Ep. 85 – ‘Unbeaten: Rocky Marciano’s Fight’ author Mike Stanton 7-12-18

Thursday, July 12th
This week Kirk talks to author Mike Stanton about his book ‘Unbeaten: Rocky Marciano’s Fight for Perfection in a Crooked World' detailing the life of the New England sports icon.

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

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Go to mill today and you get to look great at a great price no lose milked the store format. This episode and we've been on the while I apologize for that. He's with Mike Stanton. Was it right here Providence journal for a while now. As this great new book out on Rocky Marciano he's not think the curtain and he was comeback podcast welcome Rocky Marciano correct. We get these books as I Mattel might have a few minutes into the office all the time most might work as once had a great coverage look at this sort of been through and wrecked couple pages it was hooked. I didn't know much to a Rocky Marciano at all of them we you and I know he obviously up undefeated. Plane crash Brockton this book is he grossing. It's there was life gets that the mafia gets it was kind of offense the long run the title as military issues his post boxing career which is also disaster his finances. The corruption within boxing in the forties and fifties all these other great players small fights in Holyoke huge fights at Yankee Stadium Madison Square Garden. Can't recommend this book enough. Unbeaten it's by Mike Stanton who was the guest on an optimum. I was raving about the spoke a couple of days ago on your career that unbeaten Rocky Marciano fight for perfection. The authors Mike and Mike what's going on. Good good good so so brought Oceana from he's one of these guys so. Well first off a deal backs are so where every need every week we have a couple of books shall be sent to us and the publish I guess and into us. Usually I kind of ignore them I'm reading something else on the cover look good. I grabbed it now is it just to because I don't. I was amazed how little I Newble Marciano and he was undefeated. I news from Brockton and we died in the plane crash but played very little else he sort of one of these guys who slipped through the cracks historically a quarter of you agree with that that's part of what. Entry doable writing the book. Yes I totally agree with that and at what rate and these yet the right to vote because. You know in New England. Sports icon but we who people are familiar with general terms but nobody really knows that the full details of the remarkable story and it's fun to go back and and Phyllis detail then. When what what so what leads you true. To say M a picked this guy in write this book and in and find this I mean your your your history is you know the book you've written or. Are different what what led you to Marciano is at it was at. The mafia connection with the province connection. That was certainly have been part of it Kirk I thought. Investigative reporter probably struggle when we won a Pulitzer Prize before that though I sportswriter. And I actually did cover a little bit of boxing. But which means that the this was partly. Being in Providence where rocky fought a lot coming up very rich mop. Back in the forties in the if he's fought here Raymond patriarchate. Mafia. And secondly. My father. Grew up in another small mass she is no. Went college in Providence and GI bill. And after he passed away about a dozen years ago on one thing and it autographed poster rock. And and thirdly it's just yeah I like history and I think all history is biography and you know media is really not a book about boxing about America knows changing. In the middle of the when he essentially very colorful. Oh era with you know Damon Runyon. Cast of characters guys dolls and and I liked the idea of rockets struggled to kind of universal struggle you know the sort of an immigrant. From the shoe factories to Brockton. It's boxing it's pretty much is the only way out and he overcome a lot of obstacles. Physical shortcomings to that pervasive corruption. In the sport and that's well it's apparently despite perfection in cricket world could of course. He manages to navigate that tricky terrain to become history's only unbeaten. Heavyweight champion which organized you know. What to cricket world. Not just amok I mean within his own management I mean he you know he starts with with with real right. Yeah Lotto is the wild is the model that is most prominent. Editor it's like the movie Iraqis so that response on the hired by Marciano. And that you got out of editor and to get to the top you need more than talent and skill what you need the opportunity and that requires the connections. And sort of an early age. You know he's advised to go to New York that the Saturn workers for box as well. As we go to Daryn hooks up with Al wild and he knows he has to ride block out even the wildest personally abusive and domineering. And corrupt and in the pocket of our our vote. We almost sounds like Mike at times he almost sounds like you know. Just a lunatic weather's you know interrupting you know weddings and screaming and taking credit for everything I mean he just seems like a hole. Hole. While food you want to be rightly hated them. One to one writer said he was the mixture of like Stalin and Simon agree. And that was a favorable profile. And they yeah I mean he was he with a guy that you needed that because he had a real skill match making. And he was the matchmaker for the international boxing club with which monopolize the sport. And he answered Frankie carbo was a notorious. National mob figure who is now on the world commissioner boxing and had also been implicated in. Five murders that was part of the mafia's main murder ink but eagle. What's funny about Marciano though one of the beach and things about him. Is you know you would be I was one point a book where he tell somebody that he's ashamed to be in the Italian because this guy I was pacing trying to strong arm. But the same time like Yi kind of light. Flirting a little bit at the mafia world like there was definitely some intrigue here and he may be more so post boxing career