Friday, April 30, 2010


FIFA World Cup trophy

2010 FIFA World Cup logo
From Wikipedia

World Cup 2010 Slovakia mascot

The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be the 19th FIFA World Cup, the premier international football tournament. It is scheduled to take place between 11 June and 11 July 2010 in South Africa. The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be the culmination of a qualification process that began in August 2007 and involved 204 of the 208 FIFA national teams. As such, it matches the 2008 Summer Olympics as the sports event with the most competing nations.
This will be the first time that the tournament has been hosted by an African nation, after South Africa beat Morocco and Egypt in an all-African bidding process. This decision left the Oceania Football Confederation as the only confederation yet to host the FIFA World Cup. Italy are the defending champions. The draw for the finals took place on 4 December 2009 in Cape Town.
After FIFA rejected its proposal to co-host the event with Libya, Tunisia withdrew from the bidding race on the May 8, 2004. During the morning of the vote on the May 15, 2004, the Libyan bid to host the World Cup was excluded as the national committee had confirmed it would not allow an Israeli team to participate in the Cup on its soil.
It was twenty-one minutes past noon (on May 15, 2004) both in Switzerland and South Africa when the envelope was opened, its contents withdrawn and FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter's long-awaited words, barely audible above the noise, spoken. At 12:21 PM on May 15, 2004, history had been made; it was the time of Africa and South Africa to stage the FIFA World Cup. With 14 votes, South Africa was declared as winner after just one round of voting. In the secret vote, Morocco received 10 votes, while Egypt did not get any votes at all.
Sitting next to Mr Blatter, Nelson Mandela, who had spent 27 of his 85 years in prison under the apartheid regime, could not hold back his tears and they fell freely down his cheeks. Mandela, who had made the trip to Zurich despite not being in the best of health, hoisted the World Cup trophy. "I feel like a young man of 15," he said to laughter. But, typically, Mandela's first thought was for others - the people of Morocco, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia: "You must not be discouraged. It is no reflection of your efforts. Next time when you compete, you may be luckier." A message to the people back home? "South Africans should treat this decision with humility and without arrogance because we are, after all, equal," he responded with a booming voice that sent a shiver down the spine, prompting one Egyptian journalist to stand up and say "We love you Nelson Mandela".
Only 32 teams can compete for the World Cup in South Africa in 2010 and we already know that one of those teams will be South Africa, as the host nation doesn't need to qualify. The journey for every other footballing nation began on November 25, 2007 when the preliminary draw for the 2010 World Cup took place in Durban, South Africa. The purpose of the draw was to fairly split the countries from the four regions, Asia, Africa, Europe and North, Central America and Caribbean, into competing qualifying groups for the 2010 World Cup.

Early highlight of the draw (February 8, 2010):
Group A: South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, France
Group B: Argentina, Nigeria, Korea Republic, Greece
Group C: England, USA, Algeria, Slovenia
Group D: Germany, Australia, Serbia, Ghana,
Group E: Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Cameroon
Group F: Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia
Group G: Brazil, Korea DPR, Côte d’Ivoire, Portugal
Group H: Spain, Switzerland, Honduras, Chile
(By WC2010Mania, February 8, 2010 at

It has been a long and winding road to the 2010 World Cup, says Irvin Khoza, with the idea first discussed in 1994. It was a long, tough road but soon Africa will host its first World Cup. The journey to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ has been one long road filled with great expectations, heart-rending disappointments, and unprecedented joy not only for those people involved in bidding for the football tournament, but for South Africans at large.
Addressing about 400 people who had gathered at a City Press Soccer Forum at the Linder Auditorium at the University of the Witwatersrand's Education Campus on Thursday, 30 July, the chairman of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee South Africa (OC), Irvin Khoza, spoke about South Africa's efforts to host the World Cup, a dream that started way back in 1994.
At the time FIFA changed the staging of the World Cup and voted for the US to host it in 1994 - its hosting had been see-sawing between Europe and South America since 1930. The seed was planted by the then South African Football Association (SAFA) president Stix Morewa who, after returning from the 1994 World Cup, expressed South Africa's interest in hosting the World Cup in 2006 by writing to FIFA…..
In the later rounds of voting, the bid team heard that South Africa had beaten Brazil, Morocco and England, and was left fighting it out with Germany. Like a prophet of doom, Franz Beckenbauer, who led Germany's bid, hinted that his country would be successful to South Africa's team at a hotel in Zurich, Switzerland…..
Throwing the country a lifeline, FIFA announced that it would rotate the tournament between football confederations. As a result, the next cup – in 2010 – would be held in Africa. Alongside South Africa, four other African countries submitted their bids to host the 2010 World Cup – Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco…..
As the day of the announcement of the winning bid to host the 2010 World Cup drew closer, and not wanting to take a chance, the bid committee invited Madiba, FW de Klerk and Archbishop Desmond Tutu to accompany it to Zurich.
And then Blatter opened the envelope and announced that South Africa had won the bid, beating Morocco, which won 10 votes and Egypt which had gathered no votes.
(By: Ndaba Dlamini, Source: City of Joburg, 4th August 2009)

