For Giardello and Castellani The Bell Tolls Their Final 10
By Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing (Sept 9, 2008)  
Former world middleweight champion Joey Giardello passed away on September 4th at the age of 78. He had amassed a final record of 101-25-7 with 33 KO’s. On June 24, 1963 he defeated the greatest pound for pound fighter in the history of boxing Sugar Ray Robinson 154-12-3. Later that year in his next bout he won the middleweight championship defeating Dick Tiger on December 7, 1963. He would have one successful title defense over Rubin “Hurricane” Carter on December 14, 1964. He would lose his title in a rematch with Tiger on October 21, 1965.

Another top middleweight of the same era passed away August 31, 2008 at the age of 82. Rocky Castellani fought Bobo Olson for the middleweight title Augsut 20, 1954 and lost a 15 round decision in which both he and champion Olsen tasted the canvas. Castellani fought classic battles with the best boxers of the welterweight and middleweight division in a career that lasted 11 years (1946-1957).

Rocky garnered victories over boxers like Joey Giardello, Johnny Bratton, Gil Turner, Ralph “Tiger” Jones, Tony Janiro etc. But Castellani’s most memorable bout was his near upset of the great Sugar Ray Robinson at the Cow Palace in San Francisco on July 22, 1955 when he floored Sugar Ray for a nine count in the 6th of a bout that Castellani lost by split decision.

Rocky was not a big puncher regardless of his amazing knockdown of Robinson but he was an excellent counterpuncher, had a fighter’s heart and an excellent jaw. Castellani’s final tally was 65-16-4 with 16 KO’s.

May you rest in peace Joey and Rocky.

Ken at:

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