The following page has been set up both to bolster my own fragile ego, and more importantly, to show that maybe, just maybe, this project has wings (some of the following comments are from those who knew or met Rocky, the rest are from those who merely admire him from afar, and perhaps these are the most important ones of all) ...
Comments: (so far...)
"I find it important to educate new generations about my father the best I can and (that is) why I support your project...It is people like you that continue to keep my father's name, career, accomplishment, etc. in the public forum. Of course I hope overall that your project focuses on the positives more so than the negatives. And from what I have seen I believe it will."
Rocco Marchegiano Jr. -------------------------------------
None of us are perfect. Not even our heroes. Since the death of boxings only undefeated heavyweight champion in the history of the sport, only six biographers have had the gumption to even attempt to put to page the life story of Rocco Francis Marchegiano, or, Rocky Marciano. And even then, most have either not had access to, looked the other way, or simply glossed over the human struggles that Rocky, like all humans, deal with. Until now. John Cameron has taken the task to show that the heart that beat within the chest of Marciano, the heart that refused to go down to defeat, the heart that overcame seemingly impossible odds, was indeed a human heart. And that doesn't make Rocky less of a hero, but in fact, makes him an even bigger hero, and one more accessable to us. John Cameron is to be commended for going where no one else would dare to go!
Chuck Marbry (Ring Talk Boxing Journalist)
--------------------------------------------------- Redemption: The life and death of Rocky Marciano (review} By John J. Raspanti
Though he died almost forty two-years ago Rocky Marciano lives on via old fight films and the memories of those who once knew him. His incredible rise to the heavyweight championship is a remarkable tale of guts, determination and heart. Many boxing fans consider Rocky the greatest heavyweight champion who ever lived. He never lost a fight, finishing his career with 49 victories. His popularity remains unmatched in many circles, especially now, with the heavyweight division floundering.
In the past forty years, only six authors have tackled the Marciano story. Considering Rocky's popularity, this lack of reading material astounds. Two years ago author John Cameron set out on a mission to write the definitive biography on Rocky. His goal was to find the real Rocky, not the image. What he uncovers fits the long held picture of Marciano like a proverbial glove; and then just as quickly contradicts it.
Cameron writes movingly about Rocky’s childhood and the lives of his parents, Pierino Marchegiano and Pasqualina Picciuto. Rocky was their miracle baby. Even at a young age the future heavyweight champion of the world revealed traits that would one day distinguish him from other fighters. Rocky’s childhood mirrored the difficulties America was facing in the 1930’s. The great depression was raging, with many families losing everything. The Marciano family was fortunate that Rocky’s father, Pierino, held a steady job at a shoe factory. Pierino brooded about his eldest child. In Rocky's time, there were few opportunities for sons of Italian immigrants and persecuted blacks and Mexicans. For many, fighting or toiling away in anonymity were their only choices.
When Rocky was nineteen years old, he was drafted into the army. The war had been raging for almost two years, and Rocky felt the full surge of patriotism. His three years in the service were tumultuous and enlightening. Rocky laced up the boxing gloves for the very first time. The result of the fight was stunning to some of his fellow soldiers. Author Cameron also uncovered some gaps in Rocky’s military record that he investigates fairly and without bias.
Rocky Marciano was twenty-three years old when the army honorably discharged him. His future was murky. Rocky's dream of playing major league baseball was still alive but just barely. He had done well as an amateur boxer, much better then most had predicted. His desire for more still burned, but how would he achieve it? He turned to professional boxing with little more than the heart of a lion and the power of King Kong in his right arm.
Rocky made his pro debut 1947. His initial meeting with trainer Charley Goldman and future manager Al Weill was another example of the many obstacles Rocky had to endure. Weill was unimpressed, and he wasn't sure what to make of the burly kid with the soft voice, though later Goldman would be one of Rocky’s greatest supporters.
Nevertheless, Rocky started to fight, and the narrative picks up speed using newspaper stories of the day to describe each one of his first twenty-four professional fights. There are some surprises along the way, as Rocky almost tastes defeat.
As Rocky fights his way up the heavyweight rankings, his heroic image starts to unfold. He will come he will see, and he will conquer.
Was Rocky a hero? You bet he was, and John Cameron’s writing brings him back to life.
John J. Raspanti (boxing historian and feature writer Doghouseboxing.com)
"John Cameron has written a fine book on Rocky Marciano, the only undefeated heavyweight champion in the history of boxing. He has been overlooked because he abruptly left boxing because of a bitter fight with his savage manager Al Wiell, and the pressures of his wife. More is the pity, for greatness glistened on him. No one could beat him. His fights paid him well bruised, battered, but he won and of that, there was no doubt.
