Graciano Rocchigiani (29 December 1963 – 1 October 2018) was a German professional boxer who competed from 1983 to 2003. He held world championships in two weight classes, including the IBF super-middleweight title from 1988 to 1989, and the WBC light-heavyweight title in 1998. At regional level he held the European light-heavyweight title from 1991 to 1992.
Rocchigiani in 2009
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Reach||189 cm (74 in)|
|Born||29 December 1963|
Duisburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany
|Died||1 October 2018 (aged 54)|
|Wins by KO||19|
Rocchigiani turned professional in 1983 after a successful amateur career in which he won the 1982 German National Amateur championship in the light-middleweight division. In 1988 he captured the vacant IBF super-middleweight title by stopping Vincent Boulware, and defended the title three times before vacating to step up to the light-heavyweight division. Despite becoming European champion, Rocchigiani failed to secure a world title shot at light-heavyweight and moved back down to super-middleweight in February 1994 to challenge WBO champion Chris Eubank in Berlin, Germany, losing a unanimous decision.
After boxing to a draw with Frederic Seillier for the European super-middleweight title in December 1994, Rocchigiani moved back up to light-heavyweight to challenge the 26-0 Henry Maske IBF title in May 1995 at the Arena Westfalenhalle, Dortmund, Nordrhein-Westfalen. He lost by a disputed unanimous decision despite having Maske reeling numerous times towards the end of the fight, and lost a rematch later in the year, again by unanimous decision. In August 1996 Rocchigiani lost via disqualification to WBO light-heavyweight title holder Dariusz Michalczewski after hitting Michalczewski on the break during round seven. Michalczewski's prolonged, theatrical reaction to the punch was seen by many as way of getting out of a fight he was losing. Initially the result was a technical draw, later changed to a disqualification.
Three weeks after the Michalczewski bout, it was reported that Rocchigiani had tested positive for traces of ephedrine and methylephedrine. However, the German boxing association did not request a follow up test.
In March 1998, Rocchigiani captured the vacant WBC light-heavyweight title by defeating Michael Nunn by split decision at Max Schmeling Halle, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, but was demoted to "interim champion" three months later after the WBC inexplicably claimed its references in promotions and contracts to the Rocchigiani-Nunn fight as a championship bout, and to Rocchigiani as the champion in its rankings, had been "typographical errors". A match with WBC title holder Roy Jones was scheduled for November 1999 after Rocchigiani filed a lawsuit against Jones' promotional companies M&M Sports and Square Ring Promotions Inc due to Jones' reluctance to box Rocchigiani. However, the match was canceled by Jones' promoter Murad Muhammad after Rocchigiani missed a press conference. After initially threatening to strip Jones of his title if he didn't arrange another match with Rocchigiani, the WBC stripped Rocchigiani outright and removed him from their rankings due to inactivity, which prompted Rocchigiani to file a lawsuit against the WBC. The case went Rocchigiani's way and he was awarded $31m, however the WBC paid a smaller sum, to avoid bankruptcy.
Rocchigiani again challenged Michalczewski for the lineal and WBO titles at Preussag Arena, Hannover, Niedersachsen, Germany in April 2000. By this time Rocchigiani was an aging fighter and despite a strong performance he lost via corner retirement after nine rounds. After a short lived comeback in 2003 after a two-year layoff, he retired from boxing.
Outside of boxingEdit
Although he was a notable champion, Rocchigiani's most significant achievement was his victory in 2003 in the lawsuit against the WBC, in which he was awarded a $31 million judgment for damages over the loss of his light-heavyweight title. The court ruling also retroactively declared him champion from when he beat Nunn until his rematch defeat to Michalczewski. When the WBC announced its intentions to dissolve, he settled for an undisclosed sum.
Graciano was the younger brother of former WBO cruiserweight champion Ralf Rocchigiani, who also served as Graciano's trainer during the latter stages of his career.
