Rocky Graziano

Last updated
Rocky Graziano
Rocky Graziano.jpg
Statistics
Real name Thomas Rocco Barbella
Nickname(s) The Rock / Rocky / Rockaby
Weight(s) Welterweight
Middleweight
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Reach68 12 in (174 cm)
Nationality American
Born(1919-01-01)January 1, 1919
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died May 22, 1990(1990-05-22) (aged 71)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Wins 67
Wins by KO 52
Losses 10
Draws 6
No contests 0

Thomas Rocco Barbella (January 1, 1919 [1] – May 22, 1990), better known as Rocky Graziano, was an American professional boxer who held the World Middleweight title. [2] Graziano is considered one of the greatest knockout artists in boxing history, often displaying the capacity to take his opponent out with a single punch. He was ranked 23rd on The Ring magazine list of the greatest punchers of all time. He fought many of the best middleweights of the era including Sugar Ray Robinson. His turbulent and violent life story was the basis of the 1956 Oscar-winning drama film, Somebody Up There Likes Me , based on his 1955 autobiography of the same title.

<i>The Ring</i> (magazine) magazine

The Ring is an American boxing magazine that was first published in 1922 as a boxing and wrestling magazine. As the sporting legitimacy of professional wrestling came more into question, The Ring shifted to becoming exclusively a boxing oriented publication. The magazine is currently owned by Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Enterprises, which acquired it in 2007. Ring publishes boxers annual ratings since 1924.

Sugar Ray Robinson American boxer

Sugar Ray Robinson was an American professional boxer who competed from 1940 to 1965. Robinson's performances in the welterweight and middleweight divisions prompted sportswriters to create "pound for pound" rankings, where they compared fighters regardless of weight. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. He is widely regarded as the greatest boxer of all time, and in 2002, Robinson was ranked number one on The Ring magazine's list of "80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years".

Academy Awards American awards given annually for excellence in cinematic achievements

The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, are a set of awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry, given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), to recognize excellence in cinematic achievements as assessed by the Academy's voting membership. The various category winners are awarded a copy of a golden statuette, officially called the "Academy Award of Merit", although more commonly referred to by its nickname "Oscar". The award was originally sculpted by George Stanley from a design sketch by Cedric Gibbons. AMPAS first presented it in 1929 at a private dinner hosted by Douglas Fairbanks in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Contents

Early life

Graziano was the son of Ida Scinto and Nicola Barbella. Barbella, nicknamed Fighting Nick Bob, was a boxer with a brief fighting record. Born in Brooklyn, Graziano later moved to an Italian enclave centered on East 10th Street, between First Avenue and Avenue A in Manhattan's East Village. He grew up as a street fighter and learned to look after himself before he could read or write. He spent years in reform school, jail, and Catholic protectories. [3] Barbella, who got occasional work as a longshoreman, kept boxing gloves around the house and encouraged Graziano and his brothers to fight one another. When he was three years old, Barbella would make him and his brother, Joe (three years his senior), fight almost every night in boxing gloves. At age 18 he won the Metropolitan A.A.U. welterweight championship. Despite the fame and money that professional fighting seemed to offer, he didn't want to become a serious prize fighter. He didn't like the discipline of training any more than he liked the discipline of school or the Army. [4]

Brooklyn Borough in New York City and county in New York state, United States

Brooklyn is the most populous borough of New York City, with an estimated 2,648,771 residents in 2017. Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, it borders the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Brooklyn has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan across the East River, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connects Staten Island. Since 1896, Brooklyn has been coterminous with Kings County, the most populous county in the U.S. state of New York and the second-most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County.

