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Sports Hall of Fame

Rocky Marciano

Rocky Marciano’s 49-0-0 record with 43 knockouts is still the gold standard of excellence in the pugilist art. Marciano defended his world heavyweight championship six times before retiring and earned victories over all-time greats like Jersey Joe Walcott (twice), Ezzard Charles (twice), Archie Moore and Joe Louis. What is most impressive about Marciano’s dominance was that he was not even 200 pounds fighting at heavyweight. He fought in a time with fewer weight classes but punched so hard that even those huge guys could not contend. Marciano was said to punch an opponent’s arms so hard that he would the blood vessels so they could not hold their arms up to defend themselves any longer, and then would land the hard finishing punch to the jaw. One punch to win the title against Walcott became one of the most famous images in sports history; Marciano landed with such force that Walcott’s face literally turned and stuck before going back into place a few seconds later.

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