Boxing Only

Rocky Graziano

Rocky Graziano Profile Image
  • Nickname: The Rock
  • Date of Birth: 1st January 1919
  • Died: 22nd May 1990 (71 years old)
  • Career length: 10 years 5 months
  • Status: Deceased
  • Nationality: USA Flag USA
  • Birthplace: New York, New York, USA Flag New York, New York, USA
  • Residence: New York, New York, USA Flag New York, New York, USA
  • Division: Middleweight
  • Height: 171cm
  • Reach: 174cm
  • Stance: Orthodox
  • BoxRec: Rocky Graziano
  • Debut: 31st March 1942


Rocky Graziano's life story reads like a script from a Hollywood movie—filled with ups and downs, struggles and victories, which became a reality with the film adaptation of his autobiography, "Somebody Up There Likes Me." Born to an Italian immigrant family in New York City, Graziano's early life was marked by poverty, reform school, and run-ins with the law. Yet, these very struggles shaped the resilience and fighting spirit Graziano would carry into the boxing ring.

Graziano's boxing career is a testament to his incredible power and determination. Despite a lack of formal training and a penchant for eschewing discipline outside the ring, his raw talent and unmatched punch power saw him rise through the ranks to become one of the most celebrated middleweight champions of his time. His trilogy of fights against Tony Zale for the middleweight title epitomizes the golden era of boxing, showcasing the sport's brutal beauty and the sheer will of its combatants.

What set Graziano apart wasn't just his prowess in the ring but his larger-than-life personality outside of it. After serving a dishonourable discharge from the Army and overcoming various personal and professional setbacks, Graziano's redemption story captured the hearts of the American public. His battles were not just against his opponents in the ring but against the circumstances of his upbringing, making his achievements all the more remarkable.

Beyond boxing, Graziano's life was rich with endeavours that showcased his multifaceted personality. From television and film appearances to running a pizza restaurant, he remained a beloved figure, his story inspiring countless others. His marriage to Norma Unger, a testament to his character, stood the test of fame and the challenges of it, highlighting a personal life marked by love and loyalty.

Rocky Graziano's death in 1990 marked the end of an era for boxing. Yet, his legacy lives on—not just as a testament to what can be achieved in the ring but as an enduring story of redemption, resilience, and the relentless pursuit of greatness against all odds. Graziano's journey from the streets of New York to the annals of boxing history remains an inspiring tale of how determination, hard work, and a bit of luck can lead to achieving the American dream.