Amateur career

Graziano heard from a couple of his friends about a tournament going on with a gold medal for the winner. He entered under the name of Joe Giuliani and was trained by Tobias (Toby) Zaccaria of Kings County (Brooklyn), NY. He fought four matches and ended up winning the New York Metropolitan Amateur Athletic Union Boxing Competition (1939). He sold the gold medal for $15 and decided that boxing was a good way to make cash. [5]

A couple of weeks into amateur fighting, Graziano was picked up for stealing from a school. He went to Coxsackie Correctional Facility, where he spent three weeks, with boyhood friend Jake LaMotta, and then he went on to the New York City Reformatory where he spent five months. After he got out of the reformatory, he headed back to the gym to earn money and while there, met Eddie Cocco who started his professional career. He entered the ring under the name Robert Barber. A couple of weeks later, Graziano was charged with a probation violation and sent back to reform school where he was charged with starting a minor [ clarification needed ] riot. He was then sent to Rikers Island. [ citation needed ]

Coxsackie Correctional Facility is a maximum security state prison in Coxsackie, Greene County, New York. It currently houses approximately 900 inmates. It is classified as a maximum security general confinement facility and detention center for men.

Jake LaMotta American boxer

Giacobbe "Jake" LaMotta was an American professional boxer, former world middleweight champion, and stand-up comedian. Nicknamed "The Bronx Bull" or "Raging Bull", LaMotta was a rough fighter who was not a particularly big puncher, but he would subject his opponents to vicious beatings in the ring. With use of constant stalking, brawling and inside fighting, he developed the reputation for being a 'bully'; he was what is often referred to today as a swarmer and a slugger.

When Graziano got out of jail he enlisted in the military but went AWOL after punching a captain. He escaped from Fort Dix in New Jersey and started his real boxing career under the name of "Rocky Graziano". He won his first couple of bouts. After gaining popularity under the name of Graziano, he was found by the military. After his fourth bout, he was called into manager's office to speak with a couple of military personnel. Expecting to be prosecuted and sent back to the military or jail, he fled. He returned to the military a week later. He turned himself in, but he was pardoned and given the opportunity to fight under the army's aegis. [5]

Fort Dix census-designated place in New Jersey, United States

Fort Dix, the common name for the Army Support Activity located at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, is a United States Army post. It is located approximately 16.1 miles (25.9 km) south-southeast of Trenton, New Jersey. Fort Dix is under the jurisdiction of the Air Force Air Mobility Command As of the 2010 United States Census, Fort Dix census-designated place (CDP) had a total population of 7,716, of which 5,951 were in New Hanover Township, 1,765 were in Pemberton Township and none were in Springfield Township.

Professional career

As he grew older and seeing no other way to raise his standard of living, Graziano signed a few boxing contracts, but the rigors of training disinterested him. He and his early managers went their separate ways but eventually, he was picked up by Irving Cohen who had the sense to give him a long leash. Cohen changed the young fighter's name from Barbella to Graziano (his grandfather's surname) and lined up a fight. Refusing to train much, Graziano nevertheless showed his killer instinct and won by a knockout. Other fights were lined up with Cohen trying, in his subtle way, to overmatch Graziano, get him defeated, and thereby show him the value of getting into condition. He even demanded a match against Sugar Ray Robinson. [6]

In March 1945, at Madison Square Garden, Graziano scored a major upset over Billy Arnold, whose style was similar to that of Sugar Ray Robinson; he was a slick boxer with lightning-fast combinations and a knockout punch. The Ring magazine and various newspapers across the United States touted Arnold as the next Joe Louis or Sugar Ray Robinson. Arnold was a heavy favorite to defeat Graziano and then to go on to fight for the world title, but Graziano absorbed a beating in the early going, before going on to batter and knock Arnold out in the third round of the scheduled eight-round bout. [7] Following his defeat to Graziano, Arnold was never the same.[ citation needed ]