Jabulani Angola

2010 Jabulani
From The Right Winger Football

At Mexico WC 1970 Adidas provided its first ever Fifa World Cup Ball. A ball that would become a classic for football aficionados all over the world. That mythic ball was the Telstar, a distinctive ball made of 32 white and black leather panels that made it the roundest ball of its time. The next Adidas ball was the Tango, first used in Argentina 1978 WC. Its design lasted for the next five FIFA World Cup. For South Africa’s 2010 World Cup, Adidas designed the ‘Jabulani’. Jabulani means joy, celebration in Zulu.
This is what Adidas say regarding the design:
The 11 colours that are present on the Jabulani pay tribute to both football and the country in which Africa’s first-ever FIFA World Cup will be held. They represent a colour for each team player, every official South African language and for each of the 11 South African communities that will welcome the world next year. The design celebrates two of the most important facets of the South African nation – diversity and harmony – as it is these principles that make it such a colourful and welcoming nation.
(WORLD CUP blog)
The new stadiums are the most spectacular in the world and they will collectively seat more than 570,000 people.....
Some R11.7-billion is being invested in the transport infrastructure programme to ensure the smooth movement of fans, teams and media. The 2010 FIFA World Cup transport projects are an integrated part of government’s overall investment in transport, which is revolutionising the transport system for the long-term benefit of commuters and the economy.
Roads, rail and bus-route upgrade will provide an integrated transport system. This includes innovations like Rapid Rail and bus rapid transit systems, which include special public transport lanes and interchange nodes for commuters to switch from one form of transport to another. The 2010 FIFA World Cup will pioneer the use of integrated electronic ticketing, which will see commuters using one ticket to access buses, trains and taxis.
The satellite teleport and telecommunications infrastructure for the World Cup will support transmission capacity of 40 gigabytes per second and will be used after 2010 to provide broadband services.
The International Broadcast Centre in Johannesburg will be the media nerve centre, receiving broadcast transmissions from the stadiums and distributing them across the globe.
The media nerve-centre includes a “farm” of satellite dishes covering an area of 5 000 m². The cumulative television audience for the 2010 event will reach about 26,9 billion.

Soccer City, Johannesburg:
Could be a spaceship from the South African sci-fi hit District 9, but is actually based on the African cooking pot known as the calabash, all the more spectacular at night. A true jewel in the crown and worthy host of the opening match and final. Construction major upgrade.
Capacity 88,460
First match 11 June, Group A, South Africa v Mexico
Still to do The half-paved approach to the stadium is a building site populated by men in orange bibs, cranes and piles of rubbish
Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town:
Provincial premier Helen Zille feared that future generations would never forgive her if this locally resisted stadium spoiled the view of Table Mountain. Fortunately it’s a world class masterpiece, wrapped in noise-reducing cladding that blends exquisitely into its surroundings.
Construction new
Capacity 66,005
First match 11 June, Group A, Uruguay v France
Still to do Local transport is still being finalised
Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

The sweeping silhouette of the Green Point stadium (above) has forever changed the face of the surrounding Green Point Common. Enwrapped by a façade of woven fibreglass, coated with Teflon, it will resemble a rose-coloured bowl floating on a base, when lit up at night. The architects have dubbed the stadium “the Diva of Cape Town”, reflecting the constantly changing moods of the city in varying weather conditions.
The roof: The design and construction of the roof is unique. Its basic structure resembled a bicycle wheel, open in the middle with 72 cables linking the outer and inner rings of the circle were slowly tightened to raise the roof from ground level to its present height.
Another first for the roof is the use of 16mm thick panels of glass to cover and protect the spectators from strong winds and rain. This will let in the light while the ceiling panels underneath – made of woven PVC fabric – will soften the noise from within.
The stadium bowl: For the eight World Cup matches to be played at the venue, the stadium will have a seating capacity of 68,000, including 13,000 temporary seats which will be removed afterwards. Features of the stadium are that it can be evacuated in 15 minutes and that all the spectators are close to the game.
Safety: Spectators will be protected by a state-of-the-art camera surveillance system which is monitored by police in the Venue Operations Centre inside the stadium, while pitch invasions are discouraged by a wide moat around the circumference. There is also a police station inside the building to deal with hooligans and other criminals.

Quick facts:
* 96,000 cubic metres of concrete were used
* The roof has a total weight of 4,700 tons
* Some 9,000 glass panels were used to cover 37,000 square metres of roof
* 500 toilets and 360 urinals
* 115 entry turnstiles
* 16 lifts
* More than 2,500 workers were employed on site during construction, and almost 1,200 artisans received training from the contractors.

Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg:
England’s campaign will start in modest trapping that would feel intimate but for an athletics track. Most of the stands are relatively squat two-tier affairs. The neighbourhood is gritty shacks and fish and chips.
Construction minor upgrade
Capacity 44,530
First match 12 June, Group C, England v USA
Still to do The road from Sun City is potholed, but a local official has promised to resign if it’s not finished in time
Photograph: Gallo Images/Getty Images

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth:
Set on the shores of a lake, another spectacular with a roof that looks like a sunflower - sort of - designed to resist high winds. The seats are bold red and orange, the pitch a vibrant green. Twelve Chinese workers installed up to 1,000 seats per day.
Construction new
Capacity 46,082
First match 12 June, Group B, South Korea v Greece
Still to do The city mayor says that some access roads are “75% there”, others “95%”. He’s still awaiting buses imported from Brazil
Photograph: Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images

Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg:
The ’Touch Down Restaurant’ testifies that this is a rugby citadel, witness to the Springboks’ 1995 Mandela-inspired World Cup win. A new tier on the north stand has increased seating capacity. Functional rather than beautiful.
Construction minor upgrade
Capacity 61,639
First match 12 June, Group B, Argentina v Nigeria
Still to do The pitch looked sandy after hammering by rugby teams
Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane:
The design is inspired by the locally famed baobab tree with giant “trunk” structures in each corner. The red, brown and orange seats form a pattern that resembles mountains and are nearly on top of the pitch. The dressing rooms contain mini football pitches.
Construction new
Capacity 45,264
First match 13 June, Group C, Algeria v Slovenia
Still to do Find a purpose once the World Cup is over
Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban:
A cable car ascends to a viewing platform at the top of a 350m, German-built grad arch, 106m above the pitch. The arch is also open to walkers and bungee jumpers. A fibre-coated roof from Mexico covers 95% of spectators, while the seats are in blue, green, white and orange to represent the ocean and sunrise.
Construction new
Capacity 69,957
First match 13 June, Group D, Germany v Australia
Still to do New grass has to be laid for what will be the South African winter
Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria:
One of the oldest stadiums in South Africa, used for major sporting events since 1903. Has undergone perennial upgrades since 1948 and been used for both football and rugby. Won’t win awards for architecture but has a compact feel despite its size.
Construction upgrade
Capacity 49,365
First match 13 June, Group D, Serbia v Ghana
Still to do Cultivating the pitch once the rugby players have gone
Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein:
Conjured the best atmosphere on last week’s official tour with hundreds of football fans singing and dancing, though rugby posts were still in place. Upgraded from a capacity of 38,000 to 45,000 during refurbishments, spread over two efficient tiers.
Construction medium upgrade
Capacity 45,058
First match 14 June, Group E, Japan v Cameroon
Still to do Access roads need to be finished
Photograph: Stephane De Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images

Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit:
Striking for the 18 giant tension rods that resemble giraffe necks and the black and white seats striped like a zebra; this is, after all, Kruger Park country. Players should bring sunglasses for the lurid green and blue changing room interiors.
Construction new
Capacity 43,589
First match 16 June, Group H, Honduras v Chile
Still to do The pitch is still an arid dustbowl for birds after two failed attempts to grow quality grass
Photograph: Stephane De Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images

Law enforcement representatives of the 32 teams participating in the 2010 FIFA World Cup gathered at FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich, to discuss security plans for the tournament. Also attending the meeting were representatives of Interpol, FIFA and the 2010 Local Organising Committee (LOC). South African National Police Commissioner, Bheki Cele gave an overview of plans for national security, protection of teams, referees and spectators during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The meeting concluded with a press conference by FIFA President Joseph Blatter, FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke, LOC boss Danny Jordaan, and representatives of both the South African police and the other 31 participating countries.
(By: Nthambeleni Gabara, BuaNews, 4 March 2010)
South Africa meets Mexico in World Cup 2010 opener.....The battle will take place at Johannesburg, June 11, 2010 at 4pm on Soccer City. The 2010 Final Draw was done at the International Convention Centre of Cape Town. The 32 qualifying teams that will participate in the World Cup have been divided into eight groups and placed into four pots.....
After finally knowing who will open the game, the one who will break the ice is South Africa vs. Mexico. They will be drawing the first blood in the 2010 Soccer world cup. You might think that Mexico sounds like a small country but take note that they hosted the world cup in 1986. If there is anyone who might know what the South Africa team is thinking of playing against right now, it might just be the Mexico team. This Mexican team is currently rated number 15 on the FIFA ratings on the other hand, South Africa is rated 86th. South Africa did not play to earn their place but got it because they are the host. They lost against Iceland as well which puts at doubt on everyone’s mind on how they will fair against a much stronger team like Mexico.
Maybe with a lot more of cheering in Bafana, they could win against Mexico but you should consider that Mexico earned their way to be where they are now. While South Africa, if they did not host the 2010 World Cup, could not even be in game line up. South Africa started playing only in 1998 and has never been in the second round before. So if you study the stats you will see that it might be harder for South Africa than it looks. Whatever result it will make, this will be an interesting game.
The last time Mexico hosted the world cup was in 1986 and this country might look small compared to its rival USA in terms of politics and other issues. Everyone should look out for their accomplishment and output in World Cup 2010. Mexico won their fifth Gold Cup in July 2009 and totaled eighth CONCACAF Championship overall. Mexico won against the United States 5–0 in the finals after about 10 years of not even winning a game against the United States. On the 10th of October, 2009 Mexico qualified for a spot to the 2010 FIFA World Cup after it defeated El Salvador 4-1 in Estadio Azteca.
(By WC2010Mania, February 8, 2010 at
Without any doubts, the World Cup is the most prestigious football event any player can hope to participate in. Only being held every four years, it is a truly unique experience for both fans and players.....
Although every FIFA World Cup is bound to have its upsets, it appears to be a safe bet that the battle for the title will mainly concern the top-tier teams from Europe and South America. In particular Brazil and Argentina are facing a lot of pressure given their disappointing performances in the last World Cup. In fact, the Brazilian Seleção around Ronaldinho faced harsh critique at home after being eliminated in the quarterfinals by France in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Likewise, defending champions Italy as well as Spain, Portugal, England, Germany and the Netherlands can rightfully be considered championship contenders. Especially the Spanish team around Fernando Torres and Xavi is coming off a huge confidence boost after winning the Euro 2008 title. In contrast, host nation South Africa is hoping to play well in front of their home crowd, but unfortunately anything else than a group-stage knockout would be a big surprise.
(By WC2010Mania, World Cup 2010 FIFA Worldcup South Africa)

South African fans
From Close Encounters Ltd

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Portrait Of The Artist
Watercolour and bodycolour, 1915
Private collection
From ARC

