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Lot # 1364 (of 1641)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Extraordinary 1952 Rocky Marciano Twice-Signed BOUNCED Fight Check

Starting Bid - $400, Sold For - $1,659

Presented here is what may very well be the single finest and most interesting Rocky Marciano signed check in the hobby today. It is also new to the collecting world and has never before been sold privately or publicly. This check, in the amount of $7,214.10, was issued to Marciano on April 21, 1952. This is a special check on many counts: First and foremost, it is a fight check, representing the balance due to Marciano for his February 13, 1952, fight against Lee Savold.

While a fight check is certainly the ideal, what also distinguishes this piece is the fact it has been signed by Marciano twice on the reverse, once as "Rocco Marchegiano" (his birth name) and again, directly underneath, as "Rocky Marciano" his ring name. Each signature has been scripted in blue fountain pen, grading "9/10." The check, drawn on the Industrial Bank of Commerce on New York, is made out to "Rocco Marchegiano" and is signed by "J. E. Longway." The handwritten blue-ink notation in the lower left reads "Balance Savold fight." Also of great note: Incredibly, the check "bounced." It was returned to Marciano on May 8th by his bank, First Federal Savings and Loan Association of New York, for the reason "Not Sufficient Funds." Included with the check is the original letter from Marciano's bank, dated May 8, 1952, notifying him of the reason for its return, plus two additional small bank forms generated by the bad check. The letter is addressed to Rocky Marciano at "Long Pond Inn/Greenwood Lake, New York," which was his training headquarters at that time. Apparently, a replacement check was later sent.

In addition to the inherent authenticity that checks convey, this particular example is also accompanied by the provenance of having originated from a close friend of Marciano. Our consignor's father and Marciano were friends for many years while they were both living up north and, later on, when both moved down to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The families were very close and this check was a souvenir of their friendship that has been kept in the family for decades. This is the first time it has ever left the family's possession. The Savold fight, which ended in six rounds after Savold could no longer continue, was one of the last stepping stones on Marciano's path to the heavyweight title. Exactly four days after receiving this check in the mail, Marciano defeated Gino Buonovino in Rhode Island. Four months and two more victories later, Marciano captured the heavyweight title when he knocked out Jersey Joe Walcott in the thirteenth round of their September 23rd bout. Marciano defended his title six times before retiring in 1955 as the only undefeated heavyweight boxing champion in history. The check (6.25 x 2.75 inches) displays normal bank cancellation stamps, as well as a vertical fold. Two staples remain in the upper left corner, with the staples affecting the "Rocky Marciano" signature on the reverse. A few additional staple holes are also evident. In Very Good to Excellent condition. The letter and two additional bank forms are in Very Good condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $400. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,659

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