Graziano fought three middleweight title bouts against Tony Zale. In their first match (September 27, 1946), after flooring Graziano in the first round, Zale took a savage beating from him, and was on the verge of losing the fight by TKO. However, he rallied and knocked him out in the sixth round to retain his title. The rematch, a year later in Chicago (July 16, 1947), was a mirror image of their first fight. The referee almost stopped the second fight in the third round because of a severe cut over Graziano's left eye, which would have awarded the victory to Zale, but Graziano's cutman, Morris ("Whitey") Bimstein, was able to stop the bleeding to let the fight continue. Graziano was battered around the ring, suffered a closed eye and appeared ready to lose by a knockout, then rallied and knocked Zale out in the sixth round, becoming world middleweight champion. [5] Their last fight was held in New Jersey the following year (June 10, 1948). Zale regained his crown, winning the match by a knockout in the third round. The knockout blows consisted of a perfect combination of a right to Graziano's body, then a left hook to his jaw. He was knocked unconscious. His last attempt at the middleweight title came in April 1952, when he fought Sugar Ray Robinson. He dropped him to his knee with a right in the third round. Less than a minute later, Robinson knocked him out for the count with a right to the jaw. He retired after losing his very next fight, a 10-round decision to Chuck Davey. [5]

Career trouble

In 1946, Graziano was suspended by the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) for failure to report a bribe attempt. In 1948, Abe Green, then-National Boxing Association's President, announced that they were indefinitely suspending him in all parts of the world under NBA supervision, following similar action by the California State Athletic Commission. This was due to his "running out" on a scheduled December 1 bout with Fred Apostoli. The suspension covered all of the American States, Great Britain, the European Boxing Federation, Cuba, Mexico, and Canada. Boxing promoter Ralph Tribuani got him a license to box in Delaware, which led to his reinstatement by both the NBA and NYSAC and Rocky's return to prosperity. [ citation needed ]

Post-boxing career

After his retirement from boxing, Graziano cohosted a short-lived series, The Henny and Rocky Show (1955) with famous comedian Henny Youngman. He was a semi-regular on The Martha Raye Show , as Raye's boyfriend. [8] He appeared as a regular on the United Artists TV series Miami Undercover for its entire run, and appeared in several series and shows, including The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom , Car 54, Where Are You? , and Naked City . He portrayed Packy, an ex-boxer, in the 1967 film Tony Rome . [ citation needed ]

In the 1960s, Graziano opened a pizza restaurant, Rocky Graziano's Pizza Ring, on Second Avenue in Kips Bay, Manhattan, creating a modest franchise for the restaurant in the New York City area. [ citation needed ] He became the celebrity spokesman for Lee Myles Transmissions in the New York City area, appearing on dozens of television commercials from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. [ citation needed ]

Personal life

Graziano married Norma Unger of German-Jewish descent, on August 10, 1943. They remained together until his death from cardiopulmonary failure on May 22, 1990 in New York City at age 71. They had two children. Graziano's funeral was held at St. Patrick's Cathedral. [9] He is interred at the Locust Valley Cemetery.

