Arturo "Thunder" Gatti (born April 15, 1972) is a native of Canada who is a professional boxer. Gatti is considered by many boxing experts (including former world Heavyweight champion George Foreman) and fans alike to be one of the most exciting boxers nowadays. He participated in Ring Magazine's fight of the year three years in a row, from 1996 to 1998. His brother, Joe Gatti, is also a professional boxer who recently tried unsuccessfully to become a world Middleweight champion, losing to Sven Ottke by a knockout in round nine in Germany.
Arturo Gatti began boxing professionally on the night of June 10, 1991, with a three round knockout of Jose Gonzalez in Secaucus. He went undefeated for seven bouts before losing to King Solomon by a decision in six on November 17 of 1992.
His next fight, on March 23, 1993, was his first fight abroad, when he visited Amsterdam, where he knocked out Plawen Goutchev in round one. A couple of fights later, he beat Cliff Hicks, a guy who also lost to Oscar De La Hoya, by a knockout in round three.
1994 was a year when Gatti stepped up his quality of opposition a notch: He started by beating Leon Bostic, and followed through with a win over Paul Talliaferro to win the USBA Jr. Lightweight title, by a knockout in round one. He retained the title against Richard Salazar and Jose Sanabria.
Then, on December 15 of 1995, Gatti challenged the IBF's world Jr. Lightweight champion, Floyd Patterson's adoptive son Tracy Harris Patterson. Gatti became world champion when he narrowly outpointed Patterson, and signed a multi-fight deal with HBO, to fight on the HBO Boxing show.
He only had 2 fights in 1996, once defending his world title. But his title defense, at the Madison Square Garden against Dominican Wilson Rodriguez was the first of three Gatti fights in a row to be named fight of the year by Ring Magazine. Dropped in round three and with his right eye closing fast, Gatti knocked out Rodriguez in round six to retain the title.
In 1997, he repeated his points victory over Patterson, then knocked out former world champion Calvin Grove in round seven 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. Hurt badly and shaken in round four, Gatti came back and knocked Ruelas out in round five to retain the world title.
After that fight, Gatti chose to relinquish the world title, going up in weight to the Lightweight division. But 1998 was a bad year for Gatti, as he lost all three of his fights that year. He lost by a knockout in round eight to Angel Manfredy, and then lost a pair of close decisions in 10 rounds to Ivan Robinson. Gatti-Robinson I was chosen fight of the year by Ring Magazine, thus marking the third year in a row that a Gatti fight was given that award.
He only had one fight in 1999, knocking out Reyes Munoz in round one.
His first fight of 2000 proved to be controversial, however. Faced with former world champion Joey Gamache, Gatti won by a knockout in round two. But when Gamache went into a coma for one day and it was discovered that Gatti had gained 15 pounds since the weight-in the day before and thus had a large advantage in size over Gamache, boxing legislators pushed for a new law requiring boxers not to exceed a certain amount of extra weight from the weight accorded, on the day of the fight. After Gatti-Gamache, boxing commissions started weighing the boxers a second time, on the day of the fight.
Gatti then won his two other fights that year, over lesser quality name opponents.
In 2001, Gatti only had one fight, going up in weight to meet Welterweight De La Hoya, a multiple times world champion who beat him by a knockout in five rounds, but in 2002, Gatti rebounded down at the Jr. Welterweight division well, beating former world champion Terron Millet by a knockout in round four, and then splitting two ten round decisions with "Irish" Micky Ward, losing their first bout, but winning their second. Gatti-Ward I also garnered fight of the year honors by Ring Magazine.
Gatti-Ward I has already been called the fight of the century by many experts, including HBO commentators. Emanuel Steward called round nine of that fight, the round of the century.
On June 7 of 2003, he and Ward had a rubber match, and Gatti recovered from one broken right hand and a knockdown in round six to win a unanimous ten round decision. HBO producer Lou DiBella said their 30 rounds against each other will live in boxing history.
On January 24, 2004, Gatti also recovered from a broken hand, scored a tenth round knock-down and defeated Gianluca Branco of Italy by a twelve round unanimous decision to win the WBC's interim Jr. Welterweight title. This victory gives him a chance to challenge Kostya Tszyu for the division's undisputed world title.
Gatti has a record of 37 wins and 6 losses, with 28 wins by knockout.