LUZERNE VETERAN MEMORIAL PROJECT
marine corP boxer — world middleweight contender
The Luzerne Veterans Memorial Project (LVMP) is a council approved community endeavor to enhance and distinguish the existing Veterans Memorial Park with an inspirational military boxing statue and exceptional decorative property backdrop.
Through the support of the Borough Council and efforts of individuals and corporations, the LVMP plans to erect an inspirational "Go The Distance" statue of ATTILIO "ROCKY" CASTELLANI, Luzerne native, veteran hometown hero, and legendary world middleweight boxing contender.
The Rocky "Go The Distance" statue represents the true inspirational, real life story of a local Luzerne Legend. Rocky was born to an Italian immigrant family at 816 North Street, Luzerne, Pa. He was the son of a dedicated coal mining father and dress factory working mother. He grew up in Luzerne economically challenged and overcomes life threatening adversity fighting as a WW II Marine in both Guam and Iwo Jima. Rocky then becomes an accomplished WWII Marine Corp. and Army Boxer, eventually goes on in life to fight for the World Middleweight Boxing title.
Rocky goes the distance losing on a very close split decision for the World Middleweight Title in 1954 to Bobo Olsen putting him down in the 3rd round. His most famous fight, Rocky lost on a highly contested split decision in 1955 to legendary boxer Sugar Ray Robinson. Rocky put down Sugar Ray Robinson in the 6th round for a controversial 10 count knockout, which continued to be disputed by the boxing historian community. Both fights can be viewed here.
Rocky Castellani's all time career achievement record includes 83 professional fights, those being 65 split decision wins, 14 knockout wins and 4 losses. He was inducted into both the Pennsylvania, and the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame.
The inspirational statue represents the true real life story of Luzerne native, Rocky Castellani. It exemplifies to all, that no matter where you begin in life, there is opportunity if you are willing to make it and take it, work hard, and "Go the Distance".