but. He was not there was something about it there was intrigued him. Yet real paradox is that like curt is like her which is a kind of threw me to this story as well is that he and I have to put up with the mafia. You know it is working class father thirty you know always advises you know his children to be you know make your race proud. After government rocky is born and grew that. Brockton in nineteen point there's a lot of anti Italian prejudice congress shut the order immigrants from Southern Europe. Back on that city your resting on the street cars are in our hockey house and you know that he faces a lot of that prejudice and that there are a lot of you know ethnic pride and by the 1950s he's pretty all American boy. The great white hope. Is the champion and so when. A couple of mob guys come in and stressing. Before you defend his title in their Cisco against felt and and offer them you know big money to throw the fight he throws out. And an angry. And that is that the Beverly Hills and meet with a friend Mario alarmed at the opera star and he's there in his homeland. Three mob guys committed and they would make its alarms that take over his career elected as Frank Sinatra. And might want to get that in principle of the monsters. Something happen. Law enforcement report. Most massive yeah how you found much is about right. Yeah well yeah but about Marciano same and what the hell you do. MR Iraqi like you know these are dangerous guys got to be careful that they had mob guy. Who do individually with Tommy Rees fingers Casey. And and and then rocky sympathizes with mark releases look I had to put up with the mob in boxing. Control my career right pays them at my earnings while. That you just got to go along get along here. But then he retires and you know all that action and he had in the ring. He needs another outlet for them he starts to conserve it he's not and they laugh at it or you know they'll fly anywhere they'll buy it if I lose. Provide women. And so he kind of likes the action at one point he goes let went and a right before Castro took over it was talking about you know getting involved with a market you know down there and then the revolution happened. And then another point I found that the well this series meeting with John miceli. To talk about a mistake analysts say it's. Did you have any idea before you wrote this book is I had not not not. Given the edge of the Marciano was in was military prison for. A year and India is that right for that. Correct yeah I mean that's that was such that was sort of there. If you ever see that report. How do you fine I mean the research first hoped Odyssey is the book is so good. That I regret that seventy pages of lake researching and that's that that's a but it was. But but I mean how do you how do you stumble upon that patience and stumble I do you fine. Why did what. More couple away if for one thing at the golden age of sports writing. And not only who they're terrific. Sportswriters in the state Agha. But the archives the news magazines like Sports Illustrated contain Vito reports. An income you know reporter goes to. Brock and talks all old people that element and defend you know we hear that he has some problem when he. In the arm and the public story what they keep certain army engineering unit. There are over in England they deployed to Normandy during the and you know that was the story and then rock he comes home and certain Fort Lewis Washington and restart the box but what I discovered. Is this as a unit was about to be deployed. What happened was I called the National Archives let working with the there to get his military. And she says well we have a digitized copy we can then use. Because the prominent person and then she kind of after the search further to come back as well elephant at the paper transcript of his court martial and that was stunning new meaning that in. Over 200 pages of witness interviews please Wear and and his mug which appear in the book. And right. But. It's I would think you'll be hard to tackle a book where. The subject is dead. Everybody's ever fought is dead you know on an almost airmen know secede it is children. Some Brothers and sisters Richard going in. You know kind of attacking it knowing chuck we will talk to certain people. Gotta be gotta be tubby I would like what are you start with the Rocky Marciano with with the first couple steps. Well I listed to beat with that written about and yup I mean his own words which are out there who religiously. You know newspapers' stories first purge that articles. Television and radio interviews. Part that people knew and I have friends it's Sports Illustrated and yes and that opened their archives. You can't that it document with your evil that is sports and yeah and and they were able to give me the edited transcript the people who passed away. And like you that I was able to myself so there was the voluminous record out there and in the case that the army court martial I iraqis' own words because he testified in. His military trial. It was a thing about back cases you follow the threat as and they were his two year gap in its public story in which you know bright bright for each day. In 1946 he's suddenly. It on furlough in Brockton and that's when he has the same answer slightly to the guy in the ball and that is disqualified but what I did and then he goes that the Fort Lewis in Washington and that the question is why is he serving. In the army a year after the war end and the reason why the city to promote an honorable discharge in the meantime use military. Prison in India and I on the records. And what's interesting about that is because he does that the Fort Lewis is boxing before that had been buried. Sporadic and very amateur and now he thought. Really strong arm team. Out there they go to the national junior age you'd championship in Portland Oregon. And he fights for the title when he loses to a going to influence from Massachusetts. But it's close by and rocky is so on the at the time that you mention. Him on the top of and then and chatters and knuckle and fortuitous sleep for them there's Japanese American armed doctor but surgeon