Biographical Information:
• George Owen Wynne Apperley R.I. R.A.
• Born 17th June 1884 in Ventnor, Isle of Wight, England.
• Died in Tangier, 1960.
• Educated at Eagle House, Sandhurst and at Uppingham School.
• Studied art at Herkomer Academy, Bushey, Herts.
• He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in London, 1905.
• Mounted his first individual exhibition in London,1906.
• Elected as a member of the Royal Institute of Watercolour Artists in 1913.
• Moved to Spain in 1916.
• In 1932 during the civil war he left Spain and took up residence in Tangier.
• In 1937 he received the Order of the Mehdavia ('Comendador de la Mehdavia').
• In 1945 he was awarded the Order of Alfonso The Wise ('Encomienda de Alfonso X El Sabio') by the Spanish Government - an honour which no other British painter received during his lifetime.
• In 1951 he was elected as a Distinguished Member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Málaga, Spain.
George Owen Wynne Apperley was born in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight and died in Tangier. His early childhood was spent in Seaside towns on the South coast of England and in Alton, Hampshire. It was here when George was six that his father died in a hunting accident, leading his mother to take him to Torquay where they then settled. His mother later remarried.
It was not felt fitting that an Apperley should become simply a painter — indeed George's stepfather was keen for him to maintain the family tradition and join the military while his mother harboured a desire for him to join the Church.
Apperley's interest in art however was obsessive and he was sent, in consequence, to school at Sandhurst and later to Uppingham — both renowned for their disciplinarianism. Here he showed little interest in academic subjects other than art and later persuaded his family that a tutor would be more beneficial to him.
In 1903 he enrolled at Herkomer's but his rebellious streak and his somewhat Bohemian lifestyle led to his expulsion the following year — the teachers at the school were not impressed by his work. He returned to home tutorials, and, in 1904, with his tutor, Major Wilkinson, he visited Italy. It was on this tour that his serious art education began.
When he returned he began to paint seriously and to show and sell his work. In 1907 he married Miss Hilda Pope, a union not deemed to be fitting by her parents, and the couple honeymooned in Lugano. On their return they established their home in West Hampstead, London, for the first time affording Apperley a stable base from which to develop his painting techniques and to exhibit more frequently.
He had exhibitions of his work at the Baillie Gallery London (1906), Leicester Galleries in 1908 and 1910, and his work was noticed favorably by Huntly Carter in a New Age report on the Leicester Gallery show. 
(Brown University and The University of Tulha at
A working holiday to Spain in 1914 was to sow the seeds for a potential turning point in Apperley's life. It was to be the first of many visits here and was also his first tour alone. He was fascinated by the place and felt that only by seeing more could he fully understand the country. The material, particularly watercolours that he painted on that first visit, show quite plainly the inspiration that he found there..... Only shortly after Apperley returned to Britain from this first trip the First World War broke out. This dismal backdrop left the Artist finding it increasingly difficult to find inspiration in his native England and he reflected ever more on the tranquil time which he had spent in Spain. Having been pronounced unfit for military service he was gripped by depression and was advised by his doctors to travel south to a more temperate climate. He took no further bidding, Apperley left for Spain for the second time, alone, in 1916 leaving his English family behind, never to return to them.
(Apperley Art UK)

 La Alhambra desde mi estudio
The Alhambra From My Studio
Watercolour, 1921

 La cenicienta
Oil, 1932
 La Cordobesa
Watercolour, 1923
 Jardin de mi casa, Granada
View from my studio in Granada
Watercolour, 1956
From Apperley Art (UK)

Sangre torera
From Apperley Art (UK)
With newfound inspiration in his new surroundings the breadth of the Artist's subject matter increased with landscapes becoming predominantly Spanish and with portraits of exotic Spanish ladies and the 'Gitanos' of the Albaicin becoming a central theme of his work. After a short time in Madrid Apperley gravitated back to his best loved Andalusia and Granada where he set up his studio in the Placeta de San Nicolas, close to the gypsy quarter.....
Apperley became recognised in the leading Spanish artistic circles as a result of an exhibition arranged by the Town Hall and the Centro Artistico to celebrate Corpus Christi (1917). Many of Spain's leading artists were to attend and Apperley's contributions were pre-raphaelite in theme. His painting 'The Rose' took first prize and secured him high acclaim.
(Apperley Art UK)

The Roses
From Apperley Art UK

Amongst portraits from that time there is a drawing, 'Cinderella', this was of the young Enriqueta Contreras who was to become his second wife. Apperley's work flourished and established the interest of many aficionados and collectors. He was able to mount his first one man exhibition in Spain (Madrid) in November 1918 and was honoured to have it opened by the King and Queen of Spain). It was probably this exhibition that established him as a major Artist in his new adopted homeland.
(Apperley Art UK)


Drawing, 1919
From Apperley Art UK


Rocky Marciano

Rocky Marciano
From Wikipedia

Name: Rocky Marciano
Alias: The Brockton Blockbuster
Birth Name: Rocco Francis Marchegiano
Born: 1923-09-01
Birthplace: Brockton, Massachusetts, USA
Died: 1969-08-31 (Age:45)
Nationality: US American
Hometown: Brockton, Massachusetts, USA
Boxing Record: click
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 5′ 10″
Reach: 67″
Manager: Al Weill
Trainers: Charley Goldman & Al Columbo
Officiating Record: Referee

