NEW YORK (March 25) - Arturo Gatti has been called many things: a warrior, the franchise, the human highlight reel, boxing’s pound-for-pound most exciting fighter, thunder, world champion - you name it.
No one ever called Arturo Gatti a bum; at least not until Wednesday’s press conference at the Copa in New York. Floyd Mayweather Jr. was in top form that afternoon, and with Gatti indisposed, Floyd’s mouth was running wild.
"I’m going to punish (Gatti), step on him, in his own backyard," said the undefeated, two-time world champion.
Upset over Gatti’s absence, due to a reported stomach virus, Mayweather said, "Gatti’s a C+ fighter and I’m an A+ fighter. It’s personal. This guy is a bum!"
Gatti, having dealt with his 24-hour bug, now has three months to figure out how to make the quick-tongued Mayweather eat his words.
At a second press conference, this one at Gallagher’s Steakhouse, Mayweather was nowhere to be found, but WBC super lightweight champion Arturo Gatti was in fighting trim.
"Mayweather was running his mouth a little bit too much and showed no respect. But that’s okay,” Gatti said. “I’ll take care of him on the 25th!"
Gatti, looking relaxed and confident, guaranteed a victory: "No doubt I’m going to win this fight and I’m going to hurt him . . . He will pay. Wait ‘til he feels my power.”
Bob Arum, Mayweather’s promoter, said: "This fight reminds me of Ali-Frazier: Floyd’s Ali-like speed versus Gatti’s Frazier-like power. It’s going to be that big of a fight. I’ve been in boxing almost forty years and this is a must-not-miss fight.”
Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall will play host to this showdown between boxing’s pound-for-pound best fighter - Floyd Mayweather Jr. - and boxing’s pound-for-pound most exciting fighter - Arturo Gatti – in a not-to-be-missed clash of titans.
Main Events and Top Rank are promoting "Thunder & Lightning" in association with Caesar’s Atlantic City and Bally’s Atlantic City.
Tickets go on sale Friday April 8th and can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 736-1420. Boardwalk Hall is preparing to accommodate over 12,000 fans for this exciting evening of boxing.
The Gatti vs. Mayweather HBO pay-per-view event, a first for both fighters, begins at 9PM ET/6PM PT and has a suggested retail price of $44.95. For more event information log onto: www.HBOPPV.com.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?