Friday, August 13, 2010

Joey Giardello: One Fight, Two Paychecks

Anyone who saw Denzel Washington in his Oscar-winning performance playing Rueben Hurricane Carter saw the film open with a depiction of Carter’s fifteen round fight with Joey Giardello for the Middle Weight world championship. The Hollywood version of the fight ends with Carter pummeling a defenseless Giardello on the ropes, bloodied and clearly out on his feet. The decision for the fight goes to Giardello, obviously a horrendous racist injustice. That’s Hollywood for you.

Anybody interested in the truth can watch the entire fight on Youtube and can see for themselves that at the end of fifteen rounds, Giardello was scoring repeatedly with his left jab and with good body shots. Not only did he win the fight by unanimous decision, almost every newspaper man covering the fight thought Giardello was a clear victor. Perhaps most importantly, Reuben Carter himself was quoted saying that he thought he had won the fight nine rounds to six, though he never contested the decision. A far cry from the lopsided contest depicted by the movie.

I don’t know all the facts of the Reuben Carter case, but it occurs to me that if Hollywood is willing to lie so egregiously about the outcome of the prizefight, maybe Reuben Carter really was guilty of murder.

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