Heavyweight history with Cyd Charisse
A good example of how familiar the heavyweight championship and its holders once were to Americans is this song-and-dance number, “Baby, You Knock Me Out,” from It’s Always Fair Weather, a 1955 MGM musical starring Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse. Sure, the caricature of punchy pugs is over the top; the whole performance is over the top. But before getting started, the magnificent Charisse recites the heavyweight lineage, from John L. Sullivan (the clip below actually starts just after he's mentioned) to the then-current champ, Rocky Marciano. She forgot Tommy Burns and Jack Sharkey, but would you have corrected her?