Marcel Cerdan was born on July 22, 1916 in Sidi bel Abbes in Algeria – cradle of the Légion Etrangère. With a Spanish father and a French mother, he is the second son of a modest family of five children (Armand, Antoine, Vincent and his young sister Clothilde).
In 1922, the Cerdan family moved to Casablanca searching for a better future.
In 1924, Marcel climbs on a ring for the first time at the age of 8 to replace his sick brother Vincent. The little Marcel wins the battle and is rewarded with a pair of sandals and to his great regret his opponent wins a consolation chocolate bar.
His father decides to become his manager. Around 1932, the Cerdan father becomes friends with Lucien Roupp, a Parisian in close contact with the boxing world and who opened a training room on the second floor of his garage.
Marcel dreams about a career in soccer and this generates permanent conflicts with his father who pushes him with boxing. This hostile climate leads him to Lucien Roupp’s punching ball.
The famous fight promoter Jeff Dickson wants to try Marcel before bringing him to the capital. Therefore, Marcel fights Edy Rabak known as the boorish “Czech Carpenter”, in Casablanca on September 13, 1937. Marcel knocks him out In the 7th round. The door to international stardom swings wide open ... Marcel is barely 21.