1954-09-17 Rocky Marciano w co 8 (15) Ezzard Charles, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD

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1954-09-17 Rocky Marciano w co 8 (15) Ezzard Charles, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD. Referee: Al Berl. Twice postponed due to heavy rain, the contest eventually took place two days later than originally planned. Constantly charging in to put Charles (192½) under pressure Marciano (187) was well on top by the fifth round, having handed out a lot of punishment to head and body. By the sixth though, Charles seemed to have a second wind, and by the end of the session the champion’s nose was split badly and blood was pouring down his face. Sticking with it in the seventh, when Charles cut the champion over the left eye early in the eighth thinking the fight might be halted Marciano tore in with both hands to drop his man with a right to the jaw. Back on his feet at ‘four’ Charles was now in real trouble, and following a barrage of blows to the head he was sent down to be counted out with 24 seconds of the session remaining.

Having suffered severe damage to his nose and eyes, Marciano was out of the ring for quite a time to allow for plastic surgery to take, only getting back into sparring sessions during mid-February 1955. At the same time it was announced that he would be defending his title against Don Cockell in May. Cockell had earned the right to meet Marciano, in that he had beaten Harry Matthews three times and also eliminated Roland LaStarza, but hopes of the fight taking place in England were dashed the following week when it was announced that it would take place in America.