Rocky Marciano is easily history's most divisive undisputed heavyweight champion. Even as you watch him swarm his way through tricky counter punchers and solid ring generals, it is hard to believe that he was never made to pay for all his bad habits and missed swings.
From his connections to the mob, to the ages of his opponents, everything about Marciano is ripe for scrutiny, but he still achieved something almost unthinkable: he became the world heavyweight champion just four years into a professional career which only began in his late twenties.
In Rocky Marciano: Will versus Skill we examine Marciano's whirlwind career, infamous training camps, and impact on the sport of boxing.
Marciano showing some slick combination work against the savvy Roland Lastarza. This fight showed Marciano as more than a brute: hooking off the jab and setting up his shots amid his usual grinding pace.
The shifting left hook which Rocky used to drop Joe Louis was one of the first decent shots he learned off his left side.
Marciano's overhand got him to the dance and remained the most important weapon in his arsenal. Marciano's "blind right" often came over the top as he looked to be moving to the inside position.
When Marciano shortened up his punches under Charley Goldman, some criticized Goldman for taking away Rocky's one punch power. His picture perfect 'Suzie Q' against Walcott quickly dispelled that myth.
The first Walcott - Marciano fight was Walcott's finest hour. Often seen as a timid old slickster, Walcott opened up with both barrels against Marciano, dropping him with this gorgeous step-in left hook in the first round.
Part of what made Rocky unique was that after he missed a big swing, he simply kept going. Many times better boxers found themselves in perfect position to counter, and the deceptively quick Marciano would already be swinging back at them from halfway across the ring.
Here are a couple examples of Archie Moore's brilliant counter right hand stunning his opponent for an instant and Archie immediately leaping on the opportunity to finish.
One of the robes that Archie Moore commissioned for his bouts. A great reminder of how important a unique image is for a fighter.