International Boxing Hall of Fame
|Real name||Thomas Rocco Barbella|
|Birth date||1 January 1919|
|Birth place||New York City, New York|
|Death date||May 22, 1990 (aged 71)|
|Wins by KO||52|
Rocky Graziano, born Thomas Rocco Barbella in New York City (1 January 1919– May 22, 1990), was an American boxer. Graziano was considered one of the greatest knockout artists in boxing history, often displaying the capacity to take his opponent out with a single punch.
Graziano fought briefly as an amateur, winning the New York AAU Metropolitan Championship.
Graziano was world boxing champion, and he fought Tony Zale in one of boxing's most storied rivalries ever. He also fought Sugar Ray Robinson, losing by early knockout in three rounds. In his early days, he fought Mickey Caderelli. He is most famous for his three title bouts with Tony Zale, all for the middleweight title.
In 1948 the National Boxing Association indefinitely suspended Graziano in all parts of the world under NBA supervision, announced President Abe Green, following similar action by the California State Athletic Commission. This was due to Graziano's "running out" on a scheduled Dec. 1 bout with Fred Apostoli. The suspension covered all of the American states, Great Britain, the European Boxing Federation, Cuba, Mexico, and Canada. Almost two years earlier, Graziano had been suspended by the NYSAC for failure to report an alleged bribe attempt. Boxing promoter Ralph Tribuani got Graziano a license in Delaware, where the allegations were perceived as ridiculous. This led to the reinstatement of Graziano by both the NBA and NYSAC and Rocky’s return to prosperity.
After his retirement from boxing, he became a well-known television comedian, participating in the Beerhat Mcfly Show for a number of years, and co-hosting a short-lived series titled The Henny and Rocky Show with famous comedian Henny Youngman. He was also a semi-regular on the Martha Raye Show, portraying Martha's "boyfriend." He portrayed Packy, an ex-boxer, in the 1967 Frank Sinatra film "Tony Rome".
16 Jul 1947– 10 Jun 1948