FOUR years ago, a free-swinging guy named Rocky Graziano warmed the hearts of hard-bitten American fight fans as he slugged his way from New York’s East Side to the championship of the world. Although he is still active today, ex-champ Graziano’s exploits are somewhat overwhelmed by those of another guy named Rocky. Biggest name in the fight game today’s Rocky Marciano, undefeated heavyweight from Brockton, Massachusetts, who recently wrote finis to the comeback of ex-champion Joe Louis.
Right now Rocky is sitting pretty, for, when Joe Walcott gets around to defending his heavyweight title, he’ll find a readymade challenger on his doorstep. With the full backing of the International Boxing Club, Marciano looks a safe bet to slug his way right into the championship.
Rocky’s story has its beginning in Brockton, Mass., where he was born on September 1, 1923, the son of a shoemaker who was invalided out of World War I. His square name is Rocco Francis Marchegiano. Eldest of six children, three of whom are girls, Rocky often got into fights while protecting his younger brethren.