Arturo Gatti (April 15, 1972 – July 11, 2009) was an Italian Canadian professional boxer who competed from 1991 to 2007. Nicknamed "Thunder," Gatti was known for his heart and bravery in the ring, and also carried formidable punching power.
A world champion in two weight classes, Gatti held the IBF junior lightweight title from 1995 to 1998, and the WBC super lightweight title from 2004 to 2005. He also participated in The Ring magazine's Fight of the Year a total of four times (1997, 1998, 2002, and 2003). He announced his retirement on July 14, 2007. On December 10, 2012, Gatti was posthumously inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, in his first year of eligibility, and becoming the tenth Canadian boxer to be inducted.
Gatti was born in Cassino, Italy, and raised in Latium, a region of central western Italy, before moving to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Gatti eventually relocated to Jersey City, New Jersey as a teenager. He returned to Montreal after retiring from boxing to work in real estate.
His death in 2009 was mired in controversy, with his wife first being arrested for homicide and then released after an autopsy ruled his death was suicide.
Gatti in 2002
|Height||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)|
|Reach||70 in (178 cm)|
|Born||April 15, 1972|
|Died||July 11, 2009 (aged 37)|
Ipojuca, Pernambuco, Brazil
|Wins by KO||31|
Arturo Gatti was a member of the Canadian National team, and was training to represent Canada at the 1992 Summer Games, but at age 19 (in 1991), he decided to turn pro instead. He began boxing professionally on the night of June 10, 1991, with a third round knockout of Jose Gonzalez in Secaucus, New Jersey. He went undefeated for six bouts before losing to King Solomon by split decision in six rounds on November 17, 1992.
In 1994, he beat Leon Bostic, and followed through with a Round 1 knockout over Pete Taliaferro to win the USBA super featherweight title. He retained the title against Richard Salazar and former world champion Jose Sanabria.
On December 15, 1995, Gatti challenged the IBF super featherweight Champion Tracy Harris Patterson, Floyd Patterson's adoptive son. Gatti became world champion when he narrowly outpointed Patterson (scoring: 116–111, 115–112, 114–113) and signed a multi-fight deal with HBO to fight on HBO Boxing.
He only had two fights in 1996, once defending his world title. His title defense, at Madison Square Garden against Dominican Wilson Rodriguez was the first of three Gatti fights in a row to be named a candidate for "Fight of the Year" by Ring Magazine. Dropped in round two and with his right eye closing fast, Gatti knocked Rodriguez down in round five with a left hook to the body, before finishing him off in round six to retain the title.
In 1997, he again won a points victory over Patterson, but this time by a larger margin (118–108, 117–109, 116–110). He then scored a technical knockout over former world champion Calvin Grove in the seventh round of a non-title affair. Then came his defense against former world champion Gabriel Ruelas, which was also named "Fight of the Year" by Ring Magazine. Rocked by a left uppercut in the fourth, Gatti absorbed more than 15 consecutive punches before being saved by the bell. In the fifth, he connected on a left hook to knock Ruelas out.
After that fight, Gatti relinquished the world title, going up in weight to the lightweight division. However, 1998 was a bad year for Gatti, as he lost all three of his fights that year. He lost by a technical knockout in round eight to Angel Manfredy, and then lost a pair of close 10-round decisions to Ivan Robinson, the first by split decision, the second by unanimous. In Gatti-Robinson II, Gatti had a point deducted in the eighth round for low blows. Had the point not been deducted, the fight would have been a draw, as Robinson was only ahead by one point on two scorecards. Gatti-Robinson I was chosen "Fight of the Year" by Ring Magazine, thus marking the second year in a row that a Gatti fight was given that award and the third year in a row a Gatti fight was nominated.
He only had one fight in 1999, knocking out Reyes Munoz in round one.
Gatti's first fight of 2000 proved to be controversial. Faced with former world champion Joey Gamache, Gatti won by a knockout in round two. A subsequent lawsuit by Gamache's handlers claimed Gatti had gained 19 pounds since the weigh-in the day before and thus had a large advantage over Gamache. In the wake of the fight, boxing regulators pushed for a new law limiting the amount of weight a competitor can gain between the weigh-in and time of the fight. Gatti was also accused by Gamache's handlers of not having actually made the contracted weight of 141 pounds. After Gatti-Gamache, some boxing commissions started weighing boxers a second time.
Gatti also won his two other fights that year, against Eric Jukabuwski and Joe Hutchinson.
