GET TO KNOW: Arturo Gatti
Status: Recently retired former IBF Super Featherweight and WBC Super Lightweight champion. His final record is 40-9, 31 KO’s.
Ht: 5-9 Wt: 140
Born On: April 15, 1972 In: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Childhood Heroes: “Wayne Gretzky. Just a simple guy but he was a great hockey player. You wouldn’t think he was as great as he was just by looking at him. Muhammad Ali.”
Favorite Movies: “Rocky, of course. Probably watched it 25 times. Never miss it [smiles]. Conan The Barbarian. Rambo movies. I liked the Ben Stiller movie last year but I forget what it was called.”
Musical Tastes: “Anything, alternative, rap. I like songs but I don’t know who sings them.”
Favorite TV Shows: “Seinfeld, Friends.”
Childhood Dream: “I always wanted to be a world champions since I was eight. I also wanted to be a professional soccer player.”
Early Boxing Memory: “When I fought in the Paul Sauve Arena when I was nine. Where the Hilton brothers fought…all five Hilton brothers were on that card. I boxed a special exhibition against ‘the future Eddie Melo.’ I forget his name. People were very impressed. I wish I had it on tape. After the fight I was the talk of the gym.”
First Job: “Supermarket – fruit and vegetables department. In Montreal (age 11).”
First Car: “1992 blue Jeep.”
Pre-Fight Feeling: “I’m thinking about how I’m gonna come into the ring. Physically and mentally I know I’m prepared. Make sure I do that in training camp. I do everything right, so very confident. Just concentrate on how I’m going to step in the ring and what I’m gonna start with.”
Greatest Sports Moment: “For me it’s gotta be 1995 – when I won the (IBF Junior Lightweight) world title against Tracy Patterson in Madison Square Garden. And it was the most incredible moment because I dreamt about it when I was eight-years-old. It’s a moment that came true and I’m re-living that again. I was counted out of the game, and I’m still here. And bigger than ever.”
Most Painful Moment: “Broken hands, I would think. But I would say my first professional loss (L 6 to King Solomon in Philadelphia in ’92 – in 7th pro fight). I felt that you had to be undefeated to become a world champion. But it wasn’t that way, so.”
Worst Injury: “Dislocated right shoulder. Happened when I was pretty young (age 12). On a sled…doing jumps off ramps. Swollen pretty bad. The doctor didn’t know what it was. Finally, a lady cracked my arm, twisted my arm three different ways. I passed out it was so painful.”
Favorite Boxers To Watch: “I still love to watch Mike Tyson. Before I used to watch Roberto Duran – movement, the punches he threw. Ray Leonard – his movement, his intelligence. Julio Cesar Chavez – I like the guys I think I fight like. Take tips from them. Alexis Arguello. Aaron Pryor. ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini.”
Pre-Fight Meal: “Spaghetti and meatballs before a fight [laughs].”
Favorite Meal: “I like a bit of everything. Spaghetti in garlic and oils. Or rigatoni in vodka sauce.”
Favorite Breakfast Cereal: “Raisin Bran or Froot Loops.”
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Chocolate.”
Favorite Vacation Spot: “Fort Lauderdale or Miami.”
Funny Boxing Memory: “I fought when I was eight-years-old. I fought in front of 20,000. It was a pro-am. And it was a funny story because my manager (Pat Lynch) was worried when I fought for the title, ’cause there was so many people there, like over 15,000. And he was, How are you going to handle that? I said, Oh, don’t worry about it. I fought in front of 20,000 people. And one day I showed him the picture. And he thought it was recently, like when I was in the amateurs. But I showed him the picture and I was eight-years-old [laughs]. That’s a funny story right there.”
People Qualities Most Admired: “Kindness. Good-hearted people. People that do things for other people, and who needs it the most. That’s how I look at it.”
Age started boxing: Seven.
First boxing memory: Broke my hand. (I was) very young – 12.
Inspiration: My father.
Favorite all-time fighter: Roberto Duran. (Why?) Because I resembled him, I think, as a young kid.
Best fight seen: Wow, that’s a lot of them. What can I say…best fight I’ve seen…Marco Antonio Barrera and Eric Morales.
Pre-fight meal: Spaghetti.
What do you do to relax: Nothing. Just sit down on the bed.
Pre-fight superstition: Watch who takes me out to the ring. Watch my entourage. Like, at times in the dressing room, certain people that don’t belong – I don’t want them there. Because they shouldn’t be there. Can’t stand groupies.
What training do you do between fights (if any): Just run. Run and lift.
Typical breakfast: Cereal (Froot Loops) and pancakes.
Toughest part of being a boxer: People all want a piece of you.
Last book read: Old Man And The Sea, Hemingway. Lou Duva bought me that book [laughs]. That’s the only book I read, I finished it. (Good book?) Yeah, it was good.
What car do you drive: 1974 Corvette (blue). (The one NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. suped up for you two years ago?) Yes, it’s great. I can buy any car I want. I like old cars. I’m gonna get a ’57 Corvette now. And then a ’69 Corvette. Old ones.
Training routine: Run three or four miles in the morning. Box in the afternoon. Lift weights at night.
Toughest man you faced: Micky Ward. (Why?) Because it was three fights.
What supplements do you take: Carrot juice, wheat grass, B-Complex and B 12.
If you weren’t a boxer what would you be: I would probably follow my father’s footsteps – electrician.
Last place you went on holiday: Aruba.