This Day in Boxing

Gene Fullmer Draws With Joey Giardello This Day April 20, 1960



Watch these head butts – Gene Fullmer Draws With Joey Giardello This Day April 20, 1960




  • Gene Fullmer 160 lbs
  • Joey Giardello 158¼ lbs
  • Draw in round 15 of 15
  • Location: Montana St. College Fieldhouse, Bozeman, Montana, USA
  • Referee: Harry Kessler 142-144
  • Judge: Jay Evans 145-142
  • Judge: Billy McFarland 145-145


“Gene Fullmer, though held to the first draw of his career by rugged Joey Giardello, still was the boss of NBA middleweights today. Fullmer finished fast Wednesday night in a brutal and confusing fist fight against the determined Brooklyn battler, to earn the deadlock. It was a rough fight for its entire 45 minutes, but the 4th round was the highlight of brutality. Giardello was cut over the eye first, and he quickly protested it was caused by Fullmer’s butting. Thus when the fighters moved into close quarters again, Joey lowered his head like a goat before Referee Harry Kessler stepped in. Giardello shoved Kessler away and both fighters milled aimlessly for nearly a minute, with the clock stopped, before Kessler put them into action again. In their first collision, Fullmer’s eye was slashed badly by a butt and Giardello admitted he did it deliberately. Thereafter it was a grudge match and they fought with little caution.” -United Press International

Attendance – 12,000 – 12,500 (app.)

Gate – $110,000 (app.) plus $100,000 for radio and TV (the attendance and gate plus TV radio receipts broke the state record of the 1923 Dempsey-Gibbons fight)

Purses – Fullmer – $100,000, Giardello – $25,000 plus $5,000 for expenses

Unofficial scorecards:

UPI – 144-142 Fullmer

AP – 144-144 Draw

Post fight comments:

“I bumped him with my head for spite. But he was butting me since the first round. He held my neck. He hit me all over. How did I get hit there (pointing to a raw scrape on the back of his hip)? Was I fighting him backwards?” -Joey Giardello

“Anybody who does a thing like that in a championship fight shouldn’t get a rematch.” -Gene Fullmer, commenting on the 4th round butt.

“Where’s that doctor? Is everybody a shoemaker around here?” -Tony Pollino, Giardello’s cornerman, adding to Giardello’s statement that Montana officials were ‘butchers, shoemakers and candlestick makers’, while awaiting the doctor to stitch Giardello’s right eye.

“It was a mean fight to work because they were so strong. It was hard to get between them.” -Referee Harry Kessler

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