In 2001, Gatti only had one fight, going up in weight to meet welterweight Oscar De La Hoya, who beat him by a technical knockout in five rounds. In 2002, Gatti returned to the light welterweight division and defeated former world champion Terronn Millett by a knockout in round four.
He then split two ten-round decisions with "Irish" Micky Ward, losing their first bout, but winning their second. Gatti-Ward I also earned "Fight of the Year" honors by Ring Magazine, and the 9th round was called the Round of the Century by Emanuel Steward.
On June 7, 2003, he and Ward had a rubber match. Gatti broke his twice-repaired right hand on an uppercut in the fourth, and he dropped his arm. In the sixth, Gatti dominated the round, but got caught with an overhand to the top of the head a second before the bell rang and went down. The final scorecards read, 96–93, 96–93 and 97–92, in favor of Gatti. The third fight between the two was again named "Fight of the Year" by Ring Magazine.
Gatti vs Ward I & III are also part of HBO's 10 best fights of the decade.
On January 24, 2004, Gatti, having recovered from a broken hand, scored a tenth round knock-down and defeated Gianluca Branco of Italy by a 12-round unanimous decision to win the vacant WBC light welterweight title.
Gatti's second defense of his WBC title came against former WBC super featherweight Champion Jesse James Leija on January 29, 2005. Gatti beat Leija by a fifth-round knockout. That same night, Arturo's protégé, Danny "Little Mac" McDermott, won his pro debut.
In his next fight, Gatti fought former super featherweight and lightweight world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. on June 25, 2005. He took a horrific beating and Gatti's corner man threw in the towel after he was beaten around the ring, thus ending his title reign via sixth-round technical knockout.
After the loss to Mayweather, Gatti moved up to the welterweight division. He beat Thomas Damgaard on January 28, 2006, by an eleventh-round technical knockout to win the vacant IBA welterweight title and become a champion in 3 different weight divisions.
On July 22, 2006, Gatti lost by a TKO to Carlos Baldomir, vying for the WBC & The Ring welterweight championship. He then broke off his relationship with Buddy McGirt and had a new trainer in Micky Ward.
Gatti attempted a comeback on July 14, 2007, against Alfonso Gomez, only to get TKO'd by Gomez. After the fight, Gatti announced his retirement in the dressing room, reportedly quipping: "I'm coming back — as a spectator."
Arturo was an aggressive, all-action fighter, often remembered as a Slugger. Early on in his career, Gatti showed his tremendous punching power as he amassed a large number of first-round knockouts. Although he had the ability to box many opponents (as shown in the second Micky Ward fight) Gatti would often get into brawls when his opponents were able to take the power and fight back. This is why many of his bouts against good opposition were slug-fests.
Gatti had incredible heart, and an iron chin, shown in the majority of his major fights. He was able to absorb incredible amounts of punishments by fighters such as Wilson Rodriguez, Gabriel Ruelas, Angel Manfredy, Ivan Robinson, Oscar De La Hoya, Micky Ward, Floyd Mayweather and Carlos Baldomir, none of whom could knock him out cold. In the Rodriguez fight he showed off his recuperative abilities as he was close to being stopped under a barrage of shots and in the next round he stopped his opponent.
Oscar De La Hoya, who faced many big punchers from 130 pounds to 160 pounds, says Gatti hit him the hardest out of any fighter.
Gatti retired with a record of 40 wins and 9 losses, with 31 wins by knockout. On September 24, 2008, reports had surfaced that Gatti was considering a comeback against Montreal welterweight Antonin Décarie, the Canadian and North American Boxing Organization champion. On December 10, 2012 Arturo Gatti was voted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
On July 11, 2009, Gatti was found dead in a hotel in Ipojuca, Pernambuco, Brazil, where he was on holiday with his Brazilian wife, Amanda Rodrigues, and their 10-month-old son. He was 37 years old. Gatti was to attend his sister's wedding the same day. Gatti's widow was charged with first degree murder after the strap of her bag was found stained with blood. Rodrigues could not explain how she spent more than 10 hours in the hotel room without realising Gatti was dead. Former boxing champion Acelino Freitas, who was a close friend of Gatti, stated Gatti and Rodrigues were having problems and were about to separate. The Brazilian authorities initially ruled Gatti's death a homicide, but after the coroner's autopsy report was released, they declared it was a suicide, and his widow was set free. On July 31, 2009, it was announced that the Canadian government would be seeking more information from the Brazilian authorities on Gatti's death. Gatti's family confirmed that there would be a second autopsy done in Quebec. On August 1, a pathologist hired by the ex-boxing champ's family said Brazilian authorities overlooked bruises on Gatti's body in the initial autopsy. "There were definite injuries that had not been seen by Brazilian authorities," Baden said. Almost a year later, in March 2010, the circumstances concerning Gatti's death remained unclear.