who doesn't experimental operation. And basically say his career. These forward it even began and I tracked down at doctor would. As you say you get into this doctors were you boo biography. You missed a domesticated. And rocky had given an interview. Entries champion saying I wish tick remember that that Japanese doctors named it my career. And I only found them but I like it passed away that sound is. Would become doctors and they told me this amazing story about a it is family had been interned in the Japanese. American users aware too that he. Survive because he's in medical school in Cleveland. But he had a tablet but it was at the had to tell old the people he's operating on used Japanese. It's. That's six that saint. They had the think O o'clock. I'm Caucasian clause he had a greeting that if this part of the clinical. Studies. You know await patiently he's been treated by him you know he would deceptively medical will not become a doctor but fortunately nobody objected. And fortunately for Iraqis he was on beauty Fort Lewis like rocky came in with this shattered knuckle. They've his career so it's a remarkable confluence and characters. You know Frances there was a fighter he's spot in Providence that Harry have to. Survivor of Jewish concentration camps. And in Germany so it it yet they're really rich have to characters look a lot of news stories. You know rocky relationships with people expect Sinatra Jack Gleason. Yeah even Burt Reynolds. Also every left and right right Debbie Reynolds and in and Eddie Fisher and Wright have Burt Reynolds at the end or Burt Reynolds cities in the week you can write a punch in the face of Marciano is as you need to don't even try it. Because he's not because he's not that it's Eisenhower right he's like when you look at him and whether the cover which is a great Posey hit Lucy punch him in the cover. That's Roland let's start they're so they fought for what he by Madison Square Garden. Yeah right that's a great. Off one loss it got so they take such a one of those pictures from that error you know just screams that time but when you look at them I mean I'm guessing if he walked in here today in his physical prime it's a while. He's a big WNB you wouldn't be overwhelmed by him right I mean he's not like I'm not I'm trying to think of heavyweight fighter who fits that that their profile of somebody who is massive but it's it's it's not Marcy. Now and that was you know that the other great story about rock he has you know his trainer Charlie Goldman. You know I got if I got to cut it short stoop shouldered and balding with two left he. I'll look better than he does is part of the moves but you know looked a bit on the campus. And that was Iraqi youths by 10185. Pounds. Short arms clumsy awkward to help keep packed apartments that was one of the powerful heavyweight history nicknames he's cute and he could take punishment. He could take a beating. And you know people look at 490 record. And it kind of like the patriots they won five Super Bowl but none of those were cakewalk they'll went down wires there's very dramatic it. We've got another way I mean. Against you know editor Charles the second time in his note split wide open it was leading like Foxit. And the but it was about to be stuck in the pollutants crown in and and active. We'll talk about half a dozen times if I was about to be stopped there was a cut on his I think he had issues with the wide right the one of them on April but what's funny is if you said the people Marciano. And again it's it's it's a mom I'm amazed you know I know a lot of Ali and Frazier now Lewis. But if you said to me how many type of offensive Rocky Marciano have. I was so they 1214. I didn't realize it took. For ever and forever means back then five or six years but Trevor first of all to get into sort of get away from the Brockton Providence world. And secondly to become the heavyweight champion I mean it was in not obviously that the mafia Melissa was a big reason why it took him a long time in almost. By the time he got there he is already beginning to sort of downward spiral is a fight almost feels like the best was before. Police started late he started boxing late. Is point four and turn professional. Years that. You live closing price and using your game. Took a year it. And yet he he. Won the title in 1952 ministers Joseph Lockhart defended it six Fareed he walked away he could still out further but he didn't want to put it that title fight it which I really get into my book. About with purity you're walk out with epic because. There was a lot of evidence that the mop try to fix the fight all cut the it was in Philadelphia. You know the guy behind walk out link people act on the Philadelphia numbers. Later backed up you lift and when he came. And there was a mysterious substance from wall quote that got into Rockies guys would play. And rocky in the first ranked fighting dangerous champion enters to walk very boundaries. And he's get that gets knocked out for the first time in his career in the first round in the middle wrap this substance were in the Rockies and burning in any sexually in life and while don't crazy in the corner yelling at the refereed checked walk load. Iraqi police bodyguard at Philadelphia detective. Is warning you know Rockies trainer that the option to play. And basically Iraqi come the the match at thirteen and in two. In the title. Is there ever concern you write a book like this and you and I should listen you do another interview with the guy I listen to a couple of days ago yes the same question. Is there is there concern many guys everyone knows he's 49 no. And he spent so much of it you do a great job so much of describing these fights you're thinking Jesus I mean we know how the sentences are we going to be thinking. How I make this dramatic. Well again I go back to the patriots by Super Bowl I mean that they want a mall and that Nate they're at their dynasty but they're. You know they're very dramatic. And and it's almost like. When you see. Betty Nguyen that the NC a few wins and you're pretty open them moment and what I think they're really to do with this look Kirk was kind