Some fighters are never quite the same after tasting the sting of defeat for the very first time. This was clearly not the case with the great, the legendary, the beloved Arturo Gatti; far from it. As we know, Gatti, who lost the seventh fight of his pro career, via decision, went on to engage in some of the most astonishingly brutal and thrilling prize fights of all-time; Gatti also winning himself a couple of world titles.
But whatever became of the man who took away Gatti’s “0,” his unbeaten pro ledger? To be honest, not too many people know. King Solomon, a slick boxer from Philadelphia, won a split decision over six rounds when he met a 20-year-old, 6-0 Gatti at The Blue Horizon in November of 1992. Solomon, then aged 27 and 6-1-3(0) as a pro, would fight just once more, picking up a decision win over a 1-3 guy in April of ’93 and then ….he vanished.
The win Solomon scored over Gatti, a good result for him at the time and now a quite impressive victory, has to rank as a most interesting footnote in boxing history; much like the win a similarly anonymous fighter, in Clinton Mitchell, managed when he defeated a future legend in Bernard Hopkins, in B-Hop’s first pro fight. Mitchell then fought just four more times before pulling a disappearing act of his own. But Mitchell was stopped as a pro, once, whereas Solomon was never beaten inside the distance. In fact, Solomon was beaten just once, on points by future WBC super featherweight title challenger Freddie Liberatore, this in his sixth pro fight.
Who knows how far the biblically named boxer might have gone had he not opted to quit for whatever reason or reasons he so chose to. It’s a fascinating subject. Does any fight fan out there know what ever became of Solomon? Is he still living and in good health (he will be 54 years of age now)? Did Solomon stay in the sport of boxing in some other capacity? Did Gatti ever try and secure a return fight with Solomon?
Gatti is a true legend. King Solomon played his part in Arturo’s legendary story. Of all the ‘where are they now’ subjects in boxing, this one has to rank pretty high. Are you out there, King Solomon??