There was an excitement associated with a Marciano fight that had to go back to Joe Louis, and had to go forward to Muhammad Ali. The entire Eastern Seaboard came alive. The phenomenon was best characterized by a wise crack from a Philadelphia detective. The fight was going back and forth Marciano was all cut up and he was falling apart. “My God! What if Rocky loses?” A fan said out loud. ‘50,000 Italians are going to put their heads in the gas oven,” said the cop.
But he didn't lose. Marciano didn't find a way to lose he found a way to win! A savage will to win! He had an indomitable spirit to win at all costs. That was Marciano. He couldn't lose.
Even in the end of his life, in a phony baloney computer fight with Muhammad Ali Marciano could find a way to win."
Ferdie Pacheco (MD).
"An intriguing depiction of one the nations finest. A MUST READ!! Check it out!" S Charles-Kendall (Grandson of Ezzard Charles). "I just wanted to say that I have enjoyed keeping up on your progress, I have enjoyed the old news clips especialy the clip and pic from Ft lewis (see archives) where I also served in the US army not realizing that my uncle had served and boxed there until I spoke with my father lou (sonny).........keep up the good work......the rock was special he had intangible qualities that most people could not begain to understand I have also witnessed them in my father...hopefully your writings will bring them to light. Good luck!" P Marciano.
"Thank you for keeping Rocky's memory alive, you have done this man as well as his fans proud." L Giovagnoli. "I Know that the biography of Rocky shall be the best of the best." Gerrie Coetzee (former world heavyweight boxing champion).
"Of all the boxers I have seen he was the toughest boxer, in your face I gonna hit you harder than you hit me..."
"Glad you have made inroads in an area where it is hard to make them...Well done, John. Real display of determination to do what you have done..." Tris Dixon (Editor Boxing News)
"All at BoxRec News wish John the best of luck with his project and we simply can not wait to see the finished article." Altaf Mubarik (BoxRecNews.com).
"My congratulations to you for taking on such an Olympian project on such a worthwhile subject. Don't get discouraged or deflated when you hit the inevitable rough patches...If you speak the truth, wherever that might lead, you will find your voice and complete this great endeavor.Continue to be bold, like Rocky, and don't take a step backwards in your march to define (as much as a life can be recaptured) his story. You have shown yourself to be a real historical sleuth by unearthing previously unknown material...I expected a couple of morsels to nourish and delight, instead I got an epicurean feast of revelations...I think it is safe to say, you know more about Rocky Marciano than anyone alive." Phil Guarnieri (author of 'Inside the Ropes' with referee Arthur Mercante).
"Great stuff , Your work on this great fighter will be enjoyed by many who not only are fans of Rocky but of this great sport!" H Corral.
"I like what I see. The Bio's that I have seen have been OK, yet somewhat "sugarcoated" Look forward to your work!" C Marbry.
"...sounds great, send me copy of book, autographed by you naturally, good luck. Let me know when they go on sale and I will advise fans. I am going to hall of fame in Canastota will advise them the book is happening, good luck." Angelo Dundee (2011).
"With being an Italian and an ex fighter Rocky Marciano was a great image for the Italian people around the world as a great fighter and a person and he will always be loved and respected as long as there is boxing." Frank Stallone.
"I love Rocky Marciano and believe that he would have been a great athlete in the cage...One of the greatest combat athletes of all time." Michael DiSabato (owner Cage Fighter brand).
"If you're a fan of one of the most famous fighters ever to put on a pair of gloves, Rocky Marciano, (then) the name John Cameron might become a familiar one to you soon...(the project) is obviously a consuming labour of love for the author" Ian McNeilly (BoxRecNews.com/Boxing Monthly).
"Looking forward to seeing your book." Donny Lalonde.
"I think people will have some good things to say for sure, I definately found it interesting, and you have tons of great detail in there...what you have now is excellent. I applaud your dedication to the research, as well as your efforts to get the project off the ground." J Emen. (Editor - ProBoxing-Fans.com)
"The book sounds awesome and on point...He's my great uncle (my grandmothers brother)...Thanks for keeping his legacy alive." P A St. Andre.
"You are 'The Man', great job, great work. Rock deserves all your doing, I commend you for doing it." R Mckinley
"I really like what has been written in the sample chapters, it's inspiring not dull. Myself and a few current boxers are looking forward to it coming into publication, as an inspiration. Great work with the book...Rocky was so underrated by people unfamiliar with boxing and his story needs to be told to the new generations. He's always been a favourite and role model of mine and what he went through proves people can do anything." B Matthews.
"I believe that you have a talent for writing!" Peter Marciano, (youngest brother of Rocky)
"It surprises me that you do not yet have a publisher set up...You are a talented writer...I shall be happy to help you should you ever get to New York." Steve Acunto, (president of the American Association for the Improvement of Boxing co-founded with Marciano).
