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International Boxing Hall of Fame   1 Hall of Fame Drive   Canastota, NY 13032  P: 315.697.7095 F: 315.697.5356

WBC junior welterweight champion makes first visit to
Hall of Fame

CANASTOTA, NY – OCTOBER 16, 2004 – The International Boxing Hall of Fame's cocktail reception highlighting special guest of honor Arturo (Thunder) Gatti at the Hall of Fame Events Pavilion on October 16th was a "knockout" for all in attendance.

A capacity crowd of fans from throughout the United States (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and New Mexico) and as far away as Montreal and Wales, enjoyed food and beverages, silent and live auctions, video highlights from Gatti's exciting career and the opportunity to meet one of today's superstars. Throughout the evening Gatti graciously signed autographs and posed for pictures.

"The Hall of Fame was thrilled to welcome Arturo to Canastota for the first time," said Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy. "He is one of the most exciting fighters in the world and his fans are very supportive of him."

Canastota's welterweight and middleweight champion Carmen Basilio was on hand to welcome Gatti to his hometown. Gatti was also treated to a surprise when his 3-time rival "Irish" Micky Ward arrived unexpectedly to help pay tribute to his friend.

"The friendship that Arturo and Micky have forged is remarkable," said Brophy, "Micky was more than willing to return to Canastota to support his friend."

During the evening's program, Gatti was presented with several gifts from the Hall of Fame and Canastota Mayor Todd Rouse presented both Gatti and Ward with a key to the Village of Canastota. Rouse also read a letter to Arturo from his close friend, NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who sent along his best wishes.

Prior to the cocktail reception, Gatti toured the Hall of Fame Museum and enjoyed the many exhibits on boxing's history. The champ also posed for pictures by the boxing robe he wore in a January 2002 fight vs. Terronn Millett that hangs on display.

A special thank you to Hall of Fame supporters who helped organize the event. Also sincere thanks to event sponsors HBO Sports, Caesars Entertainment (Bally's Atlantic City), Everlast, McCadam Cheese, Pepsi, Miller Lite, Basilio Sausage, World Boxing Council, Main Events, Aramatic Refreshment Services, Inc. and Turning Stone Resort & Casino. All proceeds from the event benefited the Boxing Hall of Fame.
Arturo Gatti "puts 'em up" by the Hall of Fame logoGatti poses by his robe on display in the Hall of FameGatti points to his trainer Buddy McGirt's robe on display in the HallGatti signs autographs for his fansFans gather for the Cocktail ReceptionWard, Basilio and Gatti pose for the camerasGatti points to an HBO World Championship Boxing jacket that was part of the live auctionCanastota mayor Todd Rouse (center) presents Ward and Gatti with a key to the village.
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