About to kick off what should a bloody good fight at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City Saturday night (HBO), Carlos Baldomir and Arturo Gatti met the press a final time, in Gatti’s adopted home state New Jersey, and this is what some of the principals had to say.
Larry Hazzard (NJ Commissioner) – “This will be one of the greatest fights of the year. Gatti is a mainstay. He has carried boxing in the state of NJ. But Arturo has his work cut out for him Saturday.”
Kery Davis (HBO) – “This will be Gatti’s 20th appearance on HBO, behind only Roy Jones, Lennox Lewis, Shane Mosley, and Oscar de la Hoya … Gatti is a terrific fighter. You don’t get to fight 20 times on HBO if you’re not a terrific fighter. You don’t sell tickets the way he does unless you’re a terrific fighter … This will be a competitive, exciting fight. When Baldomir fought Judah he had Judah just about running at the end of their bout … The bout will be shown after the Mosley-Vargas II replay.”
Scott Woodworth (Sycuan Rep) – “Carlos Baldomir is our modern day Cinderella Man.”
Carlos Baldomir – “I’m really happy to be back in the New York area because I won the belt here. I’ll never forget that … Everyone knows me and everyone knows Gatti, so I’ll leave all the conclusions to you guys.”
Buddy McGirt (Gatti’s trainer) – “Baldomir’s shirt says WBC welterweight champion, but as far as I’m concerned he’s the undisputed welterweight champion. He should never have been stripped … Gatti came to camp early because he knows he’s in for a tough fight … We will win that title. It’s all up to Arturo.”
Arturo Gatti – “I’m prepared for this fight. I am taking Baldomir very seriously. He beat Zab Judah. Zab Judah is a much better fighter than I am, but he doesn’t have the heart that I have. Baldomir won the title in NY, but he’s going to lose it in NJ. A victory is guaranteed. Bet the house … I don’t watch opponents on tape because they can fight differently depending on the opponent. The only time I ever watched a tape was before I fought King Solomon—and I lost that fight. So I said I’m not doing that anymore … I have grown into a welterweight.”