Accolades

Professional boxing record

67 Wins (52 knockouts), 10 Losses (3 knockouts), 6 draws [10]
Res.RecordOpponentTypeRound
Time
DateLocationNotes
Loss67–10–6 Flag of the United States.svg Chuck Davey UD101952–09–17 Flag of the United States.svg Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Loss67–9–6 Flag of the United States.svg Sugar Ray Robinson KO3 (15)
1:53
1952–04–16 Flag of the United States.svg Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois For World Middleweight title.
Win67–8–6 Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg Roy WoutersTKO1 (10)
2:45
1952–03–27 Flag of the United States.svg Minneapolis Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Win66–8–6 Flag of the United States.svg Eddie O'NeillTKO4 (10)
2:21
1952–02–18 Flag of the United States.svg Jefferson County Armory, Louisville, Kentucky
Win65–8–6 Flag of the United States.svg Tony Janiro TKO10
2:45
1951–09–19 Flag of the United States.svg Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
Win64–8–6 Flag of the United States.svg Chuck HunterDQ2 (10)1951–08–06 Flag of the United States.svg Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, Missouri
Win63–8–6 Flag of the United States.svg Cecil HudsonTKO3 (10)1951–07–10 Flag of the United States.svg Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, Missouri
Win62–8–6 Flag of the United States.svg Freddie LottKO5 (10)
2:17
1951–06–18 Flag of the United States.svg Baltimore Coliseum, Baltimore, Maryland
Win61–8–6 Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg Johnny GrecoKO3 (10)
1:56
1951–05–21 Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg Montreal Forum, Montreal, Quebec
Win60–8–6 Flag of the United States.svg Reuben JonesKO3 (10)
1:18
1951–03–19 Flag of the United States.svg Miami Stadium, Miami, Florida
Win59–8–6 Flag of the United States.svg Honeychile JohnsonKO4 (10)
0:48
1950–11–27 Flag of the United States.svg Philadelphia Convention Hall,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win58–8–6 Flag of the United States.svg Tony Janiro UD101950–10–27 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win57–8–6 Flag of the United States.svg Pete Mead KO3 (10)
2:25
1950–10–16 Flag of the United States.svg Milwaukee Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Win56–8–6 Flag of the United States.svg Gene BurtonKO7 (10)
2:10
1950–10–04 Flag of the United States.svg Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Win55–8–6 Flag of the United States.svg Henry Brimm KO4 (10)
2:14
1950–05–16 Flag of the United States.svg Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, New York
Win54–8–6 Flag of the United States.svg Vinnie CidoneTKO3 (10)1950–05–09 Flag of the United States.svg Milwaukee Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Win53–8–6 Flag of the United States.svg Danny WilliamsKO3 (10)
1:03
1950–04–24 Flag of the United States.svg New Haven Arena, New Haven, Connecticut
Draw52–8–6 Flag of the United States.svg Tony Janiro SD101950–03–31 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win52–8–5 Flag of the United States.svg Joe CurcioKO1 (10)
2:21
1950–03–06 Flag of the United States.svg Miami Stadium, Miami, Florida
Win51–8–5 Flag of the United States.svg Sonny Horne MD101949–12–06 Flag of the United States.svg Cleveland Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Win50–8–5 Flag of the United States.svg Charley Fusari TKO101949–09–14 Flag of the United States.svg Polo Grounds, New York City, New York
Win49–8–5 Flag of the United States.svg Joe AgostaKO2 (10)
2:19
1949–07–18 Flag of the United States.svg Century Stadium, West Springfield, Massachusetts
Win48–8–5 Flag of the United States.svg Bobby ClausKO2 (10)
0:46
1949–06–21 Flag of the United States.svg Wilmington Park, Wilmington, Delaware
Loss47–8–5 Flag of the United States.svg Tony Zale KO3 (15)1948–06–10 Flag of the United States.svg Ruppert Stadium, Newark, New Jersey Lost World Middleweight title
Win47–7–5 Flag of the United States.svg Sonny Horne UD101948–04–05 Flag of the United States.svg Uline Arena, Washington, D.C.
