heavyweight Champion of the World. Marciano's report card from 1941 was also sold, bringing in $3,600.

Overall, the Sports Cards Plus/Sotheby's auction brought in an unfathomable $5,527,200 USD. Given the legendary names, historical value and money generated, this auction was truly in a league of its own!

For more information, please visit www.SportsCardsPlus.com.