On Sept. 1, 1923 Mr. and Mrs. Pierino Marchegiano of Brockton, Massachusetts became the proud parents of an extraordinarily robust baby boy. The twelve pound child was christened Rocco Marchegiano, but the world would one day know him as the legendary boxer Rocky Marciano.
When "bambino Rocco" was 18 months of age, he contracted pneumonia. Even though the infection nearly killed him - his doctor claimed that his remarkably strong constitution enabled him to survive without impairment.
As a child, Rocky relished his mother's Italian cooking so much he often bordered on being a bit stocky, which was underscored by his relatively short but muscular arms and legs. However, even at this tender age, his overall bearing suggested he possessed unusual physical strength....
During his early teenage years, Rocky took great advantage of living across the street from Brockton's James Edgar Playground, where he especially enjoyed playing baseball. It was during this period that he began the habit of exercising to his limit. Spending countless hours hitting and chasing after baseballs, he would ultimately go home and do chin-ups and lift homemade weights until he was totally fatigued.
After supper, he and his pals spent many happy hours pummeling a stuffed mail sack that hung from an oak tree in the Marchegiano's back yard. In hot weather, they usually finished off such workouts "by racing over to Saxton's Spring to get a drink of its sparkling cold water....."
( Gerald Beals, An Abridged Biography Of The Life Of Rocky Marciano. . . June, 1999 at
Rocky Marciano..... born Rocco Francis Marchegiano, was an Italian-American boxer and the heavyweight champion of the world from September 23, 1952, to April 27, 1956, when he retired as the only heavyweight champion in boxing history to retire having won every fight in his professional career.
In March 1943, Marciano was drafted into the army for a term of two years. Stationed in Wales, he helped ferry supplies across the English Channel to Normandy. After the war ended, he completed his service in March 1946 at Fort Lewis, Washington.
While awaiting discharge, Marciano, representing the army, won the 1946 amateur armed forces boxing tournament. His amateur career was interrupted on March 17, 1947, when Marciano stepped into the ring as a professional competitor. That night, he knocked out Lee Epperson in three rounds. In an unusual move, however, Marciano returned to the amateur ranks and fought in the Golden Gloves All-East Championship Tournament in March 1948. He was beaten by Coley Wallace. He continued to fight as an amateur throughout the spring and competed in the AAU Olympic tryouts in the Boston Garden. There, he knocked out George McInnis, but hurt his hands during the bout and was forced to withdraw from the tournament. That was his last amateur bout. His amateur years, with an 8-4 record, would be the last time Marciano experienced a loss.

Rocky Marciano
From Wikipedia

Ever since he was a teenager in Brockton, Massachusetts, people have often referred to Rocky Marciano as "that tough Italian kid" with incredible punching power. To many, Rocky Marciano's fabled story was the inspiration for the ever-popular "Rocky" series made famous by Sylvester Stallone. His trademarks were a powerful right cross and an ability to endure punishment.
Rocky was one of the toughest, hardest working, and hardest hitting champions of all time. He was a complex and charming individual who happened to have an amazing ability to knock opponent out of the ring.....
Throughout his career, the gritty and seemingly indestructible Marciano never forgot and always revered his Italian heritage. It was said that he was able to draw upon his modest upbringing in a working class Italian neighborhood in Brockton, Massachusetts, to help him overcome adversity in the ring.
(Art by Coupe)

Vintage Original Photograph
Signed in Blue Ink Rocky Marciano

Al Weill, Paul Grossinger, Rocky Marciano
From Wikipedia

Rocky Marciano VS Joe Louis, 1951

After winning 37 fights by knockouts - including a momentous victory over Joe Louis -he finally got the answer to his dreams. On Sept. 23, 1952, Rocky fought Jersey Joe Walcott for the world heavyweight championship. Although he was knocked down in the first round - and was behind in the scoring for the first 7 rounds - he finally won in the 13th by knocking out Walcott with a desperately powerful - and extremely accurate - right punch. It was a right cross that traveled only six inches, which he always referred to, thereafter, as his "Susie Q."
One of the less gifted champions of heavyweight history, Marciano won his crown in a fashion which became synonymous with his career - he battled for it. Although in the twilight of his career, Walcott still took a big lead against his challenger, registering a heavy knockdown in the second round. For much of what followed, it was Walcott who dominated, forcing Marciano to follow him around the ring and accept numerous jabs for his trouble. Yet Marciano, nicknamed the "Brockton Blockbuster" was impossible to discourage. By the 13th, he was starting to force the champion into uncomfortable situations, before making the decisive move. Walcott moved straight back to the ropes to avoid a Marciano charge and, with the two fighters barely 12 inches apart, the challenger landed a right hand. It was the kind of punch which is done justice by slow motion replay - it travelled less than a foot, landed flush on Walcott's chin and rendered him unconscious from the moment of impact.

Don Cockell & Rocky Marciano, with Promoter James Norris
Feb. 25, 1955 (New York)
From Wikipedia