Win46–7–5 Flag of the United States.svg Tony Zale TKO6 (15)1947–07–16 Flag of the United States.svg Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois Won World Middleweight title
The Ring Fight of the Year
Win45–7–5 Flag of the United States.svg Jerry FiorelloTKO5 (10)1947–06–16 Flag of the United States.svg Swayne Field, Toledo, Ohio
Win44–7–5 Flag of the United States.svg Eddie FinazzoTKO1 (10)1947–06–10
2:14
Flag of the United States.svg Fairgrounds Arena, Memphis, Tennessee
Loss43–7–5 Flag of the United States.svg Tony Zale KO6 (15)1946–09–27 Flag of the United States.svg Yankee Stadium, New York City, New York For World Middleweight titles
The Ring Fight of the Year
Win43–6–5 Flag of the United States.svg Marty ServoTKO2 (10)
1:52
1946–03–29 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win42–6–5 Flag of the United States.svg Sonny Horne UD101946–01–18 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win41–6–5 Flag of the United States.svg Harold GreenKO3 (10)
1:49
1945–09–28 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win40–6–5 Flag of the United States.svg Freddie Cochrane KO10
2:37
1945–08–24 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win39–6–5 Flag of the United States.svg Freddie Cochrane KO10
0:16
1945–06–29 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York The Ring Fight of the Year
Win38–6–5 Flag of the United States.svg Al Davis TKO4 (10)1945–05–25 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win37–6–5 Flag of the United States.svg Solomon StewartTKO4 (10)1945–04–17 Flag of the United States.svg Uline Arena, Washington, D.C.
Win36–6–5 Flag of the United States.svg Billy Arnold TKO3 (8)1945–03–09 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Loss35–6–5 Flag of the United States.svg Harold GreenMD101944–12–22 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Loss35–5–5 Flag of the United States.svg Harold GreenUD101944–11–03 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win35–4–5 Flag of the United States.svg Bernie MillerTKO2 (8)
0:44
1944–10–24 Flag of the United States.svg Broadway Arena, Brooklyn, New York
Draw34–4–5 Flag of the United States.svg Danny KapilowPTS101944–10–06 Flag of the United States.svg St. Nicholas Arena, New York City, New York
Draw34–4–4 Flag of the United States.svg Frankie TerryPTS81944–09–15 Flag of the United States.svg St. Nicholas Arena, New York City, New York
Win34–4–3 Flag of the United States.svg Jerry FiorelloSD81944–08–14 Flag of the United States.svg Queensboro Arena, Queens, New York
Win33–4–3 Flag of the United States.svg Tony RenoPTS81944–07–21 Flag of the United States.svg Fort Hamilton Arena, Brooklyn, New York
Win32–4–3 Flag of the United States.svg Frankie TerryTKO6 (8)
2:47
1944–06–27 Flag of the United States.svg Dexter Park Arena, Queens, New York
Win31–4–3 Flag of the United States.svg Larney MooreKO2 (8)1944–06–07 Flag of the United States.svg MacArthur Stadium, Brooklyn, New York
Win30–4–3 Flag of the United States.svg Tommy MollisTKO7 (10)1944–05–29 Flag of the United States.svg Griffith Stadium, Washington, D.C.
Win29–4–3 Flag of the United States.svg Freddie GrahamKO3 (8)1944–05–09 Flag of the United States.svg Turner's Arena, Washington, D.C.
Win28–4–3 Flag of the United States.svg Bobby BrownKO5 (10)1944–04–10 Flag of the United States.svg Turner's Arena, Washington, D.C.
Win27–4–3 Flag of the United States.svg Ray RovelliPTS81944–03–14 Flag of the United States.svg Broadway Arena, Brooklyn, New York
Win26–4–3 Flag of the United States.svg Harold GaryPTS61944–03–08 Flag of the United States.svg Scott Hall, Elizabeth, New Jersey
Win25–4–3 Flag of the United States.svg Leon AnthonyKO1 (8)
1:20
1944–03–04 Flag of the United States.svg Ridgewood Grove, Brooklyn, New York
Win24–4–3 Flag of Puerto Rico.svg Nick CalderKO4 (8)1944–02–24 Flag of the United States.svg Masonic Hall, Highland Park, New Jersey
