Real Rocky was a Sons of Italy member

Heavyweight boxing champion, Rocky Marciano, was inducted at a member of the Sons of Italy in August 1953. Often named as one of Sylvester Stallone’s inspirations for the ‘Rocky’ films, Marciano was the only boxing champ to retire undefeated. In the ‘Rocky’ films, Stallone’s character Rocky Balboa idolizes Marciano, even hanging a poster of him above his bed.

According to the official website of Rocky Marciano, the boxer was born Rocco Francis Marchegiano on September 1, 1923 in Brockton, Mass. Marciano took up boxing when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943 and continued to fight as an amateur after his discharge. After a failed attempt at a career in major league baseball, Marciano began to fight professionally. He won his championship belt on September 23, 1953 in a fight against Jersey Joe Walcott. He proudly held the title for four years before retiring at the age of 31. Although he only defended his title six times, he remained a fan favorite. Marciano is considered a classic boxer by his fans and is well-known for his ‘never-say-die’ style.

Written by OSIA National Office Intern, Carol Cummings. Cummings is a senior at American University, majoring in print journalism, with a minor in Italian.

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