Having already achieved great success in Italy, the exhibition “From Rocco Marchegiano to Rocky Marciano” will come to the United States beginning September 21, 2008. Promoted by Francesca Mancini, with the support of the Province of Chieti, the exhibit focuses on the life of the late undefeated heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano, who hailed from Brockton, Massachusetts. Although he was born in the United States, Marciano’s father was from Ripa Teatina, a small town close to Chieti in Central Italy.
From April 20-27, Ms. Mancini was in New York scouting locations for the exhibit. She was joined by Umberto Aimola, the vice president of the Province of Chieti; Riccardo De Girolami, the general secretary of the Italian Boxing Commission; Claudio Certosini, the executive of the Italian Olympic Commission; businesswoman Valeria De Cecco; and renowned international journalist Luca De Franco whose connections with the New York boxing community were instrumental in making things happen.
Ms. Francesca signed a contract to rent the fabled Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, New York, beginning on September 21, which was the day of Marciano’s final fight. On September 23, a major press conference will be held at Gleason’s with a very special surprise guest.
“I cannot divulge his name now, but he is so famous that his presence will bring journalists from major newspapers, radios and TV networks,” said Ms. Francesca, who added that from September 24 to October 13 the full show will be hosted by a major art gallery. In addition, in August, the exhibit will join the Italian boxing team during the Olympic Games in Bejing, China.
Between April 2007 and March 2008, the exhibit has been promoted with great success in four Italian cities: Ripa Teatina (Abruzzi), Siena (Tuscany), Pescara (Abruzzi), and Roseto(Abruzzi).
Ms. Francesca expects the exhibit to be as successful in the United States as it was in Italy. “I’ve been in New York, Baltimore and Brockton, and I met some great people who will guarantee the success of the exhibit,” she said. “The Italian Consul in Baltimore was really enthusiastic and will welcome the show there. In Brockton, I met Marciano’s family lawyer, who was more than willing to cooperate. In New York, Luca De Franco introduced me to Mr. Steven Acunto who has an impressive amount of memorabilia about Rocky Marciano. I was also glad to meet promoter Joe De Guardia, who came up with many great ideas about how to promote the exhibit. Rocky is a very popular figure in the United States. I have no doubt that the exhibit will be well received, not only by boxing fans but also by those interested in their Italian heritage. Everywhere we went, the support was tremendous.”