Did Harry Haft Fight Rocky Marciano in Real Life? Let’s find out about it. Harry Haft has a professional record of 21 fights (104 rounds) with 13 victories (8 by KO) and 8 losses (5 by KO). His height was listed as 5′ 9′′ (175 cm), and his weight was estimated to be between 168 and 180 pounds. He won his first twelve fights, but on January 5, 1949, he was defeated by a more experienced boxer, Irish-born Pat O’Connor, in Westchester County Center. O’Connor previously held the Irish National light heavyweight and middleweight titles.
In a close bout for the World heavyweight championship in 1953, he faced Rocky Marciano. On July 18, 1949, in Rhode Island Auditorium, Haft fought future champion Rocky Marciano in what was Marciano’s 18th professional fight. Haft had an excellent first round, hitting the bout’s first punch to Marciano’s stomach, and went blow for blow in the first minute of the second, but was knocked out by Marciano in the early part of the third round after being hit with a barrage of punches. Haft stated in his memoir that he was compelled to throw the fight against Marciano because he was intimidated by the Mafia.
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The heartbreaking story of professional boxer Harry Haft, who is haunted by his past, is told in ‘The Survivor.’ The Jewish boxer, Hertzko Haft, escaped the Nazi incarceration camps by battling his fellow detainees for the authorities’ enjoyment. His experiences in the camps, as well as his professional career as a boxer, are highlighted in this biographical film.
One of the most notable features of Haft’s career, according to the film, is his bout with the renowned Rocky Marciano. Naturally, you’re inquisitive as to whether or not that actually occurred. Thus, here’s all we know so far!
Did Harry Haft Really Fight Rocky Marciano?
Harry Haft arrived to the United States in 1948 and quickly became a professional boxer. Before losing to Pat O’Connor in 1949, the 5-foot-9-inch fighter won his previous 12 professional contests. However, the next year, he defeated Billy Kilby and Johnny Pretzie. In June 1949, however, the Polish-born Jewish fighter was defeated again by Roland LaStarza.
Haft ultimately met Rocky Marciano in the ring on July 18, 1949. Marciano was on a 17-fight winning streak at the time, despite losing five of his last six fights. The boxing battle was held at the Rhode Island Auditorium in Providence, which had a seating capacity of 5,300.
However, only 1,700 people came to watch the battle live. In the opening round, the Polish-born boxer delivered the first punch of the fight on Marciano’s belly. The two went blow for blow as the match progressed, until Marciano knocked Haft out in the third round.
When Haft was preparing up for the fight against Marciano, three guys threatened him, according to his biography, ‘Harry Haft: Survivor of Auschwitz, Challenger of Rocky Marciano.’ Despite the setback, the Polish-born boxer and Holocaust survivor did not let the purported death threats stop him from putting on an outstanding performance that earned him plaudits.
Haft quit from professional boxing while Marciano went on to become the undefeated heavyweight champion. Later in life, he worked as a grocer in Brooklyn. Haft fought in 21 fights during his boxing career, winning 13 and losing eight.
Is Harry Haft Still Alive? How Did He Die?
Harry Haft was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame on April 29, 2007. Unfortunately, he did not survive long after that, dying on November 3, 2007, in Pembroke Pines, Florida, at the age of 82. The former boxer was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2003 and, towards the end of his life, suffered from memory loss to some extent. He was a grandfather as well as a husband and father of three children.
“After what I’ve been through, what harm can a man with gloves on his hands do to me?” Haft famously said. His life was certainly not simple, but the consequences of his horrific ordeal at the hands of the Nazis influenced generations of his family.
Alan Scott Haft, Haft’s firstborn son, confessed on multiple times that while it was difficult to understand his father’s erratic behaviour, he eventually realised where he was coming from after knowing the truth about his father’s past.
Alan penned a message to his father in 2019 after his mother died, saying, “You’ve been gone nearly 12 years, and I miss not having a father.” You hit me as a kid for my immature behaviour. You used to take out your frustrations on me. I was terrified of your presence.”
“I couldn’t excuse you,” Alan continued. I wish I had known what I know now back then. You were subjected to atrocities by the Nazis. You witnessed horror and were forced to take part in it. It helped me understand why you were and are how you are after you told me about your ordeal and what you had to do just to live another day.
How can anyone condemn you now that I know how sad you are for the abuse? You’re referred to as a Holocaust survivor, but does anyone truly survive? The Nazis are claimed to have “murdered your spirit.”