Graciano Rocchigiani

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.

Graciano Rocchigiani
Graciano Rocchigiani.jpg
Rocchigiani in 2009
Statistics
Nickname(s)Rocky
Weight(s)
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Reach189 cm (74 in)
NationalityGerman
Born(1963-12-29)29 December 1963
Duisburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany
Died1 October 2018(2018-10-01) (aged 54)
Belpasso, Italy
StanceSouthpaw
Boxing record
Total fights48
Wins41
Wins by KO19
Losses6
Draws1

Professional careerEdit

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.[1]

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".[2] 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.[3] 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,[4] 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.[5] The court ruling also retroactively declared him champion from when he beat Nunn until his rematch defeat to Michalczewski.[6] When the WBC announced its intentions to dissolve, he settled for an undisclosed sum.[7]

In 2006, he was sentenced to five months in jail[8] for assaulting a taxi driver.[9]

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.

He died on 1 October 2018 in Belpasso, Italy when he was run over by a car while taking a walk.[10][11]

Professional boxing recordEdit

Professional record summary
48 fights 41 wins 6 losses
By knockout 19 1
By decision 22 4
By disqualification 0 1
Draws 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
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

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://www.welt.de/print-welt/article635302/Tiefschlag-Rocchigiani-boxt-unter-Dopingverdacht.html
  2. ^ Rocchigiani v. World Boxing Council, Inc.
  3. ^ The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire, 3 October 1999
  4. ^ WBC lawyer: Roy Jones Jr. has to fight Rocchigiani
  5. ^ Rafael, Dan., Bankruptcy could spell doom for WBC, USA Today, 2004-06-13, Retrieved on 2007-04-26.
  6. ^ http://boxrec.com/media/index.php/Graciano_Rocchigiani_vs._Michael_Nunn
  7. ^ AP., New life for WBC, USA Today, 2004-08-25, Retrieved on 2007-04-26.
  8. ^ Boxing: Ex-champ jailed over fight, Taipeitimes.com, 2006-08-13, Retrieved on 2007-04-26.
  9. ^ Rocchigiani handed assault charge, CNN.com, 2004-12-07, Retrieved on 2007-04-26.
  10. ^ "Autounfall in Italien: Ex-Boxer Graciano Rocchigiani ist tot". n-tv (in German). n-tv, ara. 2 October 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  11. ^ Duchateau, Francois (2 October 2018). "Graciano Rocchigiani bei Autounfall ums Leben gekommen". Hamburger Abendblatt (in German). dpa, SID. Retrieved 2 October 2018.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Georg Steinherr
German middleweight champion
8 November 1985 – October 1986
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Andreas Prox
Preceded by
Manfred Jassmann
German light-heavyweight champion
3 October 1986 – March 1988
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Gerhard Schoberth
Vacant
Title last held by
Tom Collins
European light-heavyweight champion
28 February 1991 – September 1992
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Eddy Smulders
World boxing titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Park Chong-pal
IBF super-middleweight champion
11 March 1988 – December 1989
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Lindell Holmes
Vacant
Title last held by
Roy Jones Jr.
WBC light-heavyweight champion
21 March 1998 – July 1998
Stripped
Succeeded by
Roy Jones Jr.
awarded title