Baldomir & Gatti: When The Champ Thanked His Challenger
It’s typical custom in boxing that the appreciative challenger will graciously express gratitude to the the champion who gives him a world title opportunity. But on extremely rare occasion, the roles are reversed and it’s the champion who thanks the challenger.
This is what happened after WBC Welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir of Argentina successfully defended his title by defeating the late Arturo Gatti in July 2006.
“Arturo mentioned to me that Carlos Baldomir had called him on the phone,” recalls Gatti’s friend Dario Barzan who is of Argentine ethnicity and lives in Jersey City, NJ. “And had thanked him for giving him the opportunity, for giving him the chance to become somebody in boxing. Obviously, Baldomir, a very humble guy, he knew that somebody gave him the opportunity to climb up the ladder and that person was Arturo Gatti. Arturo was very grateful and thankful that he called him and acknowledged that he had given him the chance to do something with his career.”
Baldomir had won the title by defeating Zab Judah by decision at Madison Square Garden in January 2006 but earned a considerably larger payday and perhaps greater recognition for defeating Gatti by TKO in the nith round in his first title defense at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City in a match televised by HBO.