By Boxing Bob Newman
Photos: Pepe Rodriquez
Tuesday in Mexico City, at the Polytechnical Institute, the first viewing of the completed statue of former undefeated world heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano was presented. The larger-than-life statue, at 19.5 feet and nearly 4,000 lbs., will be transported to the hometown of “The Brockton Blockbuster,” Brockton, MA in the United States, where it will be presented by the WBC and its president, Jose Sulaiman Chagnon, to the city. Present at today’s ceremony were several Mexican world champions, including Pipino Cuevas, Lupe Pintor, Victor Rabanales, Cesar Bazán, Isaac Bustos, Jhonny González, Carlos Montes and Edgar Sosa. The work of art will be on display for the next three days in the Edel Ojeda Exhibition Hall, before embarking on the journey to Brockton.
Crafted by Mexican sculptors Mario Rendón Lozano and Escultor Víctor Gutiérrez, the statue is made of a fiberglass and polyester resin to resist the element of rain, sun and snow, and the acrylic coating will resist corrosion and oxidation. The entire statue is reinforced with steel to support the weight of the structure.
The date of September 23 is set for the unveiling and presentation- which commemorates the 60th anniversary of Marciano’s come-from-behind knockout and annexation of the world heavyweight crown from Jersey Joe Walcott in 1952. The event is also part of the WBC’s celebration of 50 years of existence and pay homage to the only undefeated heavyweight champion in boxing history.
Said WBC president Jose Sulaiman, “This is the first homage of its sort that the world of boxing gives to Rocky Marciano. We are celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the World Boxing Council, and this is a gesture of respect to Rocky’s memory and to Boston boxing from The WBC.” Sulaiman continued, “Well Rocky was a warrior. He set no limits for himself. He used to punch upward, downward and from all angles. Rocky was fond of the saying why go the distance if I can stop my opponent in a single round?! Nobody could defeat him in his entire career. He fought boxers bigger than himself, but he beat them all.”
Festivities will commence on Friday, September 21, when WBC members will meet with the Marciano Family. Saturday, September 22 will see several visiting world champions of the past and present to meet and greet fans as well as pay their own respects to the home town hero.
Capping off the weekend long event will be the official unveiling of the Rocky Marciano statue at 1PM at Marciano Stadium at Brockton High School, 470 Forest Avenue, Brockton, MA.