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We sadly report that former middleweight champion and Philly boxing legend Joey Giardello passed away on Thursday afternoon, September 4, 2008, after battling with health problems for a good part of this year.

Giardello was born Carmine Orlando Tilelli on July 16, 1930 in Brooklyn, NY. He came to Philadelphia as a young man and after meeting a nice South Philly girl named Rosalie, he was here to stay in the "City of Brotherly Love". Lucky for us!

With the legendary Passyunk Gym as his eventual home base, Joey began to build his fine boxing career which spanned for almost 20 years during a time when so many good fighters crowded the rankings (1948-1967).

Joey amassed an incredible record of 101-25-7-1 with 33 KOs. He fought an amazing roster of excellent opposition and was a ranked contender for many years before receiving a shot at the title in his 12th year as a pro and after 107 bouts. In that first crack, he fought to a controversial draw with NBA champ Gene Fullmer. After 16 more fights and 3 more patient years, Giardello finally received another championship opportunity. 

At age 33, Joey took the world crown from Dick Tiger by 15-round decision at Atlantic City's Convention Hall in 1963. He defended his title the following year against Rubin Carter before losing it back to Tiger in 1965.

He was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993. In a city known for great middleweights, Joey Giardello is probably the best 160-pounder to ever come out of Philadelphia. Joey was a blue-collar hero who earned every one of his accomplishments. Giardello loved his wonderful family, his time as a boxer, and his Brooklyn Dodgers. He was loved by all who knew and idolized him, and he will be greatly missed by all of us.