Brockton KOs Boston For Marciano Statue

06.12.07- By Matthew Hurley: The controversy over where a statue of legendary heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano should be erected was settled today and the “Brockton Blockbuster’s” hometown of Brockton won out. During its annual meetings conducted in November in the Philippines the World Boxing Council voted to erect a statue of Marciano in either Boston or Brockton, Massachusetts. WBC President Jose Suliman felt that Boston was the more appropriate choice..

“Rocky does not belong to Brockton,” he told the Brockton Enterprise. “He belongs to the world.”

However, family members and residents of Brockton felt otherwise.

“If you could bring him back to life, there’s no question,” Peter Marciano, Rocky’s brother, told the Boston Herald. “If Rocky had his choice, the first place he’d want it was Brockton. To give you a good story, I think it was the third fight of his career, they announced ‘Rocky Marciano from Boston’ and he told the announcer, ‘I’m not from Boston. I’m from Brockton.’”

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino agreed. “I would never want to take Rocky Marciano away from Brockton,” he told the Boston Globe. “He put that city on the map.”

Suliman had sent a letter last week to Menino informing him that the WBC would pay for a large sculpture of the iconic heavyweight champion and needed a proper site in the city. The WBC picked Boston because more visitors would get the chance to see the statue. Menino, to his credit, agreed with Brockton Mayor James Harrington and both contacted Suliman telling the WBC President that he should relocate the statue to Brockton. Suliman relented, but not without hesitation.

“I am disappointed,” he said. “Boston is a city that gets visitors from all over the world, and more people would have been able to see it.”

He then added that the work should be completed by the end of 2008. “We’ll still have a good event and it will be nice.”

Harrington was thrilled at the news and intends to move forward in finding a proper site in Brockton. “That’s tremendous news,” he said. “People come here all the time, always looking for information about Rocky Marciano.

Marciano compiled a career record of 49-0 with 43 KOs. His undefeated mark upon retirement remains one of sports most hallowed achievements. His last fight was on September 21, 1955 when he knocked out Archie Moore in the ninth round at Yankee Stadium in New York. He died in a plane crash in 1969.

Article posted on 06.12.2007

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