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Thursday, June 12th, 2008

“He would wink and say what psychic?”

Rocky Marciano (1923-1969) was the world heavyweight champion, and the only heavyweight champion to retire undefeated.

Although he participated in a brutal sport, Marciano was known for his quiet demeanor and unassuming manner.

What wasn’t publicized was his belief in the supernatural.  Champ, as his friends would call him, would occasionally consult a psychic; he would do so in private for fear it would be a sign of weakness.

Few, if any, of his close associates knew of Marciano’s visits, but one confidant told this story:

“The Champ visited this old woman in her tiny shop in a rundown part of town.  When he walked in you could see that she recognized him, and I assumed he had been there before.  But Marciano told me afterwards, he had never been there previously.

“The old lady had him sit right beside her, and she held his hand.  Then she told him how much longer he would dominate the other boxers and how important it was for him to call it quits after four more fights.

“At the time I thought she was nuts because Rocky was still in great shape and I didn’t see anyone dethroning him in the near future, but I’ll be damned if he didn’t walk away from the ring after that fourth fight.

“The Champ never confided to me that he did it because of what she had forecast, and whenever I asked him about it, he would wink and say what psychic?”

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