Less than a minute later, Robinson knocked him out for the count with a right to the jaw.
He retired after losing his very next fight, a 10-round decision to Chuck Davey.
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However, Zale rallied and knocked him out in the sixth round to retain his title.
The rematch, a year later in Chicago (July 16, 1947), was a mirror image of their first fight.
When he was three years old, Barbella would make him and his brother, Joe (three years his senior), fight almost every night in boxing gloves. He entered under the name of Joe Giuliani and was trained by Tobias (Toby) Zaccaria of Kings County (Brooklyn), NY.
He fought four matches and ended up winning the New York Metropolitan Amateur Athletic Union Boxing Competition (1939).
He went to Coxsackie Correctional Facility, where he spent three weeks, with boyhood friend Jake La Motta, and then he went on to the New York City Reformatory where he spent five months.
After he got out of the reformatory, he headed back to the gym to earn money and while there, met Eddie Cocco who started his professional career. A couple of weeks later, Graziano was charged with a probation violation and sent back to reform school where he was charged with starting a minor When Graziano got out of jail he enlisted in the military but went AWOL after punching a captain.
Expecting to be prosecuted and sent back to the military or jail, he fled. He turned himself in, but he was pardoned and given the opportunity to fight under the army's aegis.
As he grew older and seeing no other way to raise his standard of living, Graziano signed a few boxing contracts, but the rigors of training disinterested him.
He fought many of the best middleweights of the era including Sugar Ray Robinson.
His turbulent and violent life story was the basis of the 1956 Oscar-winning drama film, Somebody Up There Likes Me, based on his 1955 autobiography of the same title.
Born in Brooklyn, Graziano later moved to an Italian enclave centered on East 10th Street, between First Avenue and Avenue A in Manhattan's East Village.