At the family's request, a Quebec coroner agreed to exhume the body so that two pathologists could conduct a second autopsy. Coroner Jean Brochu said, "We've been waiting for this for a long time," and "it's going to take a while" before conclusions can be made, and released to the public. A shortage of staff at the coroner's office was blamed for contributing to the delay of the investigation. Regarding a new toxicology report being prepared, Brochu quipped that it "may take a century to get the results."
The Quebec coroner's report was released in November 2011. Brochu agreed with prior conclusions that Gatti died a violent death from asphyxia by neck constriction. He also noted that Gatti had carisoprodol, a muscle relaxant, in his system, along with alcohol. An expert toxicologist from Quebec retained by the coroner said the drug can produce withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, confusion and psychosis. The coroner also stated that "obvious presence of post-mortem lividity" indicated that the body had been suspended for some time before ending up on the floor.
|Professional record summary|
|49 fights||40 wins||9 losses|
|49||Loss||40–9||Alfonso Gómez||TKO||7 (10), 2:12||Jul 14, 2007||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|48||Loss||40–8||Carlos Baldomir||TKO||9 (12), 2:50||Jul 22, 2006||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Lost IBA welterweight title;|
For WBC, The Ring, and lineal welterweight titles
|47||Win||40–7||Thomas Damgaard||TKO||11 (12), 2:54||Jan 28, 2006||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Won vacant IBA welterweight title|
|46||Loss||39–7||Floyd Mayweather Jr.||RTD||6 (12), 3:00||Jun 25, 2005||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Lost WBC super lightweight title|
|45||Win||39–6||Jesse James Leija||KO||5 (12), 1:48||Jan 29, 2005||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Retained WBC super lightweight title|
|44||Win||38–6||Leonard Doroftei||KO||2 (12), 2:55||Jul 24, 2004||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Retained WBC super lightweight title|
|43||Win||37–6||Gianluca Branco||UD||12||Jan 24, 2004||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Won vacant WBC super lightweight title|
|42||Win||36–6||Micky Ward||UD||10||Jun 7, 2003||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|41||Win||35–6||Micky Ward||UD||10||Nov 23, 2002||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|40||Loss||34–6||Micky Ward||MD||10||May 18, 2002||Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut, U.S.|
|39||Win||34–5||Terron Millett||TKO||4 (10), 2:23||Jan 26, 2002||The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|38||Loss||33–5||Oscar De La Hoya||TKO||5 (10), 1:16||Mar 24, 2001||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|37||Win||33–4||Joe Hutchinson||UD||10||Sep 8, 2000||Molson Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|36||Win||32–4||Eric Jakubowski||TKO||2 (10), 0:40||Apr 29, 2000||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|35||Win||31–4||Joey Gamache||KO||2 (10), 0:41||Feb 26, 2000||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|34||Win||30–4||Reyes Munoz||TKO||1 (10), 3:09||Aug 14, 1999||Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S.|
|33||Loss||29–4||Ivan Robinson||UD||10||Dec 12, 1998||Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|32||Loss||29–3||Ivan Robinson||SD||10||Aug 22, 1998||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|31||Loss||29–2||Angel Manfredy||TKO||8 (10), 2:57||Jan 17, 1998||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|30||Win||29–1||Gabriel Ruelas||TKO||5 (12), 2:22||Oct 4, 1997||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Retained IBF junior lightweight title|
|29||Win||28–1||Calvin Grove||RTD||7 (10), 3:00||May 4, 1997||Circus Maximus Showroom, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|28||Win||27–1||Tracy Harris Patterson||UD||12||Feb 22, 1997||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Retained IBF junior lightweight title|
|27||Win||26–1||Feliciano Correa||KO||3 (10), 2:05||Jul 11, 1996||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|26||Win||25–1||Wilson Rodriguez||KO||6 (12), 2:16||Mar 23, 1996||The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.||Retained IBF junior lightweight title|
