Had he lived, ultimate fan-favourite Arturo Gatti would this week have turned 47 (July 11) – Sadly as we all know, Gatti met an untimely death at the young age of just 37, back in 2009. Ten years on, and we will probably never know if Gatti was murdered or whether he took his own life (this being something those who knew him say could never, ever have happened, that Gatti would never have done such a thing.)
Fight fans the world over will never forget Gatti, indebted as they are to him for the almost unbelievable ring action he provided.
Gatti retired with a 40-9(31) ledger and he is enshrined in The Hall of Fame. Some of the great, great fights he gave us include:
W12 Tracy Harris Patterson, Dec. 1995 – Gatti’s first world title winning fight and one of his first classics.
W12 Patterson, Feb. 1997 – the rematch.
WTKO5 Gabriel Ruelas, Oct. 1997 – an awesome slugfest with a stunning ending.
L10 Ivan Robinson, Aug. 1998 – Gatti lost this one, and the return, but he sure gave his all in providing some of his most mesmerising action.
L10 Robinson, Dec. 1998
L10 Micky Ward – May 2002 – Arguably THE greatest action fight of Gatti’s entire career, with a round that Emanuel Steward told us was “the round of the century!”
W10 Ward and WU10 Ward, Nov. 2002 and Jun. 2003 – Putting way more than just the finishing touches to this once-in-a-lifetime trilogy.
Gatti won world titles at super-featherweight and light-welterweight and he took part in a number of Fights Of The Year.
It’s not just we fans who will never forget Gatti, many of the men who shared a ring with him will also have a special place for “Thunder” in their hearts and minds
Angel Manfredy, who defeated Gatti via 8th-round TKO in January of 1998.
“Arturo Gatti gave me the toughest fight of my career,” Angel says. “He hit me with everything. But that win was me at my best. I beat a peak Arturo Gatti. He was a warrior. Me and my wife were there when he was enshrined in The Hall of Fame. I paid my respects to him. Gatti was the hardest puncher I fought, too.”
Alfonso Gomez was the last man to fight Gatti, beating him via 7th-round TKO in July of 2007.
“The win I had over Gatti was probably my best performance,” Alfonso states. “It was also my biggest fight at the time. I threw one of the best right hands I’d ever thrown when I stopped him. I only watched the fight once, though, because I was a big, big Arturo Gatti fan, and it brought me heartache to have beaten him the way I did.”
Gabriel Ruelas was stopped by Gatti via 5th-round TKO in an amazing battle that took place in October of 1997.
“Arturo Gatti was one of the hardest punchers I ever fought. I think only Azumah Nelson hit harder,” Gabriel recalls. “Gatti gave me my toughest fight though. We went back and forth. I hit the canvas and the referee stopped it – too quickly I believe. I always wanted a rematch. But it was definitely a great fight and I fought Gatti in his “house.””
Has it really been a full decade since Gatti left us? How cruel it is that Arturo never got to live a long life; the life of a genuine hero.