Don Cockell vs. Rocky Marciano
May 16, 1955
From Wikipedia

Marciano's last title bout was against Archie Moore on September 21st, 1955. The bout was originally scheduled for Tuesday, September 20th, but because of hurricane warnings it had to be moved to the 21st. Marciano was knocked down for two seconds, but he got up and knocked out Moore in the 9th round. Moore was also knocked down in the 6th and 8th round but was saved by the bell. There was a game before the boxing match and all the fights started late. When Marciano was proclaimed winner, it was already morning of September 22nd.
Marciano announced his retirement from boxing on April 27th, 1956. He considered a comeback in 1959 when Ingemar Johansson won the heavyweight championship from then-champ Floyd Patterson in June of 1959. After almost a month of training, however, Marciano decided against it and never seriously considered a comeback again.
(Check Six)
After his retirement, Marciano moved to Florida, invested in restaurants, buying and selling boats, and dealing in real estate and construction. And though many of his investments, such as buying Florida wetlands, were disastrous, he remained cheerful and genial - the money he gave to his friends was often not repaid, and Marciano would never say a word about it.
He hosted a weekly boxing show on TV for a year and, for a brief period, he worked as a troubleshooting referee for wrestlers. He continued as a referee and boxing commentator in boxing matches for many years.
(Check Six)
Rocky defended his title six times, winning five fights by knockouts. As a professional, he won an unprecedented 49 straight fights of which 43 - almost 90 % - were by knockouts.
He was once asked if it was the hated memories of breathing coal dust and the putrid smell of shoe factory leather that fired him up with unrelenting determination to win and succeed as a boxer. "Not really," he replied, "Even after I was knocked down, or badly cut, and was losing a fight, "the one thing I thought about most was the hardship my father and mother faced throughout their lives...I well knew that, if I didn't overcome the challenge at hand, both I and they would certainly never get another chance to escape poverty and oblivion...."
Rocky also acknowledged that, in his earliest fights, he thought a lot about impressing his girl friend (and later wife) Barbara Cousins and her friends, pointing out that, "At that time, not many people were very positive about my prospects as a serious boyfriend...."
Rocky was often asked what was his toughest fight. Surprisingly, he always said it was his encounter with Joe Louis: 'Because the aging 'Brown Bomber' was my childhood hero, I had to overcome a 'ton' of reservation before I finally knocked him out of the ring. When that moment finally came, it seemed like everyone in the crowd had turned against me... Some of Louis's fierce admirers were actually crying; others were swearing at me.... As I went to his corner to console him, I saw that that the only people who were still wildly cheering for me - as always - were my faithful supporters from Brockton...."
(Gerald Beals, An Abridged Biography Of The Life Of Rocky Marciano. . . June, 1999 at
On August 31st, 1969, at 9:00 PM, a light plane tried to land in bad weather at a small airport outside Newton, Iowa. The pilot, Glenn Belz, had only 231 total hours of flying time, with only 35 hours at night. A weather briefing had warned of stormy skies over Iowa, with a low ceiling. Belz was not instrument rated. Inexperienced, probably confused and frightened by the bad visibility, he tried to drop below the low hanging clouds to find the runway. He came out of the clouds two miles short of the runway and much too close to the ground. A witness said it appeared the pilot tried to gain altitude at the last moment but it was too late. Belz was less than one hundred feet off the ground when his plane struck a lone oak tree in the center of a cornfield, hit the ground, and slid for 235 feet before coming to a stop as a tangled wreck near a drainage ditch.
The passenger in the rear seat was 22 year old Frankie Farrell, son of Italian mobster Louis Fratto. In the front passenger seat was the former heavyweight champion of the world, Rocky Marciano, who would have been 46 years old the next day. All three were killed instantly.....
(East Side

Frankie Fratto

Frankie "One-Ear" Fratto and Rocky Marciano

Frankie "One-Ear" Fratto and Rocky Marciano

Frankie (Fratto) Farrell with Rocky Marciano
hours before fatal plane crash

Sam Ancona, Frankie Fratto Farrell
Rocky Marciano, Chuckie Morgan

Forty-eight years since he retired undefeated, Rocky Marciano remains the only champion to finish his career with a perfect record in over 100 years of gloved boxing. For those who don’t know much of Marciano other than the opinions of debaters boxing forums, first know that he didn’t "just" retire undefeated. There was more substance to him as a fighter than his perfect record. For example, Marciano was named Ring magazine Fighter of the Year three times; in 1952, 1954, and 1955. Rocky also fought the Fight of the Year three times; in 1952 VS Walcott, in 1953 VS Roland LaStarza, and in 1954 VS Ezzard Charles. And he was honored with Round of the Year twice; in 1951 when he KO’d Louis in the 8th and in 1952 when he put away Walcott in the 13th round.
(East Side

Rocky Marciano Nails Ezzard Charles With A Right Hand
From Signature House

Such selections were not based on weight class but on performance, during a boxing era that was rich in talent; Sugar Ray Robinson was active, as were Sandy Saddler, Willie Pep, Archie Moore, Kid Gavilan, Carmen Basilio, Joey Maxim, Randy Turpin, and other great fighters. In such an era, and among such competition, Rocky had to win more impressively than other men also bound for the Hall of Fame. And it wasn’t latter day boxing fans he had to impress; it was sports writers whose perspective was ringside.
He excelled in an era of high achievers.
(East Side
He was well respected by those who knew him and the men he fought. Each had their own thoughts and words at the funeral.
"He was a man of courage inside the ring. Outside, he was kind and gentle." Jersey Joe Walcott
"Something's gone out of my life. I'm not alone, something's gone out of everyone's life." Joe Louis
"He was a great fighter and a great man." Joe Frazier
"There was no pretense about Rocky. He was the genuine thing." Joey Maxim
"This man was one of the greatest champions ever. He refused to accept defeat. And nobody beat him." Sonny Liston.
Muhammad Ali told how he sped to Fort Lauderdale, breaking speed limits and ignoring red lights to get to the funeral on time.

