Philly Boxing History

MARCH 25, 1963




Joey Giardello was getting close - close to another shot at the middleweight title. At 33 years old and more than 100 bouts on his record, Giardello won a 10-round unanimous decision over Ernie Burford, on this day in 1963. The win moved Joey one step closer to his goal, although at the time it seemed like a championship bout would never materialize.

Against Burford, Giardello put on a clinic. He was in shape and it showed. Joey punched his way to victory with well-timed shots that piled up points and kept his dangerous foe at a distance for all ten rounds. Burford had KO'd Jesse Smith his last time out, but against Giardello he only caught air with his punches. The 33 year old Giardello used all the tricks in his bag to take the unanimous decision in this his 123rd bout. His vast edge in experience helped him to out-smart his foe over the course of the fight.

After this fight, Joey waited for his title opportunity, but found he had one more obstacle between him and the belt. Three months later Joey would face the great-but-by-then-faded Sugar Ray Robinson. After beating the legend by decision, it was onto Atlantic City for another battle with old rival Dick Tiger. That bout, their 3rd, was for the world middleweight crown, and Joey finally brought home the title after all those years of waiting.

  1929 - Dick Welsh D6 Eddie Law at the Arena in West Philly
  1935 - Al Ettore KO3 Jack Phillips at Minneapolis, MN

  1940 - Gus Dorazio W10 Al McCoy at the Arena in West Philly

  1940 - Johnny Forte KO2 Danny Russell at the Arena in West Philly
  1943 - Eddie Giosa KO1 Henry Gibbs at the Olympia A. C. in South Philly
  1963 - Bennie Briscoe W6 Chuck McCreary at the Arena in West Philly
  1970 - George Benton W10 Eddie Owens at the Blue Horizon in North Philly
  1970 - Cyclone Hart KO3 John Saunders at the Blue Horizon in North Philly
  1970 - Bobby 'Boogaloo' Watts KO2 Joe Greene at Las Vegas, NV
  1985 - Tim Witherspoon TKO9 Mark Wills at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, CA
  2017 - Rudy Donato