Being heavyweight champion of the world was a big deal when professional boxing was a mainstream sport – a very big deal. And in the early 1950s, an Italian-American called Rocky Marciano was the guy. Born Rocco Marchegiano on Sept. 1, 1923, he was one of six children in a working-class Italian immigrant family – his father came from Abruzzo and hi...

With the Great Depression and Second World War firmly in its rear-view mirror, the 1950s saw the United States of America finally transition into a state of normality. Poverty had evolved into prosperity, radios made way for TVs and most importantly, life, which had been rife with uncertainty, was simple again.  It was an age that embodied the Amer...

There can be little doubt that the story of working-class Italian-Americans making the big time in boxing is a truly loved and time-tested one; especially with an abundance of such heroes hailing from NY. From the “Rocky” franchise to “Raging Bull,” popular culture has also played its part in incubating the relationship between American citizens of...

Some historians have called the 1950s the greatest period of peace and prosperity in America: The 1950s represented a golden era of achievement, undergirded by an affirming age of simplicity, when homespun, working values and patriotism were at an all-time high for the multitudes of multicultural, multiethnic makeup of its citizenry. America was a...

A public ceremony will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, August 30, in Newton, to honor the memory of legendary world heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano, who died in a plane crash here 50 years ago.  A large information sign will be dedicated, with a large rock sitting next to it stating Rocky’s record of 49-0, with 43 knockouts. Iowa Governor Ki...

Fifty years ago, the city of Brockton was dealt a sucker punch. Hank Tartaglia remembers that horrible night in the summer of '69 like it was yesterday, as he was closing down his little Italian restaurant called Enrico's on Legion Parkway, and the phone rang with a call from a buddy working the graveyard shift at the Brockton Police Department. Th...

Seventy-two years ago this St. Patrick's Day, Rocky Marciano — one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time — came to fight in Holyoke, Massachusetts. It was a turning point in his life. A friend set Marciano up with the Holyoke fight. It was 1947. He had just gotten out of the Army and was digging ditches for the gas company in Brockton, Mas...

After one year and $40,000 of renovations, the Oceanside chapter of Sons of Italy reopened the Rocky Marciano Lodge in the fall. On Jan. 15, the non-profit organization will host an open house and ribbon cutting for the newly remodeled reception hall. “I think it’s one of the best-kept secrets in Oceanside,” said Joe Samoles, vice president of Sons...

Rising up from the ground on the outskirts of Brockton, the two-ton, 20-foot statute of Rocky Marciano looms over the city like a god. Wearing boxing trunks wrapped around an Adonis-like body, he stretches his muscular right arm out to deliver the crushing knockout punch against Jersey Joe Walcott that ended their epic 1952 championship fight. In m...

When Mike Stanton was researching what would become "The Prince of Providence," his riveting book about mayor-turned-felon Buddy Cianci, he learned that Cianci's father used to take him to the fights at the old Rhode Island Auditorium. One of the headliners in those days, the 1940s, was Rocky Marciano, the heavyweight from Brockton, Mass. "I was dr...