Join Barnes & Noble UConn as we welcome UConn Journalism professor and author Mike Stanton to discuss Unbeaten, his revelatory biography of Rocky Marciano, the greatest heavyweight champion of all time.
The son of poor Italian immigrants, with short arms and stubby legs, Rocky Marciano accomplished a feat that eluded legendary heavyweight champions like Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, Muhammad Ali, and Mike Tyson: He never lost a professional fight. His record was a perfect 49-0.
Unbeaten is the story of this remarkable champion who overcame injury, doubt, and the schemes of corrupt promoters to win the title in a bloody and epic battle with Jersey Joe Walcott in 1952. Rocky packed a devastating punch with an innocent nickname, “Suzie Q,” against which there was no defense. As the champ, he came to know presidents and movie stars – and the organized crime figures who dominated the sport, much to his growing disgust. He may have “stood out in boxing like a rose in a garbage dump,” as one sportswriter said, but he also fought his own private demons.
In the hands of the award-winning journalist and biographer Mike Stanton, Unbeaten is more than just a boxing story. It’s a classic American tale of immigrant dreams, exceptional talent wedded to exceptional ambitions, compromises in the service of a greater good, astounding success, disillusionment, and a quest to discover what it all meant. Like Suzie Q, it will knock you off your feet.