Marciano had become a full-fledged legend by the 1980’s with the Rocky Balboa movies augmenting his fame ( “Ya kinda remind me of ‘The Rock'” ) and in 1985 Larry Holmes was in position to tie the 49-0 mark with a win over light heavyweight champion Michael Spinks. But it was Spinks who scored a massive upset with a close 15 round decision win and Larry then went on to utter his infamous “Rocky couldn’t carry my jockstrap” line during an extraordinary post-fight press conference. Since then no heavyweight champion has managed to match or break the record. But even so, Marciano is hardly alone in terms of retiring undefeated and in fact there are a number of win streaks that are longer and more significant.
When Earvin "Magic" Johnson shocked the world by announcing he was HIV-positive in 1991, his many corporate sponsors pledged to stand by him — publicly at least. Behind closed doors, however, several companies began quietly distancing themselves from the basketball legend. Some — like Target and Kentucky Fried Chicken — simply failed to renew his contract when it expired and said their decisions had nothing to do with his illness. Converse and Pepsi pledged to stay with him, although Magic walked away from Converse shortly after.