From Art by Coupe

"He was gentle and soft-spoken and you’d never picture him to be a boxer," said Marciano’s sister, Betty Colombo. “He was so sensitive, very family-oriented. He cared about his brothers and sisters and parents very much. He used to come home and we’d envy him. When he’d come to Brockton, my mother would call all the kids up and say, ‘Come over and see the brother.’ He’d say that you don’t know how lucky you guys are. You’re married, you’ve got a family, you’re home all time. He envied us because he couldn’t do that anymore. He’d have to leave and go on the road. But he never changed inside."
"The most popular athlete in the world in those days was the heavyweight champion of the world, and that’s what Rocky was" said Armond Colombo. “It’s nothing like today. Today, do you know who the heavyweight champion of the world is? When you were heavyweight champion of the world, everyone in the world knew Rocky Marciano."
Brockton-based Goody Petronelli, who along with his brother, Pat, guided Marvelous Marvin Hagler to the top of the world middleweight division, has Marciano pictures hanging in his downtown gym. “There’s nothing greater than Rocky Marciano," said Petronelli. “I mention his name to fighters quite frequently in the gym. He’s part of Brockton forever."
When Colombo was coaching Brockton High’s successful football program, he always made it a point to let his players know about the city’s heavyweight champ. “My comment about Rocky was if I had 11 Rocky Marcianos on my team, I would never lose a game," he said. “Any coach would say the same thing because of what he was and his method of training, his determination, his attitude. I once asked him, 'Are you ever afraid of anybody you go in the ring against? He said,'I respect them, but I have never been afraid of anybody I’ve fought.’ That’s what I preached throughout my coaching life. The first thing you have to do is respect your opponent, your teammates and all of this comes back to you and helps you be a better person. That was Rocky."
The man from Dover Street with the vicious punching power who floored 43 opponents was one of a kind, inside and outside of the ring.
“My father told me this story about Rocky," said Peter Marciano Jr., the champion’s nephew. “One day, my father and my uncle Sonny and Rocky were in New York. Rocky was retired. They were at a table. This big guy walks through the door, 6-foot-5, 300 pounds, great big hulk of a guy. The guy walks over to the table and said, 'You Rocky Marciano?' My uncle said, 'Yeah, yeah that’s me.' The guy said, 'You don’t look so tough.' My uncle Rocky looked him right in the eye and said, 'It’s funny you say that because as soon as I saw you walk in the door, I said to my two brothers here if there’s anybody who could give me a run for my money, I bet it’s that guy right there and I wouldn’t want to mess with him.' The guy looked at him and his shoulders swelled up and he walked away. My father said to Rocky, 'What’s the matter? Let’s go give this guy a beating.' My uncle Rocky said, 'You know, I just made that guy. He’ll tell his grandkids that story. I’ve got nothing to prove to anybody. I just made that guy so happy.' That was the type of guy Rocky was. They just don’t make guys like Rocky anymore."
(The Enterprise)

Lee Epperson KO 3
Harry Balzerian KO 1
John Edwards KO 1
Bob Quinn KO 3
Eddie Ross KO 1
Jimmy Weeks KO 1
Jerry Jackson KO 1
Bill Hardman KO 1
Gill Cardione KO 1
Bob Jefferson KO 1
Patrick Connolly KO 1
Gil Ferron KO 2
Johnny Oretzie KO 5
Artie Donato KO 1
James Walls KO 3
Jimmy Evans KO 3
Don Mogard W 10
Harry Haft KO 3
Pete Louthis KO 3
Tommy Gorgio KO 4
Ted Lowry Dec 10
Hoe Domonic KO 2
Pat Richards KO 2
Phil Muscato KO 5
Carmine Vingo KO 6
Roland LaStrarza W 10
Eldridge Eatman KO 3
Gino Buovino KO 10
Johnny Shkor KO 10
Ted Lowry W 10
Keene Simmons KO 1
Harold Mitchell KO 2
Art Henry KO 9
Red Applegate W 10
Rex Lane KO 6
Freddie Beshore KO 4
Joe Louis KO 8
Lee Savold KO 6
Gino Buovino KO 2
Bernie Reynolds KO 3
Harry Matthews KO 2
Joe Walcott KO 13
Joe Walcott KO 1
Roland LaStrarza KO 11
Ezzard Charles W 15
Ezzard Charles KO 8
Don Cockell KO 9

Rocky Marciano career timeline:
Born Rocco Francis Marchegiano, 9/1/23 in Brockton, Mass.
Fought first pro bout as Rocky Marsh, 3/17/47, in Holyoke, Mass.
Returned to amateur ranks after 3-round KO of Lee Epperson.
Billed as Rocco (Socko) Marchegiano, lost to Coley Wallace in preliminary round of Tournament of Champions Golden Gloves, 3/1/48.
Re-started professional career, 7/12/48, in Providence, R.I.
Won first 16 pro bouts by knockout.
Ended Joe Louis' career with eighth-round knockout, 10/26/51.
Won heavyweight title with thirteenth-round KO of Jersey Joe Walcott in Philadelphia, 9/23/52.
Ended Walcott's career with first-round knockout in rematch in first defense of title, 5/15/53.
Made successful title defenses against: Roland LaStarza, KO 11, 9/24/53; Ezzard Charles, W 15, 6/17/54, and KO 8, 9/17/54; Don Cockell, KO 9, 5/16/55; and Archie Moore, KO 9, 9/21/55.
Retired as undefeated champion, 4/27/56.
Shortest reach of all heavyweight champions -- only 68 inches.
Fought an average of fewer than five rounds per bout.
Only six bouts were not won by knockout -- two of those opponents, LaStarza and Charles, were knocked out in rematches.
Fought only two bouts outside the Eastern seaboard.
Returned to train for filming of computer fight with Muhammad Ali in 1968.
Known as "The Brockton Blockbuster."
Killed in crash of private plane, 8/31/69, outside Des Moines, Iowa.
Elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame, 1990.
Complete record: 49 bouts, 49 wins, 0 losses, 43 knockouts.
(From "Boxing's Greatest Fighters", copyright 2006, Lyons Press)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Edwin Moses in hurdle action
Track & Field
UNITED STATES - April 30, 1084
Photos by Carl Iwasaki/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images


Who ever thought that the kid in grade school who built volcanoes, dissected frogs, collected fossils and launched homemade rockets would become one of the most distinguished track athletes in history?
Even in high school, the serious youngster himself had no illusions of grandeur. "I had no ambitions to be an Olympic track star or any kind of athlete," he said. But that's what happened to the analytical and practical Edwin Moses, the possessor of one bachelor's of science degree in physics, one master's in business administration, two Olympic gold medals and 107 consecutive victories in 400-meter hurdles finals.
This athletic marvel enjoyed a run of nine years, nine months and nine days between losses. Four times he broke the world record. Neither his competitors nor his dreams could keep up with his performances. Bounding over the 10 three-foot hurdles, taking an unprecedented 13 steps between hurdles instead of the usual 14, he was a remarkable combination of speed, grace and stamina.....
(Larry Schwartz, Special to, Moses made winning look easy,


