Here are some comments made from fighters who fought Rocky Marciano
Joe Louis - "It hurt to bump into him....He hits harder than Max Schmeling...this kid is tough enough to beat anyone." "The Rock didn't know too much about the boxing book, but it wasn't a book he hit me with. It was a whole library of bone crushers."
Jersey Joe Walcott - "Marciano was a one-punch artist. He threw every punch like you throw a baseball, as hard as he could."
Ezzard Charles - "Rocky numbs you all over. Wherever he hits you, he hurts you; on the arms, the shoulders, the neck and the head."
Archie Moore - "After a fight with Marciano, it felt like you had been beat all over the upper body with a blackjack or hit with rocks."
"He could hurt you, sure, but it was the quantity of his punches. He just had more stamina than anyone else in those days. He was like a bull with gloves."
Roland LaStarza - "I would throw a hard punch, then he would throw a hard punch. The difference was that Rocky would throw 10 more. He just never stopped throwing punches."
Harry "Kid" Matthews - "He was a great puncher, one of the best of all-time. He just threw one punch after another, and all of them were hard."
Phil Muscato - "I can still feel his punches. He kept punching me in the upper arms until I could no longer hold them up to defend or throw punches".
Bernie Reynolds - "He had amazing strength. Any time Marciano hit you, he could hurt you. He didn't do much flicking; every punch was a knockout punch."
It is the Knock Out that excites boxing fans. The power puncher who can take out an opponent with one savage blow at any time in the fight is always going to make for an interesting fight. There have been great sluggers in boxing; Dempsey, Louis, Foreman, Sugar Ray Robinson, Archie Moore, to name a few of the best. The Ring magazine rates the best punchers on the criteria of those who can knock out quality opponents even in the later rounds, and who can knock out heavier opposition. Of the heavywieghts, the September 1997 issue of The Ring rated the three best punchers as Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, and Rocky Marciano. Of Marciano they said he never sought refuge in a clinch, never tired, and couldn't be hurt, He was an unstoppable force, breaking bodies and spirits. It was a hellish experiance to fight him, like Dempsey and Louis, he was able to get his whole body into a punch."
When Marciano was destroying all challengers with devastating knockouts, the U.S. Testing Co. was asked to measure the power of Rocky's wallop. Its findings: "Marciano's knockout blow packs more explosive energy than an armour-piercing bullet and represents as much energy as would be required to spot lift 1000 pounds one foot off the ground."
A lot of people thought how does a 187 pound man hit harder than a 200+ pound man when both are trained fighters? There's a saying in boxing that a fighter is born with power and it cannot be teached. Throughout boxing history this theory has proven it to be true. One heavyweight is a formidable knockout artist while another rarely hurts an opponent and must win by points, even though they might be identical in height, weight, and the size of their muscles. Part of it lies in how a fighter sets himself when he delivers his blow. A pure boxer stylist will be on his toes, mobile, with little contact with the floor when he hits. The force of his impact comes from his arms and shoulders only. But a slugger, a Jim Jefferies, Joe Louis, Dempsey, Frazier, Foreman, Tyson, or Marciano, will plant his feet flat as he punches, using the floor for leverage to get more of his body weight behind the punch.
Another part is "commitment to the punch". The fighter who is worried about a counter blow is going to hold something back. He wants to be able to block the counter punch if it comes. But, the fighter who has no fear of retaliation, who accepts that he might get hit in return and couldn’t care less, will put everything into the punch. Marciano knew before he stepped into the ring that he would get hit a lot during the course of the fight. He accepted it beforehand and didn’t let it interfere with his intention to bang away at his opponent. When Rocky let go he was totally committed to the punch, putting every ounce of energy and body weight into every punch. Marciano’s incredible power began in his feet as they pushed off the mat. The energy was fed by his thick, muscular legs, the swivel of his hips, and the twist he’d put into his upper body as he snapped forward his arm and fist.
Where would you put Rocky Marciano on the list of all time greatest punchers in Heavyweight history?