Professional boxing recordEdit
|Professional record summary|
|48 fights||41 wins||6 losses|
|48||Loss||41–6–1||Thomas Ulrich||UD||12||10 May 2003||Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle, Stuttgart, Germany||For vacant WBC International light-heavyweight title|
|47||Win||41–5–1||Willard Lewis||UD||8||10 Feb 2001||Estrel Hotel, Berlin, Germany|
|46||Loss||40–5–1||Dariusz Michalczewski||TKO||10 (12), 3:00||15 Apr 2000||Preussag Arena, Hanover, Germany||For WBO and lineal light-heavyweight titles|
|45||Win||40–4–1||Michael Nunn||SD||12||21 Mar 1998||Max-Schmeling-Halle, Berlin, Germany||Won vacant WBC light-heavyweight title|
|44||Win||39–4–1||John Scully||UD||10||22 Mar 1997||Max-Schmeling-Halle, Berlin, Germany|
|43||Loss||38–4–1||Dariusz Michalczewski||DQ||7 (12), 3:00||10 Aug 1996||Wilhelm-Koch-Stadion, Hamburg, Germany||For WBO light-heavyweight title;|
Rocchigiani disqualified for punching after a clinch
|42||Win||38–3–1||Pietro Pellizzaro||PTS||10||6 Apr 1996||Stadionsporthalle, Hanover, Germany|
|41||Loss||37–3–1||Henry Maske||UD||12||14 Oct 1995||Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany||For IBF light-heavyweight title|
|40||Loss||37–2–1||Henry Maske||UD||12||27 May 1995||Westfalenhallen, Dortmund, Germany||For IBF light-heavyweight title|
|39||Draw||37–1–1||Frederic Seillier||PTS||12||10 Dec 1994||Sportforum Hohenschönhausen, Berlin, Germany||For European super-middleweight title|
|38||Win||37–1||Willie Kemp||KO||2||22 Oct 1994||Hansehalle, Lübeck, Germany|
|37||Win||36–1||Charles Oliver||TKO||6 (10)||28 May 1994||Tivoli Eissporthalle, Aachen, Germany|
|36||Loss||35–1||Chris Eubank||UD||12||5 Feb 1994||Deutschlandhalle, Berlin, Germany||For WBO super-middleweight title|
|35||Win||35–0||Ricky Thomas||PTS||8||15 Oct 1993||Sporthalle Schöneberg, Berlin, Germany|
|34||Win||34–0||Kevin Whaley-El||TKO||6 (8)||11 Sep 1993||Tivoli Eissporthalle, Aachen, Germany|
|33||Win||33–0||Lester Yarbrough||PTS||8||26 Jun 1993||Alsterdorfer Sporthalle, Hamburg, Germany|
|32||Win||32–0||Alex Blanchard||TKO||9 (12)||13 Sep 1991||Düsseldorf, Germany||Retained European light-heavyweight title|
|31||Win||31–0||Crawford Ashley||SD||12||28 Feb 1991||Philips Halle, Düsseldorf, Germany||Won vacant European light-heavyweight title|
|30||Win||30–0||Mike Sedillo||PTS||8||7 Dec 1990||Berlin, Germany|
|29||Win||29–0||Rodrigo Benech||KO||3 (10)||7 Sep 1990||Sporthalle Charlottenburg, West Berlin, West Germany|
|28||Win||28–0||John Keys||KO||2, 2:15||1 Dec 1989||Hotel InterContinental, East Berlin, East Germany|
|27||Win||27–0||Thulani Malinga||UD||12||27 Jan 1989||Deutschlandhalle, West Berlin, West Germany||Retained IBF super-middleweight title|
|26||Win||26–0||Chris Reid||TKO||11 (12), 2:39||7 Oct 1988||Deutschlandhalle, West Berlin, West Germany||Retained IBF super-middleweight title|
|25||Win||25–0||Nicky Walker||UD||15||3 Jun 1988||Deutschlandhalle, West Berlin, West Germany||Retained IBF super-middleweight title|
|24||Win||24–0||Vincent Boulware||TKO||8 (15), 2:11||11 Mar 1988||Philips Halle, Düsseldorf, West Germany||Won vacant IBF super-middleweight title|
|23||Win||23–0||Mustafa Hamsho||TKO||1, 1:02||5 Dec 1987||Philips Halle, Düsseldorf, West Germany|
|22||Win||22–0||John Held||PTS||8||30 Oct 1987||Electoral Palace, Mainz, West Germany|
