Arturo Gatti Belongs in the Hall of Fame

27.01.04 - By Mike Bearenhof: When most people think of Arturo Gatti they think of a tough, gritty slugger who never gives up and always fights to the bitter end. People also probably think of Gatti's brutal fights against Micky Ward, the first one being 2002 fight of the year. People probably also think of his three other fights of the year in 1996, 1997 and 1998. After viewing many of Gatti's first fights, experts were all in agreement that Arturo Gatti would have a short and bloody carrer. Arturo Gatti defied the experts though, and fought his way to two world titles in different weightclasses. The first title he won from and overmatched Tracy Patterson in 1995, Gatti went on to defend it for two years until being beaten by Angel Manfreddy. The second title he of course won a few days ago, and Gatti looks sure to defend it.

Gatti maybe the most exciting active fighter there is, and now he has another world title to back up it all up. Although his most recent victory over Branco wasn't another Gatti fight of the year (to be honest it wasnt even all that too exciting), Gatti won this fight by a unanimous decision. Not even the Italian judge could give Branco the decision in this fight, and that says alot considering Gatti fought most of the fight with one hand.

Now that Arturo Gatti is approaching what looks like the end of his carrer, it is time to not only consider him a great and exciting fighter, but perhaps an all-time great and exciting fighter. The time has come for the International Boxing Hall of Fame to give some serious consideration towards making Arturo Gatti an inshrinee. It is my opinion that Arturo Gatti belongs next to names like Willie Pep and even Muhammad Ali.

The first thing you would probably think is that Gatti is nowhere near the league of Pep and Ali, because Gatti is honestly only about half the fighter as those guys. It is undeniable that guys like Willie Pep and Muhammad Ali are far and away more talented and gifted fighters, but so what? Where is it written anywhere that only the most talented and gifted fighters are allowed into the Hall of Fame? It takes much more than just talent or even ring dominance to land you a spot in the Hall of Fame.

Here are the names of some men that are in the Internation Boxing Hall of Fame: Jake LaMotta, Joey Giardello, Cus D'Amato, Arthur Donovan, and Dan Parker. The first two you might recognize as the former Middleweight champions of the world. But what was truely so special about LaMotta and Giardello, it certainly wasnt their overall records. LaMotta retired with a record of 83-19-4, and Giardello having a record of 100-25-7, and neither of these men held their titles for very long. It is safe to say these two guys were not the most physically talented fighters that ever lived, yet they are in the Hall of Fame. I am sure that most people know who Cus D'Amato is, he trained three world champions, they being Floyd Patterson, Jose Torres and of course Mike Tyson. Cus D'Amato may have trained these guys to fight, but he was no champion or goof fighter himself, yet there is little doubt that D'Amato belongs in the Boxing Hall of Fame.

Arthur Donovan is a person that most people have probably never even heard of. Arthur Donovan was the Mills Lane of the 1930's and 40's. He refereed a total of 14 World Heavyweight title fights between 1933 and 1946. Donovan was loved by fans as much as the fighters in the ring, people from the audiance often asked Donovan for his autograph after a fight. Even though fans loved Donovan, does that qualify him to be inducted into the Boxing of Hall of Fame? If your criteria for being in the Hall of Fame is only fighting talent, than a referee would have no place.

The final name I mentioned was a man named Dan Parker, he was no fighter, trainer, nor was he a referee. As a matter of fact Dan Parker never even stepped into a boxing ring, because he was a sports writter. During the most corrupt era in the history of boxing, Dan Parker crusaded against the IBC (International Boxing Club) and its hold on boxing. His articals even lead the conviction of mobster Frankie Carbo, who regularly fixed major fights. Dan Parker may have written alot of good articals, but if inshrinees of the Hall of Fame have to be talented and dominate fighters, well Dan Parker clearly doesn't belong in the Boxing Hall of Fame.

Yet even with little or no boxing talent, each one of those men has earned the right to be in the International Boxing Hall of Fame, as much as Muhammad Ali or Willie Pep. They didnt earn it because they were talented fighters, they earned it because they made such a great contribution to boxing, that it became a better sport. Fighters like Arturo Gatti are far and few between these days, and Arturo Gatti has contributed more than his far share in our era to get into the Internation Boxing Hall of Fame. That is the reason why Arturo Gatti deserves to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, because his contributions made boxing a better sport.

Article posted on 27.01.2004

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