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    After controversial split-decision victory in 1950, Marciano closes out the rematch in brutal fashion

    1953 Rocky Marciano Fight Worn Gloves from Roland La Starza II Bout. A granite chin and an undefeated record remain the two greatest legacies of Rocky Marciano's boxing career, but each was severely tested on March 24, 1950 when he met another undefeated (37-0) heavyweight by the name of Roland La Starza at Madison Square Garden. It proved to be the Champion's closest brush with defeat, with many spectators jeering the split decision victory handed to Marciano and clamoring for a second edition that might provide the justice they felt the first contest lacked. On September 24, 1953, just a few miles uptown from their inaugural contest three years earlier, La Starza would get his chance at redemption in front of 44,562 fans at the Polo Grounds.

    The opening six rounds of the 1953 contest proved to be a continuation of the theme of the first bout, a closely matched affair that saw the challenger get the better of the exchanges, but as La Starza began to tire the advantage turned ever more brutally in Marciano's favor as his windmilling hooks found their target with increasing regularity. A thudding combination sent La Starza backwards through the ring ropes in the eleventh round, and though the brave challenger regained his feet before a ten count, referee Ruby Goldstein stepped in moments later to call off the Marciano attack and hand him the decisive TKO victory.

    Presented are the "Ben Lee" brand gloves that erased the lone smudge on Marciano's peerless career and authored the forty-fifth of his forty-nine victories in a bout awarded the distinction of Ring Magazine's "Fight of the Year" for 1953. A well-documented chain of provenance and unimpeachable photographic evidence supply ironclad assurance of authenticity.

    After the conclusion of the bout, the gloves were claimed by New York State Boxing Commissioner Jack Duperstein, who then gave them to a Brooklyn bar owner name DeLaRoca, a friend of Marciano's, who displayed them at his establishment. Some time later, a young boy was admiring them in the bar as he sat with his father when Marciano entered and witnessed the scene. After assuring his bartender friend that he would replace the gloves with another pair, Marciano gifted the gloves to the star-struck young lad, who treasured them for over four decades before selling them to our consignor.

    A detailed letter of authenticity from top boxing collectibles expert Craig Hamilton makes note of the proper commission inspector's notations in the appropriately weighted six ounce gloves, a faded ink "tic tac toe" like symbol as was typical of the period, with the initial "RM" clearly legible. Most importantly, Hamilton references a photograph from the bout that reveals "707-6" stamping above the now somewhat tattered "Ben Lee" wrist labels, a perfect match to the offered representations. The gloves exhibit solid, sweaty wear and an expected degree of aging to the leather, but they presents very well and lose none of their historical importance from these minor issues. A modern print of an 8x10" photograph from the bout is included for display. Letter of provenance from boy who received gloves from Marciano. Letter of provenance from man who purchased gloves from that owner. LOA from Craig Hamilton.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Jul-Aug, 2014
    31st-1st Thursday-Friday
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