Joe Frazier vs Rocky Marciano

By Jim Galiano.

This is a fantastic match up on paper.  Both fighters would be considered small Heavyweights by today’s standards.  Both fighters, however, had extremely high work rates and were pressure-styled fighters.  Marciano, possibly the best conditioned fighter of all time, threw an amazing amount of punches and fought crouching and weaving as he moved forward.

Frazier had an energetic bobbing and weaving style and one of the best left hooks on the division’s history.

Joe Frazier vs. Rocky Marciano

Marciano’s possessed one of the best right hands of all the Heavyweight Champions.

Marciano’s right would be matched against Frazier’s left!

Marciano said in interviews that he preferred fighting larger men who punched down at him as opposed to men who were the same size as him which is why he, as he explained, he had more problems against fighters like Archie Moore, Ezzard Charles and Joe Walcott.  “Power, he said, is blunted when a fighter has to punch downward as opposed to straight across.”  He also said it was easier for him to generate more power by punching upward.

Against Joe Frazier, he would be facing a fighter who only stood 5’ 11”.

During Frazier’s career, he struggled against two big punchers.  Oscar Bonavena and George Foreman.  He met both men twice.  During his first fight with Bonavena, Oscar floored Frazier twice in the 2nd round.  Frazier survived and went on to win a very close split decision.  The 2nd time, the decision was unanimous, but the fight was a brutal contest all the way to the final bell.

I don’t count his two knockouts to George Foreman as being a sign of having a weak chin.  A prime Foreman could have done the same to any Heavyweight in history who came right at him.

Joe Frazier was not what you’d call a fast starter.  He’d usually take about 3 rounds to start “smokin’.”  Against a fighter like Marciano, he would definitely be at a disadvantage during the first two or three rounds of the fight.  Marciano was an extremely fast starter and believed it was extremely important to hurt his opponent as quickly as possible because he believed that it not only gave him a psychological advantage… but also set the tone for the rest of the fight.

Could Joe Frazier survive the first three rounds against a prime Marciano?  Could Marciano survive once the fight passed the 3rd round and Frazier started “Smokin’?”

I computer-matched both fighters with Arthur Mercante Sr. as the 3rd man in the ring.  The result?  Frazier survived the early Marciano assault and the war was on!  By the 10th round, Marciano was ahead and Frazier’s right eye was beginning to noticeably swell.  In the 14th round, Marciano sent Frazier to the canvas 3 times and the fight was stopped with 7-seconds remaining on the clock!

In this case, I can’t argue with the computerized results.

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Title Bout Championship Boxing Computer Simulation
The program used to simulate The Boxing Magazine.com dream fights runs in compiled basic. It consists of several thousand lines of code and over two-dozen routines and sub-routines – cross checking factors such as, ring position, the fighter’s physical condition, accumulated damage, status of cuts and any special strategies that may be employed. Almost 100 variables are constantly monitored during a given fight.

4 Responses to “Joe Frazier vs Rocky Marciano”

  1. Anna Yance says:

    Really great post/article really informative.

  2. admin says:

    Really like your site, Anna. Been doing Tony Horton’s workout for years 🙂

  3. Tiger Pride says:

    At first I wasn’t sure I thought the fight would go Marciano’s way. The more thought I put into it however I agree with the simulated fight.

  4. Jim C. says:

    Marciano was for me…the toughest SOB to ever set foot in the ring…he was tireless…a very high workrate…great heart…great chin…great stamina…feared no man..pain meant nothing to him…put him in the ring with anyone…

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