Joey Giardello

One of the world’s most impressive middleweights, with a two-decade career and a two-year run as champion in the mid-1960s

Some fighters have one or two fights that define their career. Joey Giardello, with an all-time record of 100-25-7, seemed to have at least a dozen.

Turning pro at age 18, he fought primarily in the boxing-rich town of Philadelphia a couple of years. Within three campaigns, he entered the world rankings, and in 1952-1953, he fought three exciting matches against Billy Graham, winning twice and losing a controversial third. It wasn’t until the early 1960s that Giardello got a title shot, losing that first attempt to Gene Fulmer.

In 1963, he fought Dick Tiger and won the title on points. In 1964, he fought his one defense, defeating Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. He faced Tiger again in 1965 and lost the title on points. He fought several more times at a non-title level, and retired as a pro in 1967. At that point, he had been ranked for 15 years.

Joey Giardello was elected to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1979, and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993.