Sept. 24, 1953

Here’s a trip back to the days when baseball, boxing, football and horse racing were widely thought to be the Big Four sports in America, pretty much in that order.

Rocky Marciano, the Brockton Bomber, prepared to defend his heavyweight championship belt against Roland LaStarza at the Polo Grounds. Three years earlier Marciano was declared the winner against LaStarza. in a split decision.

It would seem that TV sports was beginning to grasp how they could best profit from such an event. The TV rights holder was an outfit called Theatre Network Television, which was exactly how it operated.

The match would be carried in 45 theaters across 34 cities. Curiously, it was blacked out in New England and New York.

Radio, fading in its importance, would feature brief reports after each round. Boston stations included WHDH, WBZ and WVDA. The announcing duties were handled by Fred Cusick, Charles Ashley and Wally O’Hara for WHDH, Leo Egan for WBZ and Bob Martin for WVDA.

Marciano retained his title with a technical knockout in the 11th round.

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