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Retired boxer Carmine O. Tilelli has settled his defamation lawsuit against the producers of the movie “The Hurricane” for an undisclosed sum, according to his lawyer, George Bochetto of Philadelphia-based Bochetto & Lentz. Tilelli, of Cherry Hill, N.J., who is more popularly known by his ring name Joey Giardello, claimed in the suit that the movie falsely portrayed his December 1964 bout with Rubin “Hurricane” Carter as a fixed fight in which racist judges decided against Carter because he is black. Giardello is a former middleweight world champion who says that experts agree he deserved to win the fight but claims that the film falsely portrayed him “as a hapless fighter who benefits from a racially motivated or fixed scoring system.” Bochetto said the terms of the settlement are confidential but that “the suit was always more about Mr. Giardello’s boxing legacy and accomplishments and that of his family’s than about money.” In a recent letter, Armyan Bernstein of Beacon Films assured Giardello that “it was never our purpose to offend you.” Bernstein went on to say that the movie makers “had no intention of taking away your own legacy as World Middleweight Champion, or of besmirching [your] other boxing accomplishments.” The letter also said that Carter “told me that you never ducked a fight.” In a statement announcing the settlement, Bochetto said there was never any question in Giardello’s mind that he had beaten Carter “fair and square” when he was awarded the unanimous decision by the judges. “Giardello worked his entire professional career on being a courageous and undisputed champion boxer and is pleased to report that his legacy and reputation as such remains completely intact today,” Bochetto said.

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