History | Sep 21 2019

On This Day: Rocky Marciano improves to 49-0 after beating Archie Moore

Nathan Fogg tells the story of an extraordinary heavyweight matchup, as two greats – Rocky Marciano and Archie Moore – met in the ring on this day in 1955
Rocky Marciano

THE final, and one of the most noteworthy names, on Rocky Marciano’s perfect 49-0 record; light-heavyweight legend Archie Moore could do little to prevent the fate that had held those who came before him. In his last bow Marciano won in typically emphatic fashion, trading knockdowns en-route to his 43rd victory by way of stoppage. Despite already having amassed over 100 knockout wins himself coming into the fight, the 38-year-old Moore had only moments of success against the heavyweight champ.

The fight got off to an inauspiciously slow start, Moore using all the experience of his 20-year career by looking to keep Marciano at bay with his seven-inch reach advantage and aiming to tie him up on the inside whenever the distance was cut. Marciano is mostly remembered for his brutish strength, but showcased his somewhat underrated boxing skills through a masterful manipulation of the ring, bobbing and weaving underneath Moore’s jab and then stepping inside at will.

In round two Moore shocked the 61,574 spectators at New York’s Yankee stadium by landing a sharp counter right after evading a lunging hook which sent the champion down to the canvas. The 4-1 favourite was up by the count of two, having seemingly recovered strongly. Although Moore failed to capitalise on the flash knockdown, often missing with wild shots, he continued to have success in the round, drawing blood from champion’s nose.


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