Graciano Rocchigiani

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

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.

Professional career[edit]

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 boxing[edit]

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 record[edit]

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 Germany Thomas Ulrich UD 12 10 May 2003 Germany Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle, Stuttgart, Germany For vacant WBC International light-heavyweight title
47 Win 41–5–1 Canada Willard Lewis UD 8 10 Feb 2001 Germany Estrel Hotel, Berlin, Germany
46 Loss 40–5–1 Poland Dariusz Michalczewski TKO 10 (12), 3:00 15 Apr 2000 Germany Preussag Arena, Hanover, Germany For WBO and lineal light-heavyweight titles
45 Win 40–4–1 United States Michael Nunn SD 12 21 Mar 1998 Germany Max-Schmeling-Halle, Berlin, Germany Won vacant WBC light-heavyweight title
44 Win 39–4–1 United States John Scully UD 10 22 Mar 1997 Germany Max-Schmeling-Halle, Berlin, Germany
43 Loss 38–4–1 Poland Dariusz Michalczewski DQ 7 (12), 3:00 10 Aug 1996 Germany Wilhelm-Koch-Stadion, Hamburg, Germany For WBO light-heavyweight title;
Rocchigiani disqualified for punching after a clinch
42 Win 38–3–1 Italy Pietro Pellizzaro PTS 10 6 Apr 1996 Germany Stadionsporthalle, Hanover, Germany
41 Loss 37–3–1 Germany Henry Maske UD 12 14 Oct 1995 Germany Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany For IBF light-heavyweight title
40 Loss 37–2–1 Germany Henry Maske UD 12 27 May 1995 Germany Westfalenhallen, Dortmund, Germany For IBF light-heavyweight title
39 Draw 37–1–1 France Frederic Seillier PTS 12 10 Dec 1994 Germany Sportforum Hohenschönhausen, Berlin, Germany For European super-middleweight title
38 Win 37–1 United States Willie Kemp KO 2 22 Oct 1994 Germany Hansehalle, Lübeck, Germany
37 Win 36–1 United States Charles Oliver TKO 6 (10) 28 May 1994 Germany Tivoli Eissporthalle, Aachen, Germany
36 Loss 35–1 United Kingdom Chris Eubank UD 12 5 Feb 1994 Germany Deutschlandhalle, Berlin, Germany For WBO super-middleweight title
35 Win 35–0 United States Ricky Thomas PTS 8 15 Oct 1993 Germany Sporthalle Schöneberg, Berlin, Germany
34 Win 34–0 United States Kevin Whaley-El TKO 6 (8) 11 Sep 1993 Germany Tivoli Eissporthalle, Aachen, Germany
33 Win 33–0 United States Lester Yarbrough PTS 8 26 Jun 1993 Germany Alsterdorfer Sporthalle, Hamburg, Germany
32 Win 32–0 Netherlands Alex Blanchard TKO 9 (12) 13 Sep 1991 Germany Düsseldorf, Germany Retained European light-heavyweight title
31 Win 31–0 United Kingdom Crawford Ashley SD 12 28 Feb 1991 Germany Philips Halle, Düsseldorf, Germany Won vacant European light-heavyweight title
30 Win 30–0 Mexico Mike Sedillo PTS 8 7 Dec 1990 Germany Berlin, Germany
29 Win 29–0 Uruguay Rodrigo Benech KO 3 (10) 7 Sep 1990 West Germany Sporthalle Charlottenburg, West Berlin, West Germany
28 Win 28–0 United States John Keys KO 2, 2:15 1 Dec 1989 East Germany Hotel InterContinental, East Berlin, East Germany
27 Win 27–0 South Africa Thulani Malinga UD 12 27 Jan 1989 West Germany Deutschlandhalle, West Berlin, West Germany Retained IBF super-middleweight title