From fotocommunity

On the Cover: Edwin Moses, Track and Field
Photographed by Trevor Jones

Mostly, Moses competed in the 110-meter high hurdles, 400 meters, and 4 x 100 relays. Just once before late March 1976 did he enter a 400-hurdles race. But once he started with the event, he made unbelievable advancement with his huge and economical 9-foot-9 stride and qualified for the Olympics.
As a 20-year-old, unknown scholar-athlete from a renowned black college, he burst upon the international scene at the Montreal Olympics. Not only did Moses win the gold medal in his first international meet, he set a world record of 47.64 seconds, breaking John Akii-Bua's mark of 47.82. His eight-meter victory over Mike Shine was the largest winning margin in the event in the Olympics.
"Edwin and I were ships passing in the night," Shine said.
(Larry Schwartz, Special to, Moses made winning look easy,

Edwin Moses and Michael Shine
Montreal Olympic, 1976

Born Aug. 31, 1955, in Dayton, Ohio, as the second of three sons, Edwin began his athletic career in age group competitions and later in high school in the 180-yard low hurdles and 440-yard dash. Because of his parents' influence on him as educators, he accepted an academic scholarship in engineering from Morehouse College rather than an athletic scholarship elsewhere.....
Although there was no track at Morehouse, Moses trained for the 1976 Olympic trials using the public high school facilities around Atlanta. He subsequently won the trials in the 400m hurdles with an American record of 48.30 seconds, making his first Olympic team. At the Summer Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada, he became the Olympic champion, bettering the Olympic and world records with a time of 47.63 seconds. For the next decade he dominated the hurdles, accumulating the most amazing string of consecutive victories ever amassed by an individual athlete....
Moses continued to perform brilliantly in track and field. In 1983, he won his first world title at the first World Championships at Helsinki, Finland. One of the most shining moments of his career came one year later at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, when he was chosen to recite the Athletes' Oath during opening ceremonies.....
(Major Taylor Association, Inc.)

Edwin Moses in the 1984 Olympics
Tony Duffy/Allsport/Getty Images

He was denied the opportunity to defend his gold medal at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, Russia, when U.S. president Jimmy Carter ordered a U.S. boycott of the games. During the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, California, Moses again won the gold medal, becoming only the second man to win two gold medals in the 400-meter hurdles. (American Glenn Davis was the first, winning gold in 1956 and 1960.).....
(Kyle York, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Published July 7, 2005, The Georgia Humanities Council and the University of Georgia Press)
From August 1977 to May 1987, Moses won 122 consecutive races in his event. In June 1987 fellow American Danny Harris, who finished second in 400-meter hurdles in the 1984 Olympics, beat Moses by 0.13 seconds to end the winning streak.
In the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, Moses ran his fastest Olympic final but finished third to take the bronze medal. Moses retired from track afterward but took up bobsledding and won the bronze for two-man teams in a 1990 World Cup race in Germany.....
(Kyle York, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Published July 7, 2005, The Georgia Humanities Council and the University of Georgia Press)
Struggling to put in perspective the statistical esoterica that have grown up around Edwin Moses and the 400-meter intermediate hurdles is actually no more difficult than, say, beating Moses in the race. Of course nobody has accomplished that in nearly seven years.....
When Moses won his gold medal in the 1976 Olympics he was a shy, unapproachable college kid—he didn't say much but used words such as "extrapolate." He wore a modified Afro and dark glasses and a rawhide thong necklace—gasp! What could that mean? .....
Moses not only never loses, he never comes close to losing. David Patrick ran his best race against Moses in Luxembourg and finished 0.06 of a second back. "I think Edwin must have been sick that particular day," says Patrick. Schmid, Moses's erstwhile rival from West Germany and the last man to beat him—Berlin, Aug. 26, 1977; they should build a monument on the site—hasn't come near him since. Schmid once gave in on a Swiss TV talk show, saying, "What do you expect of me? I'll never beat this guy.".....


Plainly, his quiet personality and the fact that his surpassing excellence is contained within a tiny bubble within only a slightly larger bubble in the overall American sporting scheme are factors contributing to his semianonymity on the domestic front. What may be more important is that the 400H—once dubbed "the man-killer," so treacherous a physical undertaking it was—is considered by Moses a mere "hobby—arts and crafts, sport and science." That he was gifted with the perfect body for it, a probing mind to take apart the event and explore the thing to its finite limits, and the work ethic to demolish all previous human limitations—"Edwin is hurdling, body and soul," says his brother Irving Jr.—all this has added to the overall impression that what Moses does is easy. Thus, not very earthshaking. And yet that may be the ultimate measure of his greatness.

Career Highlights:
• PR: 47.02
• Broke World Record 4 times:
• 1976: 47.64
• 1977: 47.45
• 1980: 47.13
• 1983: 47.02
• Broke American Record 6 times:
• 1976: 48.30
• 1976: 48.29
• 1976: 47.64
• 1977: 47.45
• 1980: 47.13
• 1983: 47.02
• Olympic Gold Medal, 1976
• 47.63 (WR)
• Olympic Gold Medal, 1984
• 47.75
• Olympic Bronze Medal, 1988
• 47.56
• World Champion, 1983
• 47.50
• World Champion, 1987
• 47.46
• World Cup Champion, 1977
• 47.58
• World Cup Champion, 1979
• 47.53
• World Cup Champion, 1981
• 47.37
• U.S. National Champion
• 1977: 47.45 WR
• 1979: 47.89
• 1981: 47.59
• 1983: 47.84
• 1987: 47.99