Regular price $145.00

Carmine Orlando Tilelli (July 16, 1930 – September 4, 2008) was an American boxer who was the middleweight champion of the world from 1963 to 1965, and was better known by his professional pseudonym of Joey Giardello. As a pro, he quickly racked up an 18-0-1 record in his first 19 fights while facing less-than-stellar opposition. He fought just three men who had previously won a fight during that time. It caught up with Tilelli on January 16, 1950, when he was handed his first defeat by Joe DiMartino, a journeyman with a 6-10 record. After that embarrassment, he began to face better opposition and by 1951, was beating some of the better middleweight boxers on the Philadelphia scene. He continued to do so for years afterward, but was blocked from receiving a shot at the world championship by the underworld figures who controlled the sport at that time. Giardello's fight vs. Billy Graham was the next significant bout. The decision first was awarded to Graham, then later reversed to a decision in favor of Giardello, then reversed again, some time later, in favor of Graham. This fight is known in boxing lore as "The reversed reversal." It was only in 1960 that Tilelli, now known as Giardello, received any kind of championship opportunity. On April 20, he faced Gene Fullmer for the National Boxing Association version of the world middleweight title. He missed out on the title when he and Fullmer fought to a draw over 15 rounds. Giardello lost four of his next six fights, but then came back strong with an 8-1-1 record in his next 10, all of which were over some of the biggest names in the division at that time. One of his wins, a 10-round decision over Henry Hank on January 30, 1962, was chosen as Ring Magazine's fight of the year. Then, on June 24, 1963, Giardello upset boxing legend Sugar Ray Robinson, and at the age of 33, was finally named as the No. 1 challenger for the world middleweight title. He wasted no opportunity. On December 7, Giardello faced Dick Tiger in Atlantic City for the title and won, taking the world championship by decision in 15 rounds and drawing with Tiger in two others. He reigned as world champion for nearly two years, winning four fights during that time. The most notable was a December 14, 1964 title defense against Rubin Carter. He won the fight handily, using a slick jab to keep Carter at bay, despite taking a few solid rights to the head in the early rounds, though Carter was not able to follow them up. By the 5th round, Giardello had taken control of the fight and was awarded a unanimous decision. However, the fight's depiction in the film The Hurricane has led many non-boxing fans to believe the decision was in some way corrupt or even racialist. However, the decision was agreed upon by Boxing experts present at the fight, to the tune of a Giardello victory by a 3-1 margin; an subsequent informal poll of sportswriters present agreed that Giardello had won. Carter himself agreed with the decision. After the release of 'The Hurricane' in 1999,Giardello was awarded substantial damages relating to the inaccurate depiction of him and manner of his win. Giardello gave Tiger a rematch on October 21, 1965 and this time, the Nigerian decisioned Giardello over 15 rounds to regain the belt. Giardello fought just four more times over the next two years before retiring. Offered here is a letter agreement signed by Joey Giardello and Hall Of Famer Jimmy Jacobs in which Giardello agrees to releases his claims for his fight films.
This is an original, one page, typed letter agreement. Bold ink signatures of Giardello and Jacobs. Clean. Dated 10/27/76. Small clipped corner at lower letf. Not creased. Bold type. 8 1/2" x 11."

Size: 8 1/2 x 11

Condition: excellent