He was a small heavyweight and getting close to infight is extremely hard vs big guys. Also fighting other fighters that liked to get up close can lead to heads colliding. First, let me clear up one fantasy: Rocky Marciano did not know who Sonny Liston was when he retired. Period. Rocky did not hear his name spoken until 1958, three years after his last fight. He never heard the Retired sheet metal worker rain shine sleet or snow shirt name Sonny Liston while he was boxing. Rocky retired for two reasons, the first being by far the most important: he hated his manager, who he had discovered was stealing from him. The second, and lesser, reason, his body was beginning to break down under the fierce demands of the training he had to go through in order to make his style effective.
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The truth is, Rocky did not even know who Sonny was in 1955, he was unranked and Rocky did Retired sheet metal worker rain shine sleet or snow shirt not know who he was, literally. When Rocky retired Sonny was 14–1, had lost to a light heavyweight (due to a broken jaw from him laughing at the guy) and Sonny was on his way to prison, again. Patterson admitted in his book “Victory Over Myself,” that D’Amato’s plan was for them to wait till Marciano retired, then fight for the vacant title, which they did against Archie Moore. Floyd said they had absolutely no intention of ever facing Rocky.