26 Win 26–0 United States Chris Reid TKO 11 (12), 2:39 7 Oct 1988 West Germany Deutschlandhalle, West Berlin, West Germany Retained IBF super-middleweight title
25 Win 25–0 United States Nicky Walker UD 15 3 Jun 1988 West Germany Deutschlandhalle, West Berlin, West Germany Retained IBF super-middleweight title
24 Win 24–0 United States Vincent Boulware TKO 8 (15), 2:11 11 Mar 1988 West Germany Philips Halle, Düsseldorf, West Germany Won vacant IBF super-middleweight title
23 Win 23–0 Syria Mustafa Hamsho TKO 1, 1:02 5 Dec 1987 West Germany Philips Halle, Düsseldorf, West Germany
22 Win 22–0 Suriname John Held PTS 8 30 Oct 1987 West Germany Electoral Palace, Mainz, West Germany
21 Win 21–0 Algeria Lahcen M'Hamdi TKO 3 17 Oct 1987 West Germany Sporthalle, Gifhorn, West Germany
20 Win 20–0 United Kingdom Tommy Taylor PTS 8 3 Oct 1987 West Germany Zoo Safaripark, Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock, West Germany
19 Win 19–0 France Ahmed Laghlali TKO 2 14 Sep 1987 West Germany Tennishalle, Bad Homburg, West Germany
18 Win 18–0 Germany Manfred Jassmann PTS 12 3 Oct 1986 Germany West Berlin, West Germany Won German light-heavyweight title
17 Win 17–0 United Kingdom Ian Lazarus KO 8 (8) 12 May 1986 West Germany Tennishalle, Bad Homburg, West Germany
16 Win 16–0 United Kingdom James Cook PTS 8 1 Mar 1986 West Germany Cologne, West Germany
15 Win 15–0 France Antoine Alcantara KO 2 29 Nov 1985 West Germany Frankfurt, West Germany
14 Win 14–0 Germany Rudiger Bitterling TKO 3 8 Nov 1985 West Germany Düsseldorf, West Germany Won vacant German middleweight title
13 Win 13–0 Switzerland Moussa Kassongo Mukandjo UD 10 31 Aug 1985 West Germany West Berlin, West Germany
12 Win 12–0 United Kingdom Steve Johnson PTS 6 26 Apr 1985 West Germany Festhalle, Frankfurt, West Germany
11 Win 11–0 United Kingdom Tony Jenkins TKO 6 (8) 9 Mar 1985 West Germany Düsseldorf, West Germany
10 Win 10–0 Belgium Philippe Seys PTS 8 1 Dec 1984 West Germany Düsseldorf, West Germany
9 Win 9–0 United Kingdom Tony Britton PTS 8 5 Oct 1984 West Germany Frankfurt, West Germany
8 Win 8–0 Zaire Butangi Nzolameso PTS 6 15 Sep 1984 West Germany Dortmund, West Germany
7 Win 7–0 Austria Franz Dorfer TKO 2 27 Apr 1984 Germany West Berlin, West Germany
6 Win 6–0 United Kingdom Mick Morris UD 4 24 Feb 1984 West Germany Alsterdorfer Sporthalle, Hamburg, West Germany
5 Win 5–0 Brazil Mauro Hernandez da Cruz PTS 6 10 Feb 1984 West Germany Sporthalle Süd, Frankfurt, West Germany
4 Win 4–0 Belgium Chaed Ringo TKO 2 14 Jan 1984 West Germany Düsseldorf, West Germany
3 Win 3–0 Netherlands Jan Lefeber PTS 4 5 Nov 1983 West Germany Mannheim, West Germany
2 Win 2–0 Belgium Marnix Heytens TKO 1 7 Oct 1983 West Germany Frankfurt, West Germany
1 Win 1–0 Austria Esperno Postl TKO 2 (6) 10 Sep 1983 West Germany Cologne, West Germany

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  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. ^
  7. ^ AP., New life for WBC, USA Today, 2004-08-25, Retrieved on 2007-04-26.
  8. ^ Boxing: Ex-champ jailed over fight,, 2006-08-13, Retrieved on 2007-04-26.
  9. ^ Rocchigiani handed assault charge,, 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 links[edit]

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