Skip to main content

#9 Rocky Marciano - Top 10 of Boxing’s Most Terrifying Fighters

Since Floyd Mayweather has not yet officially retired, his 50-0 record can not be put into the books yet as a retired champion who never lost. For now, that belongs to Rocky Marciano who retired at 49-0. Larry Holmes came close carrying a 48-0 record into his fight with Michael Spinks but then Spinks upset him for the heavyweight title and beat him again in a rematch a few months later and Holmes went on to extend his career way past the point he should have.

As for the “Rock,” he was a bully in the ring, aggressive with great knockout power and he finished 43 of his 49 opponents for a KO clip of 88%. The unfortunate fact about Rocky Marciano is that during his reign, the talent level he faced was nowhere near what other champions and members of this list faced. Sure there were some big names Marciano faced and knocked out but unfortunately, these men were already past their prime.
Marciano defeated the great Ezzard Charles in 1954 but Charles was one year removed from retirement and 33 years old. In 1952 a former champion, Jersey Joe Walcott stepped into the ring with the Rock and at age 38 he was no match for the young tiger. Walcott’s first fight came in 1930 so he had already had 69 fights when he got KO’d by Marciano. Ezzard Charles had been in 98 fights before battling Marciano for 15 rounds only to lose a unanimous decision. Those fights with Charles and Walcott were also at the end of Marciano’s career but Rocky was only 29 when he first met Walcott then Charles two years later.

Just based on his ferocity in the ring, however, Rocky Marciano must be put on this list. He began his career with 16 straight KOs or TKOs until Don Mogard took him the distance. Most of Marciano’s fights were in Providence, Rhode Island until he made his debut in Madison Square Garden with a victory by TKO over Pat Richards in December 1949. Not common is how young Rocky Marciano was when he retired on April 27, 1956, just 32 years of age. Tragically, he would die in a plane crash in 1969 one day before his 46th birthday.

Prev/Next Article


About the author

Harv Aronson

Harv Aronson was born and raised in Pittsburgh but now lives in Florida with his beautiful wife Melissa.

Harv currently writes for Abstract Sports, the Sports History Network, Yinzer Crazy website, and the magazine Gridiron Greats. Harv wrote the published book "Pro Football's Most Passionate Fans" and as a professional writer has had articles published in an array of sports publications.

Harv loves all sports but football and baseball are at the top of his interest. His passion is for sports history. You can visit Harv's website at and you can reach him at [email protected]

comments powered by Disqus