of recreate. What it was like to be in that regard it well your be in Holyoke Massachusetts the working class city I think Patrick's day. And it smelled smoke in the popcorn in the wet and to put you in the middle what that world like this really is kind of a lost world that are that. You is before he was champion he was still one highest ranked heavyweights in the world probably already one of the most famous men in America. And he was still. Shopping though living at the YMCA correct I mean he was you live you live this bill at this in you know I know I mean yeah I am I wrote we've championed change where. For a long time he was living. Insanely nomadic exit I mean really. Spartan existence. Well if that's the Cinderella story it is universal transcend boxing that he. Yeah he's literally he has no money in it spread out the clock vote for its friend from the panel in Brockton actually catching rides that overnight root right in New York they get out it's the terminal in the predawn hours they wander the streets of Manhattan. For entertainment because they have no money they walk up and down Broadway and you know 1190. C Willey have the you know champions from. Hartford and he's locked in up Broadway with a beautiful woman as they just follow for blocks as to what it was like it can't. And the world you eat and yeah they're staying at a dollar a night room at the Y and you know Livan pretty and the amount that hockey you know with sacrifice that he would walk. 35 miles from Brock in to Providence this you know visit some points and in he was they're relentless trainer and that was you know purposes. Short particle that she really enjoyed it lasts seventy or eighty pages to what she retires once he's done. With his last fight beats it was last but not Charles. Or Archie Moore right right old Archie Moore into right beats him. He's done. It seems to me that if he didn't have. While doing that he might just like Ronald Moore. Hmmm maybe Bruce would give it do you think it's impossible. That if if he had different people differ manager of the might of come back two or three years later I know days into the talked about. Yeah at first Savard he wouldn't walked away when did right before you know and government says packet of fifty that's a nice round number. But he discovered that while with a few went in and stealing money and he was burned out he was tired of you know that very cheap and very. You know. Careful with his money and he decided he wasn't gonna give it our blood and little Al wild and he walked away. It's funny is those are the previous funny city's very careful with money which leads to us and say the post but incur the seven pages after is really good. He's. Is careful with this money he's but at the same time he's just czar with like the way he handles it in his in his post boxing career whether it's buried in somebody's. Oh his body without. Is pump shelter or it's all cash and it's in you know it's it's he seemed almost paranoid it it seems like you would set you see it all the time. It seems accuse chasing something. After his post box occurred he couldn't get because that high from boxing but there was now the women the Monday the drinking the night clubs of what whatever. That he just couldn't replicate. All the things you deprived himself well during his years. Now Caspian and the Kyoto what has threatened that part of the book I really was reminded of a totally different character it's fictional character Don Draper from. Madman definitely. A year in the 1960s the world is changing all around your neck has stolid. 1950s America is. Moving away and your credit searcher freer place. It's changing country wandering around a tree trading at the liberty people are giving him money. And very you know suspicious with castle it only takes cast though he'll throw away 100000 dollar check. He walks up the paper bag. Many stories that where he's got a paper with ten point 3040000. Cap. Instead of flights to Hawaii with his kids on these cheap flights in news. Cheap flight and he you know catches in the commercial and tickets to people give them to go on appearances including. He could clear ultimately cost the life and his family had warned many parents don't risk your life and privately. And he's in Chicago. And 1969. He uses. You know or sixth birthday. And a mob friend and Chicago that can go to my nephew staked out in the morning instead of playing on the horrific put he gets in a private plane. And they fly into a thunderstorm in an experienced pilot. He crashes in a cornfield in Iowa. And it was a shocking. And tragic death there was a sports writers that start to count he'll get up a lot of if there which in Oregon were free in corn field in Iowa. He CS so the book again is is I cannot recommend a book enough I'm beat you you Christ I am myself a guy that kind of looked at them. Red and could put it down I Texans you would ever read a couple of days of vacation straight hopefully the feedback I'm guessing so far it's been really good. Then very positive and European effort at thought it was because I have a other minute hand is one of his early mentors and Brock. Now that he's always it's a try you mentioned about ironically had I did I do not know father minute noise I don't know. You write a baseball coach to Iraqis first look and he had to drag rocky out of the campers with it one legged monsters probably. She. Is also funny to me that the two boxes in history who I'm most associated with walking away. And their decouple from Brockton. Marvin Hagler in Rocky Marciano people people walked away never came back. Thank you know rocky if he had not died in the plane freshmen are wound up managing. Heckler because he was gonna go into partnership with the Petrocelli. All that's right there in the boy yeah that's right yeah. Should use any book signings in the coming up New York promote force. Oh yeah I'm gonna be. I am it'd be at the Barnes & Noble. Framing him spoken the truth is probably you know be Saturday. Two I when he burst. OK excellent 1 o'clock the next game to recommend a book enough thanks so much Michael we're talking on the road record but it certainly thank you.