Loss23–4–3 Flag of the United States.svg Steve RiggioPTS61944–02–09 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win23–3–3 Flag of the United States.svg Phil EnzengaTKO5 (8)1944–01–18 Flag of the United States.svg Westchester County Center, White Plains, New York
Win22–3–3 Flag of the United States.svg Jerry PittroTKO1 (6)
2:31
1944–01–07 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win21–3–3 Flag of the United States.svg Harold GaryPTS81944–01–04 Flag of the United States.svg Grotto Auditorium, Jersey City, New Jersey
Win20–3–3 Flag of Romania.svg Milo TheodorescuTKO1 (8)
2:52
1943–12–27 Flag of the United States.svg Laurel Garden, Newark, New Jersey
Win19–3–3 Flag of the United States.svg Freddie GrahamPTS61943–12–06 Flag of the United States.svg St. Nicholas Arena, New York City, New York
Win18–3–3 Flag of the United States.svg Freddie GrahamPTS81943–11–30 Flag of the United States.svg Paterson, New Jersey
Loss17–3–3 Flag of the United States.svg Steve RiggioPTS61943–11–12 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Draw17–2–3 Flag of the United States.svg Charley McPhersonPTS61943–10–27 Flag of the United States.svg Scott Hall, Elizabeth, New Jersey
Win17–2–2 Flag of the United States.svg Jimmy WilliamsTKO2 (6)1943–10–13 Flag of the United States.svg Scott Hall, Elizabeth, New Jersey
Win16–2–2 Flag of the United States.svg Freddie GrahamKO1 (8)
1:02
1943–10–05 Flag of the United States.svg Broadway Arena, Brooklyn, New York
Win15–2–2 Flag of the United States.svg George WilsonPTS81943–09–21 Flag of the United States.svg Broadway Arena, Brooklyn, New York
Loss14–2–2 Flag of the United States.svg Joe AgostaPTS61943–09–10 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win14–1–2 Flag of the United States.svg Tony GreyPTS61943–08–24 Flag of the United States.svg Queensboro Arena, Queens, New York
Win13–1–2 Flag of the United States.svg Ted ApostoliPTS41943–08–20 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win12–1–2 Flag of the United States.svg Charley McPhersonPTS61943–08–12 Flag of the United States.svg Fort Hamilton Arena, Brooklyn, New York
Win11–1–2 Flag of the United States.svg Randy DrewKO1 (6)
2:16
1943–07–27 Flag of the United States.svg Queensboro Arena, Queens, New York
Win10–1–2 Flag of the United States.svg George StevensKO1 (6)1943–07–22 Flag of the United States.svg Fort Hamilton Arena, Brooklyn, New York
Win9–1–2 Flag of the United States.svg Johnny AtteleyTKO2 (6)1943–07–08 Flag of the United States.svg Fort Hamilton Arena, Brooklyn, New York
Win8–1–2 Flag of the United States.svg Frankie FalcoKO5 (6)
1:37
1943–06–24 Flag of the United States.svg Fort Hamilton Arena, Brooklyn, New York
Win7–1–2 Flag of the United States.svg Joe CurcioTKO4 (6)
0:39
1943–06–16 Flag of the United States.svg Twin City Bowl, Elizabeth, New Jersey
Win6–1–2 Flag of Peru (1825-1950).svg Gilberto VasquezKO1 (6)
1:45
1943–06–11 Flag of the United States.svg Fort Hamilton Arena, Brooklyn, New York
Draw5–1–2 Flag of the United States.svg Lou MillerPTS61942–05–25 Flag of the United States.svg St. Nicholas Arena, New York City, New York
Win5–1–1 Flag of the United States.svg Godfrey HowellKO41942–05–12 Flag of the United States.svg Broadway Arena, Brooklyn, New York
Win4–1–1 Flag of the United States.svg Eddie LeeKO41942–05–04 Flag of the United States.svg St. Nicholas Arena, New York City, New York
Loss3–1–1 Flag of the United States.svg Charles FergusonPTS61942–04–28 Flag of the United States.svg Broadway Arena, Brooklyn, New York
Draw3–0–1 Flag of the United States.svg Godfrey HowellPTS41942–04–20 Flag of the United States.svg St. Nicholas Arena, New York City, New York
Win3–0 Flag of the United States.svg Kenny BlackmarKO1 (4)1942–04–14 Flag of the United States.svg Broadway Arena, Brooklyn, New York
Win2–0 Flag of the United States.svg Mike MastandreaKO3 (4)1942–04–06 Flag of the United States.svg St. Nicholas Arena, New York City, New York
Win1–0 Flag of the United States.svg Curtis HightowerTKO2 (4)1942–03–31 Flag of the United States.svg Broadway Arena, Brooklyn, New York

