Originally Posted by john garfield
Marciano -- of all the elites, D -- jumps to mind immediately as the WORST sparring.
Have seen ATG's have off days or dog-it, but never look as embarrassing or clumsy as the Rock. Ham-'n-eggers looked like Sugar Ray Robinson against him.
In Skehan's biography of Marciano, I read that "Time!" would be called in panic as soon as he started throwing his Suzy Q at Cesar Brion. Another time, Dempsey is supposed to have told Rocky to nail a prospect of his "on the button" if he left himself open, which Marciano did, causing a nasty gash and quickly ending the session.
From what Skehan wrote, the Rock was eager to spar when he first originally began training for the sport, but that his initial enthusiasm backfired quickly. You knew the guy, and I don't know how accurate Skehan's account is, but it gives me the impression that Marciano had to hold back if he was to get any opportunities to spar at all. Skehan also indicated that he could explode in anger when sucker punched, like he briefly did when his kid brother socked him in a Maine exhibition. (Apparently, Peter reminded him in a clinch that he was about to commit fratricide. With a temper like that, I wouldn't be inclined to test him either!)