The 10 Greatest Heavyweight Fights of All Time, Marciano vs. Walcott

Marciano vs. Walcott

6. Rocky Marciano vs. Jersey Joe Walcott. Sept. 23, 1952 Philadelphia. Result: Marciano KO 13

The challenger Marciano was actually the favorite to defeat the aged heavyweight champion Jersey Joe Walcott going into this fight. Walcott suprised onlookers by outboxing and outpunching Marciano and sending the younger and hungrier challenger to the canvas in the first. Marciano started coming on in the 3rd and the fight became a war of atttrition. Walcott, fighting back, regained the initiative by the 7th. Walcott won the next rounds. The 10th according to AJ Liebling, “Was the hardest fought of all.” In the 11th Walcott had one of his best rounds visibly hurting Marciano with a body shot. Walcott won the 12th as well. Walcott was ahead on the scorecards and under modern rules would have retained his title by a 12 round split decision. This fight is a good case for bringing back 15 round championship fights. The title changed hands in the in fateful 13th when Marciano landed the perfect right hand punch that won the title at :43 seconds of the round. One might argue Marciano might have tried to land his right sooner but it is not certain that he would have. Walcott boxed a marvelous fight until he was caught in the 13th. Rocky Marciano became a legend thanks to “the championship rounds.”


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