Rocky Marciano vs. Carmine Vingo

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Vingo lapsed into a coma after the fight and was given a 50-50 chance to survive

Rocky Marciano 180 lbs beat Carmine Vingo 189 lbs by KO at 1:46 in round 6 of 10

  • Date: 1949-12-30
  • Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, USA
  • Referee: Harry Ebbets

Before a Madison Square Garden crowd of 9,277, Marciano (24-0) and Vingo (16-1) went toe-to-toe in a vicious back and forth war. Marciano later described it as "the toughest fight of my career."

Vingo was down for a count of nine in the first round from two left hooks. Marciano put him down for another nine count in round two, but Vingo fought back furiously and hurt Marciano with solid rights. "He seemed pretty strong at the end of the fifth," the referee said of Vingo after the fight. "But I noticed he was tiring after the first minute of the sixth."

Marciano put Vingo down for the count with a left uppercut in the sixth round. Vingo, who hit his head hard on the canvas when he went down, was unconscious. He briefly regained consciousness in the ring but lapsed back. After about twenty minutes, and with no ambulance available, Vingo was placed on a stretcher and carried two blocks to a nearby hospital.

Vingo lapsed into a coma at the hospital. He was administered the last rites by a priest, and Marciano paced up and down the corridors of the hospital and prayed to God to spare his opponent's life. Fortunately, Vingo pulled through. By early February 1950, he had been discharged from the hospital and was back home in the Bronx. However, he was left slightly paralyzed on one side and never boxed again.

A brief clip from the fight can be found on YouTube.

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