See also

Notes

  1. Alternative birth dates have been cited; however his gravestone states January 1, 1919 and his widow confirmed that this as the correct date
  2. "The Lineal Middleweight Champions". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
  3. Graziano, Rocky; Barber, Rowland (1955). Somebody Up There Likes Me. New York: Simon And Schuster.
  4. Lardner, Rex. "The Improbable Graziano". Sport Magazine Article. SPORT. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Berger, Phil (May 23, 1990). "Rocky Graziano, Ex-Ring Champion, Dead at 71". New York Times.
  6. Lardner, Rex. "The Improbable Graziano". SPORT Magazine Article. SPORT. Archived from the original on May 29, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  7. Google info re Graziano
  8. Adams, Val (November 29, 1953). "Rocky Graziano: TV Actor and Ex-Fighter". The New York Times . p. X11. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  9. SPORTS OF THE TIMES; Leave Your Worry on The Doorstep, New York Times, May 26, 1990.
  10. "Rocky Graziano Professional boxing record". BoxRec.com.
Achievements
Preceded by
Tony Zale
World Middleweight Champion
July 16, 1947 June 10, 1948
Succeeded by
Tony Zale

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During the 1960s, boxing, like mostly everything else around the world, went through changing times. Notable was the emergence of a young boxer named Cassius Clay, who would, in his own words shock the world, declare himself against war, and change his name to Muhammad Ali.

Tony Zale American boxer

Tony Zale, born Anthony Florian Zaleski was an American boxer. Zale was born and raised in Gary, Indiana, a steel town, which gave him his nickname, "Man of Steel." In addition, he had the reputation of being able to take fearsome punishment and still rally to win, reinforcing that nickname. Zale, who held the World Middleweight title multiple times, was known as a crafty boxer and strong body puncher who punished his opponents and steadily wore them down before knocking them out.

During the 1950s, a couple of relatively new developments changed the world: World War II had only been over for five years when the 1950s began, and television was beginning to make a major impact internationally. In boxing, changes connected to these developments could be seen too, as boxers who fought at the 1940s conflict returned to their homes and many of them were back in the ring. Television producers were in love with sports, which provided the viewer with an opportunity to observe sporting events live, and boxing was not the exception to the rule; many television networks began to feature fights live during the weekends, and the Gillette Friday Night Fights proved to be one of the most popular boxing television series in American history.

Boxing in the 1940s in many ways reflected worldwide events that affected other endeavors as well.

Al Hostak American boxer

Albert (Al) Paul Hostak, nicknamed "the Savage Slav," was an American middleweight boxer who fought from 1932-1949. Hostak twice held the National Boxing Association Middleweight title between 1938 and 1940. He was known as a hard puncher and had a record of 64 wins, 9 losses, and 11 draws. In 2003, Hostak made Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.

Marty Servo American boxer

Mario Severino, "Marty Servo" was a professional boxer who held the World welterweight Championship. Servo began boxing in the mid-1930s. He became a professional boxer in 1938 and was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1989.

Artie Levine boxer

Artie Levine was an American boxer in the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions in the 1940s.

Rocky Castellani American boxer

Attilio N. "Rocky" Castellani was an American middleweight boxer. He was the top rated contender for the world middleweight crown in 1954 when he fought Bobo Olson and in July 1955 when he lost to Sugar Ray Robinson. These two exceptional fights were featured on ESPN's "Classic Fights of the Century".

Georgie Abrams boxer

Georgie Abrams was an American boxer who came very close to winning the World Middleweight Championship in November 1941 against Tony Zale and was a top contender for the title in the early 1940s. In his unique boxing career, he fought eight former or future world champions. He was managed by Bo Bregman, and Chris Dundee. Abrams was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005.

Billy Arnold (boxer) boxer

Billy Arnold was a highly touted welterweight/middleweight prospect of the 1940s.