"I am so happy that you are writing a biography of Marciano." Richard Mahoney, (Brockton resident and archivist)
"I am hugely impressed with your writing, and have no doubt that you will be published very soon, and when you are I shall buy a copy and tell all my friends to do the same. Well done!!" A Bolton.
"I'd like to read the biography when it's done. Inform me of when & where I can get a copy when your project is finished..." W Atkins.
"Rocky himself would be proud of the effort you've put into this book." J Raspanti.
"Looks like it will be agreat homage to Rocky he deserves it...Bravo, keep me up to date...Thank you." G Garbelli.
"Thanks. What a great chapter. This is only going to make the book better...Ferdie...said they are Gold...You are a hell of a writer." Luisita Pacheco (wife of author and boxing historian Ferdie Pacheco commenting on a piece that I penned to add to Ferdie's forthcoming project on the Ali Marciano computer bout - I have now been asked to rework the entire manuscript for Ferdie).
"Please let me know when the book is published, I thought I knew all there was to know about Rocky but you have proved me wrong. Can't wait to buy it when it comes out." D Wilks.
"Good luck with your research. If the book is ever published in the States the library will purchase a copy!" Fort Lewis Public Librabry.
"John, this site is wonderful and exciting! I am thrilled to read the book once it is finished...Keep up the hard work...I think this is going to be a great selling book all over the world, especially here in the United States, he was such a hero and still is an inspiration to a lot of boxers and athletes as well. Can't wait to read it, what I read so far on your site was very informative and interesting, and I will for sure, purchase the book to add to my collection." K Asherman.
"I can't wait to read the finished product. You are obviously on to something that deserves, if not needs, telling. Keep up the good work!" Tania Grossinger (author and friend of Marciano's).
"Looks fantastic 100% looking forward to the end result I'll be getting a copy for sure." S Green.
"You are a very talented writer...I have no doubt that I will buy a copy of your book when it comes out." A Hatcher.
"Really happy that things are looking good for your book-Can't wait to buy a copy once it's all published." D Ferguson.
"I just read a few pages of your upcoming book I think you got a winner...I'll read whatever you print and when your book get's published I'll buy it. Make note of what I said, when-not if your book get's published." C Fontanello.
"Just reading some of the things written on your website, it looks like the book will be a beauty." J Matthews.
"You definately are a good writer. I am no judge but I know what I like. I am sure the book will be great." K Pacheco.
"I have been a fan of Rocky Marciano's for years and thought that I had read it all, but the chapters that I've read from you are astonishing in their details! When does the book come out? I can't wait to read more." C Mayhew.
"Brilliant! Keep it coming...Can't wait to read the finished book." J Miles.
"Reading the chapters posted on this site and through the links, it is obvious that you are creating something remarkable, both the writing and research are top drawer and there is no doubt that you will be published soon, good luck and please let me know when it is published." T Clarke.
"John, glad you are writing such a book...I am truly excited anticipating the completion and publication of your work. I have read some of the works you referenced and found them fascinating. I like the fact that you go right to the heart of Rocky...Thanks for keeping Rocky's memory alive. My Dad adored him. Keep us posted on your book. We will gladly purchase a copy." L Giovagnoli.
"I love the site, you are writing what promises to be a really remarkable book, can't wait for it to be published, good luck." N Evans.
"Great Work!!!! I love everything I have read here, and learned so many more things that I never knew. And I read nearly all the books about Rocky... R Riendeau.
(Reviews of excerpts formerly posted on the sites mentioned on the old Links & News page) "Great piece, John. I love the way you have expanded on previous information on Rocky, real definitive 10/10." "Brilliant!!!" "Can't wait to read the book when it comes out if it carries on like this." "Brilliantly written, clear and lucid." "The research is remarkable." "Fantastic article, if the rest of the book is this good you are on to a winner!" "Awesome work." "Your research and writing are wonderful, I was hooked on the material instantly. The book will be a winner, especially here in the US." "Wow...I think that sums it up!!!!!" "Awesome writing..." "What a beautifully written piece that I really enjoyed, I'm sure our viewers will learn something from this." "Great Read, Very knowledgeable." "Great Article, very well written." "Great article, John, I can't wait for your book to come out..." "WOW Great insight into the great Marciano." "Just learned a whole load I never knew about Marciano, Thanks John." "Great read." "Excellent read." "Nice excerpt, thanks for posting it." "I have been searching for an older biography, maybe this book is better!!!" "If the remainder of the book continues in this vein it will be a pleasure to read, congratulations to the author." "Nicely worked piece, smooth and flowing." "Having been a fan of Rocky Marciano since a child and having read the majority of biographies on his life I am enthused...I expect to be able to buy this work off the shelves soon." "Incredible amount of information, as a fan of Marciano I have never come across such detail, well written and awesome research." "Great research, well written, look forward to reading more." "As soon as this book comes out I will buy it, your writing is magic and the info phenomanal, five stars" "BRILLIANT READING..."