|21||Win||21–0||Lahcen M'Hamdi||TKO||3||17 Oct 1987||Sporthalle, Gifhorn, West Germany|
|20||Win||20–0||Tommy Taylor||PTS||8||3 Oct 1987||Zoo Safaripark, Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock, West Germany|
|19||Win||19–0||Ahmed Laghlali||TKO||2||14 Sep 1987||Tennishalle, Bad Homburg, West Germany|
|18||Win||18–0||Manfred Jassmann||PTS||12||3 Oct 1986||West Berlin, West Germany||Won German light-heavyweight title|
|17||Win||17–0||Ian Lazarus||KO||8 (8)||12 May 1986||Tennishalle, Bad Homburg, West Germany|
|16||Win||16–0||James Cook||PTS||8||1 Mar 1986||Cologne, West Germany|
|15||Win||15–0||Antoine Alcantara||KO||2||29 Nov 1985||Frankfurt, West Germany|
|14||Win||14–0||Rudiger Bitterling||TKO||3||8 Nov 1985||Düsseldorf, West Germany||Won vacant German middleweight title|
|13||Win||13–0||Moussa Kassongo Mukandjo||UD||10||31 Aug 1985||West Berlin, West Germany|
|12||Win||12–0||Steve Johnson||PTS||6||26 Apr 1985||Festhalle, Frankfurt, West Germany|
|11||Win||11–0||Tony Jenkins||TKO||6 (8)||9 Mar 1985||Düsseldorf, West Germany|
|10||Win||10–0||Philippe Seys||PTS||8||1 Dec 1984||Düsseldorf, West Germany|
|9||Win||9–0||Tony Britton||PTS||8||5 Oct 1984||Frankfurt, West Germany|
|8||Win||8–0||Butangi Nzolameso||PTS||6||15 Sep 1984||Dortmund, West Germany|
|7||Win||7–0||Franz Dorfer||TKO||2||27 Apr 1984||West Berlin, West Germany|
|6||Win||6–0||Mick Morris||UD||4||24 Feb 1984||Alsterdorfer Sporthalle, Hamburg, West Germany|
|5||Win||5–0||Mauro Hernandez da Cruz||PTS||6||10 Feb 1984||Sporthalle Süd, Frankfurt, West Germany|
|4||Win||4–0||Chaed Ringo||TKO||2||14 Jan 1984||Düsseldorf, West Germany|
|3||Win||3–0||Jan Lefeber||PTS||4||5 Nov 1983||Mannheim, West Germany|
|2||Win||2–0||Marnix Heytens||TKO||1||7 Oct 1983||Frankfurt, West Germany|
|1||Win||1–0||Esperno Postl||TKO||2 (6)||10 Sep 1983||Cologne, West Germany|
- Rocchigiani v. World Boxing Council, Inc.
- The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire, 3 October 1999
- WBC lawyer: Roy Jones Jr. has to fight Rocchigiani
- Rafael, Dan., Bankruptcy could spell doom for WBC, USA Today, 2004-06-13, Retrieved on 2007-04-26.
- AP., New life for WBC, USA Today, 2004-08-25, Retrieved on 2007-04-26.
- Boxing: Ex-champ jailed over fight, Taipeitimes.com, 2006-08-13, Retrieved on 2007-04-26.
- Rocchigiani handed assault charge, CNN.com, 2004-12-07, Retrieved on 2007-04-26.
- "Autounfall in Italien: Ex-Boxer Graciano Rocchigiani ist tot". n-tv (in German). n-tv, ara. 2 October 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- Duchateau, Francois (2 October 2018). "Graciano Rocchigiani bei Autounfall ums Leben gekommen". Hamburger Abendblatt (in German). dpa, SID. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
|Regional boxing titles|
Title last held byGeorg Steinherr
| German middleweight champion
8 November 1985 – October 1986
Title next held byAndreas Prox
| German light-heavyweight champion
3 October 1986 – March 1988
Title next held byGerhard Schoberth
Title last held byTom Collins
| European light-heavyweight champion
28 February 1991 – September 1992
Title next held byEddy Smulders
|World boxing titles|
Title last held byPark Chong-pal
| IBF super-middleweight champion
11 March 1988 – December 1989
Title next held byLindell Holmes
Title last held byRoy Jones Jr.
| WBC light-heavyweight champion
21 March 1998 – July 1998
Roy Jones Jr.