Gatti vs. Mayweather: Thunder And Lightening

18.06.05 - By Malik Lee: WBC Light Welterweight Championship belt holder Arturo “Thunder” Gatti, 39-6 29 KO’s, will welcome “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather Jr. 33-0 22 KO’s, into his backyard of Atlantic City, New Jersey in front of 15,000 seats which will mostly be filled by Gatti fans. Titled “Thunder & Lighting” this championship brawl will be the main event of HBO’s pay per view scheduled for Saturday June 25, 2005 with the show going live at 9 PM Eastern standard time.

The tale of the tape for Gatti-Mayweather Jr. fight scheduled for 12 rounds reads as follows: Canadian boxer, Arturo Gatti, hailing from Jersey City, NJ. Gattti's age 33, standing 5’7 ½” with a reach of 70”, fighting from a Orthodox stance. American boxer Mayweather Jr. calls Las Vegas, Nevada home age 28 standing 5’8” with a reach of 72” fighting from a Orthodox stance.

This scrap with Mayweather Jr. will give Gatti a chance to make a championship statement even though he has defended his belt twice with both bouts ending in knockouts one by a vicious blow to the body of Leonard “The Lion” Dorin giving the Dorin his first lost. Gatti had won the vacant WBC belt January 24, 2004 with a unanimous decision in 12 rounds against Gianluca Branco.

Mayweather Jr. fighting on a Pay Per View card for the first time ever comes from a fighting pedigree having grown up in the ring before his fans eyes. Mayweather Jr. started his pro boxing debut in 1996 weighing in at 131, winning his first championship belt two yearslater, the WBC Super Featherweight championship belt defending the belt eight times before moving up in weight in 2002 to win the WBC Lightweight Championship belt. Jr. defended the WBC lightweight belt twice before relinquishing the belt to move up in weight once again winning two bouts coming into the fight with Gatti. Jr. is 14-0 in world title fights.

Gatti winning his championship belt after coming off of three epic battles with Mickey Ward in 2003 and 2002 winning the last two losing the first by a split decision. Gatti lost the fight of the year in 1998 to Ivan Robinson only to lose the rematch four months later. Up until 1998 when Gatti moved up in weight he was the IBF Super Featherweight championship belt holder from 1995 until 1997 and the USBA Super featherweight championship belt for all of 1994. Gatti made his pro debut in 1991 weighing in at 127 pounds. Gatti is 9-0 in world title fights.

Gatti who has been though wars in the ring winning a fight with both him eyes closing is looking forward to defending his belt. "His chin is suspect, what can I say," the reigning WBC 140lbs champion told reporters. "He's overconfident, I am sure, but he's not stupid and I expect him to be at his best. But we'll see how much balls he has. I've got a lot of heart and he may need that, too. when he gets hit on that chin he'll get knocked out or will start to run. All this talk will stop when he gets to Atlantic City." Gatti added "He's got a big mouth; he's talented any everything, but he wishes he has the balls and heart of Micky Ward. Everyone say he's pound-for-pound but what does pound-for-pound mean? I don't know and I don't care. He was able to mess around in his last fight (vs Henry Bruseles) but no way will he dare do that stuff with me. Not for a second."

Mayweather Jr has said “Gatti is a blown up club fighter!” adding he is a fighter that’s been defeated mentally. According to reporter Robert Morales, Mayweather Jr. will also come into the ring pissed off at his promoter Bob Arum that this is his first fight on pay per view. "We could have started my pay-per-view run with Angel Manfredy (in his first title defense in 1998),' said Mayweather,. "Me and (Diego) Corrales should have been on pay-per-view. Me and (Jose Luis) Castillo, if it was promoted right, should have been on pay-per-view. Me and (Phillip) N'Dou.

I mean, a knockout guy like that, 31-1 with 30 knockouts, going into my back yard. I mean, there are a lot of pay-per-view fights I could have had. At least five or six.”

Arum responded by saying "Floyd isn't the brightest guy in the world, he was getting these big rights fees from HBO and if he wanted to be on pay-per- view - and God knows we tried - we were more than willing to promote him on pay-per-view.” Arum continued to say "He talks about a promoter taking a risk, but why didn't he take a risk? We were willing to pay him money on a percentage (of the pay- per-view), but he wasn't willing to take a risk.” Arum also said Mayweather always has wanted the big guarantee that comes with fighting on HBO instead of a smaller guarantee that could turn into a large purse if the fight did well on pay-per-view.

"Oscar (De La Hoya) was always willing to take a risk,' Arum said, "hoping to capitalize on the upside. Floyd can't look at anybody and say he is the reason he is not on pay-per- view - except himself. "And all of the fights he mentioned, we were barely able to sell half the seats in the arena. These fights that he refers to as big pay- per-view fights were all duds at the gate, including Castillo and Corrales.”

Mayweather's contracts with HBO and with Top Rank ended in his last fight against Henry Bruseles on Jan. 22. However, Arum said Sunday that both contracts have "first and last' language written in them. All Top Rank and HBO have to do is match any forthcoming offer to Mayweather, and Mayweather can't fight for any other promoter. Arum said “Mayweather was initially guaranteed $3.1 million to fight Gatti, which was slightly less than his biggest guarantee $3,250,000 for Bruseles. But since the fight has already sold out, Mayweather's guarantee has been upgraded to $4 million.

“We have first and last,” Arum said. "As long as we keep exercising and matching any offer, it can continue indefinitely.” Arum said, “the reason this fight with Gatti sold out on the first day tickets were available, and the reason it should do well on pay-per-view, is because of the very popular Gatti. The guy who is the major draw in this match is Gatti,
And what about the live gate? They are all Gatti's fans who bought the tickets.”

No matter who wins the fight, the winner's next showdown looming could be against English boxer Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton, the IBF championship belt holder for world’s top 140 pound pugilist in the weight class. Nevertheless, I’m sure Puerto Rican fighter, Miguel Cotto, the currant WBO championship belt holder, or possibly even Guyana boxer Vivian “Vicious” Harris, the currant WBA championship belt holder, will also want a say.

The under card of “Thunder and Lighting” at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City New Jersey, which is being promoted by Main Events and Top Rank, will feature WBA Light Welterweight Title fight between Vivian Harris 25-1-1 17 KO’s and Carlos Maussa 17-2 19 KO’s scheduled for 12 rounds, WBO Minimumweight Title fight Ivan Calderon 22-0 5 KO’s against Gerardo Verde 13-1, 10 KO’s, scheduled for 12 rounds, Heavyweight, Calvin Brock, 25-0 20 KO’s against Kenny Craven 26-15, 22 KO’s, scheduled for 10 rounds, Light Welterweight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., 19-0 14 KO’s against Ruben Galvan 21-6-2, 9 KO’s scheduled for 8 rounds, plus Heavyweight, BJ Flores 11-0-1, 8 KO’s, against an undetermined fighter.

Article posted on 18.06.2005

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