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Joey Giardello: Statue to a real-life South Philly boxer

Known more for controversial portrayal in ‘Hurricane’ movie, fighter was champion of world in ‘60s.

Just hours before a future Hall of Fame boxer who lives near the Rocky statue enters the ring for what could be the last fight of his career, Philadelphia will finally unveil a monument for a real-life pugilist in South Philadelphia.

Those who loved, knew and respected former middleweight champion of the world Joey Giardello will unveil a statue posthumously honoring him on a sidewalk triangle bounded by Passyunk Avenue and 13th and Mifflin streets Saturday.

Supporters spent years raising money and jabbing through red tape.

They wanted to make Giardello, who suffered congestive heart failure and diabetes before his 2008 death, known for more than his depiction in, and subsequent defamation suit over, a movie about Rubin “Hurricane” Carter.

Giardello’s widow Rosalie will unveil the statue, which will remain covered until the ceremony.

Frazier next?

As for a potential statue to honor “Smokin’” Joe Frazier, which Hopkins promised Metro he’d pay for if someone found a location, Druding said, “If we were able to do one, there’s no reason someone couldn’t do another.”

Follow Brian Hickey on Twitter @MetroBHickey.

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