|25||Win||24–1||Tracy Harris Patterson||UD||12||Dec 15, 1995||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.||Won IBF junior lightweight title|
|24||Win||23–1||Carlos Vergara||TKO||1 (10), 0:57||Oct 7, 1995||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|23||Win||22–1||Barrington Francis||TKO||6 (10)||Jul 13, 1995||Circus Maximus Showroom, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|22||Win||21–1||Tialano Tovar||KO||1 (10), 1:41||Apr 22, 1995||Bally's Park Place, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|21||Win||20–1||Roman Smolenkov||KO||1||Mar 9, 1995||Martinihal, Groningen, Netherlands|
|20||Win||19–1||Jose Sanabria||UD||12||Nov 22, 1994||Meadowlands Exposition Center, Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S.||Retained USBA junior lightweight title|
|19||Win||18–1||Richard Salazar||TKO||10 (12), 2:29||Aug 16, 1994||The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.||Retained USBA junior lightweight title|
|18||Win||17–1||Pete Taliaferro||TKO||1 (12), 3:00||Jun 28, 1994||Meadowlands Exposition Center, Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S.||Won USBA junior lightweight title|
|17||Win||16–1||Darrell Singleton||TKO||1 (8), 0:41||May 6, 1994||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|16||Win||15–1||Leon Bostic||MD||8||Jan 8, 1994||Friar Tuck Inn, Catskill, New York, U.S.|
|15||Win||14–1||Glenn Irizarry||TKO||1||Nov 11, 1993||Melville Hilton Hotel, Huntington, New York, U.S.|
|14||Win||13–1||Derek Francis||KO||1||Oct 23, 1993||Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|13||Win||12–1||Luis Guzman||KO||1||Aug 24, 1993||Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|12||Win||11–1||Robert Scott||KO||1||Jul 30, 1993||Ramada Hotel, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|11||Win||10–1||Christino Suero||KO||3 (8), 1:55||Jun 20, 1993||Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|10||Win||9–1||Clifford Hicks||KO||3||May 15, 1993||Memorial High School, Brick Township, New Jersey, U.S.|
|9||Win||8–1||Curtis Mathis||TKO||3||Apr 7, 1993||Robert Treat Hotel, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.|
|8||Win||7–1||Plamen Gechev||TKO||1||Mar 23, 1993||Sportpaleis van Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands|
|7||Loss||6–1||King Solomon||SD||6||Nov 17, 1992||The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|6||Win||6–0||Joe Lafontant||UD||6||May 15, 1992||Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|5||Win||5–0||Antonio Gonzalez||TKO||1 (4), 1:35||Apr 22, 1992||Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.|
|4||Win||4–0||Francisco Aguiano||TKO||1||Oct 22, 1991||The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|3||Win||3–0||Richard De Jesus||TKO||1 (4), 0:28||Aug 2, 1991||Quality Inn Hotel, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.|
|2||Win||2–0||Luis Melendez||KO||1 (4), 0:19||Jul 9, 1991||The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|1||Win||1–0||Jose Gonzales||TKO||3 (4), 1:27||Jun 10, 1991||Meadowlands Exposition Center, Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Regional boxing titles|
| USBA junior lightweight champion
June 28, 1994 – March 1995
Title next held byJohn Brown
|Minor world boxing titles|
Title last held byShane Mosley
| IBA welterweight champion
January 28, 2006 – July 22, 2006
|Major world boxing titles|
Tracy Harris Patterson
| IBF junior lightweight champion
December 15, 1995 – January 1998
Title next held byRobert Garcia
| WBC super lightweight champion
January 24, 2004 – June 25, 2005
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Evander Holyfield vs.
| The Ring Fight of the Year
vs. Gabriel Ruelas
Ivan Robinson vs.
KO11 Eloy Rojas
| The Ring Knockout of the Year
KO5 Gabriel Ruelas
Roy Jones Jr.
KO4 Virgil Hill
Arturo Gatti vs.
| The Ring Fight of the Year
vs. Ivan Robinson
Paulie Ayala vs.
Micky Ward vs.
| The Ring Fight of the Year
vs. Micky Ward
Arturo Gatti vs.
Micky Ward II
|Inaugural award|| BWAA Fight of the Year
vs. Micky Ward
James Toney vs.
John Michael Johnson
| The Ring Comeback of the Year
Arturo Gatti vs.
| The Ring Fight of the Year
vs. Micky Ward II
Marco Antonio Barrera vs.
Érik Morales II