Joey Giardello vs. Rubin Carter

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Challenger Rubin Carter tags middleweight champion Joey Giardello with a right to the head

Joey Giardello 160 lbs beat Rubin Carter 159 lbs by UD in round 15 of 15

  • Date: 1964-12-14
  • Location: Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Referee: Bob Polis 72-66
  • Judge: Dave Beloff 70-67
  • Judge: Jim Mina 71-66

Cunning Pays Off For Champ
Associated Press | December 15, 1964

It was like the old matador against the young, dangerous bull.

Middleweight champion Joey Giardello came perilously close to being gored but he called on every trick he learned in 16 years of pro battling to beat strong Rubin (Hurricane) Carter in his first title defense last night.

A rousing finish in the last five rounds of the 15-rounder earned the crafty, 34-year-old champion the unanimous decision over the muscular, 27-year-old second-ranking contender from Paterson, N.J., at Convention Hall.

Giardello was cut over the left eye and shaken by a jolting left hook in the fourth round. Carter had his big chance in that round but he blew it. Giardello absorbed several other solid left hooks to the jaw from his ever-threatening foe but Pal Joey always managed to slip away from the brink of disaster. There were no knockdowns.

The ring-scarred champion kept on the move constantly against his stalking, straight-moving opponent. With blood trickling from the cut most of the way, Giardello fought the classic fight — sticking with his left jab to the head, hooking to the body and head and making Carter miss.

Joey had the challenger slicing the air with dozens of punches in most rounds with a slip of the head or a slight move backwards or to the side. Carter landed his share of punches but Giardello scored with more."


  • Giardello was a veteran of 128 professional fights, while Carter had just 24.
  • Giardello and Carter were scheduled to fight in Las Vegas on October 23, 1964, but Giardello pulled out when the promoters failed to come up with the $55,000 which had been guaranteed in the contract.
  • Giardello received 60% of the gross gate and paid Carter $10,000 from his end. Giardello also earned about $5,000 more from television to several cities.
  • A crowd of 7,652 produced a gross gate of $85,245.
  • Carter entered the ring a 6-5 favorite after being a 7-5 underdog earlier in the day.
  • The score listed above for judge Jim Mina is incorrect. His actual score was 69-64 for Giardello.
  • The Associated Press scored the fight 69-68 for Giardello.
  • A poll of ringside scribes showed a 15-5 edge for Giardello.
  • The decision was greeted by mingled cheers and boos. One fan heaved a bottle into the ring as the fighters left. Nobody was hit.
  • "I won it clear — at least 9-6," Carter said. "I had him on the hook but let him get off. He's cagey and takes a helluva punch."
  • "He fought my fight and didn't press as I expected him to press," Giardello said. "He didn't fight inside and made it easy for me. That had a lot to do with it."

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Preceded by:
Tiger vs. Giardello III
WBA Middleweight Title Fight
# 5
WBC Middleweight Title Fight
# 3
Succeeded by:
Giardello vs. Tiger IV