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Featured Memorial | Coley Wallace

Coley Wallace Obituary

NEW YORK (AP) - Coley Wallace, who knocked out Rocky Marciano in an amateur bout and played Joe Louis in two movies has died. He was 77.

Wallace died in a Manhattan hospital Sunday of heart failure, his attorney and friend Raymond Sussman said Sunday.

Wallace had a record of 20-7-0 in six years as a professional, but his most memorable moment came as an amateur in 1948, when he defeated Marciano in the New York Golden Gloves tournament. It is believed that the defeat was the only loss ever by Marciano, who went on to win the heavyweight championship and was unbeaten in 49 fights.

"People like Muhammad Ali looked up to him because when they were learning how to box, he was one of the African-American boxers of note," Sussman said.

Wallace is best known for twice portraying Joe Louis on film, once in "The Joe Louis Story" in 1953 and again in Martin Scorsese's "Raging Bull" in 1980.

Wallace also starred in "Carib Gold" in 1957 and played a part in "Rooftops" in 1989.

He is survived by his wife, Pearlie-May, and a daughter Pat.

Copyright © 2005 The Associated Press

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