Rocky Marciano was a heavyweight champion who fought in World War II. Born Rocco Francis Marchegiano in Brockton, Massachusetts, on September 1, 1923, He started a professional boxing career in 1947. In the next 8 years, he had 49 fights. Rocky Marciano held the world heavyweight title from 1952 to 1956.
He retired after 49 fights and 49 wins becoming the only heavyweight champion to have finished his career undefeated. He won his first heavyweight championship by defeating Jersey Joe Walcott on September 23, 1952. In the next 4 years, he defended his title six times against Jersey Joe Walcott (from whom he had taken the title), Roland La Starza, Ezzard Charles (twice), Don Cockell, and Archie Moore.
Rocky Marciano has been included by boxing historians in lists of the greatest boxers of all time and is currently ranked by BoxRec as the fourth greatest heavyweight boxer in history. His knockout-to-win percentage of 87.76% remains one of the highest in heavyweight boxing history.
Rocky Marciano was a champion in civilian life and in the Army, receiving high honors for his achievements in both areas. Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943, Marciano was assigned to the 150th Combat Engineers. He was stationed in Wales where he was involved in operations on the English Channel. The 150th was awarded service stars for Normandy, North France, Rheinland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe.
Rocky Marciano was tasked with helping ferry supplies across the English Channel to Normandy. After the war ended, he completed his service in March 1946 at Fort Lewis, Washington. That was enough with his later success to grant him place at the most famous veterans list.
It was in the Army that Marciano first boxed, starting with unofficial bouts, and working up to junior amateur by the time of his discharge in 1947. After failing a tryout for the catcher with the Chicago Cubs, baseball team, Rocky Marciano returned to boxing. His record was 49 wins, no losses.