Born April 15, 1972 in Montreal, Canada, Gatti turned pro in 1991 and relocated to Jersey City, NJ.
He captured the USBA junior lightweight title in 1994 before defeating Tracy Harris Patterson (W 12) for the IBF 130-pound belt in 1995. His first defense was an electric, come-from-behind stoppage of Wilson Rodriguez (KO 6) at Madison Square Garden. A rematch with Patterson (W 12) followed before he stopped Gabriel Ruelas (TKO 5) in 1997’s “Fight of the Year.” Gatti relinquished the belt in 1997 to campaign at lightweight. After losing to Angel Manfredy (TKO by 8) in 1998, he engaged in two memorable battles with Ivan Robinson (L 10, L 10), with their first bout named 1998's “Fight of the Year.” Following a foray into the welterweight division to battle Oscar De La Hoya (TKO by 5) he moved to the 140-pound division under the tutelage of Buddy McGirt. An epic trilogy (2-1) with “Irish” Micky Ward followed which cemented his legacy as one of boxing’s all-time blood and guts warriors. Their first and third bouts won “Fight of the Year” honors (2002 and 2003). He captured the vacant WBC super lightweight crown from Gianluca Branco (W 12) in 2004 and defended against Leonard Dorin (KO 2) and “Jesse” James Leija (KO 5). Following a loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. he boxed three more times before retiring in 2007 with a record of 40-9 (31 KOs) and a reputation as one of the greatest action fighters in boxing history.
Gatti died July 11, 2009 in Brazil at the age of 37.
Born: April 15, 1972
Died: July 11, 2009