In Boxing News: Joey Gamache Sues Arturo Gatti

Former fighter and present-day trainer Joey Gamache filed his long-awaited lawsuit against Arturo Gatti alleging breach of contract over their Feb. 26, 2000 bout at Madison Square Garden. Both fighters agreed to weigh 141 pounds eight hours before the bout, and under those conditions Gatti made weight. But he was 160 pounds by the time he got into the ring, almost 20 pounds over weight, and he demolished Gamache, a helluva fighter, in the first round and the fight was stopped 20 seconds into round two. “As a result of the devastating punishment inflicted by the severely overweight defendant, the lawsuit reads, [Gamache] has sustained severe and permanent neurological damages and injuries, which caused him to end his career as a professional boxer.” Gamache has a separate complaint pending before the state Court of Claims against the New York State Athletic Commission in a related matter.

The issue of weight classes, making weight, weigh-ins, the terrible tricks of a terrible trade, will finally, albeit inadvertently, get a hearing. Whether or not it will be fair only time will tell. Wonder if the sport will sit up and take notice Joe Calzaghe fever is alive and well and spreading in Great Britain. For those who like their boxing smart, Steve Bunce in The Independent gives Calzaghe his proper due as heir apparent to a couple of other great British super middleweights, Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank. The article explores the ring careers of these sublime dark destroyers, their ups, their downs, and the ups and downs of their opponents. Also from overseas, John Rawling in The Guardian brings us an eyewitness account of the stare-down between Calzaghe and Lacy. Reports that Lacy had been sullen, withdrawn, surly, monosyllabic were confirmed by yesterday’s sighting in London. When the two fighters went eye-to-eye, nose-to-nose, noggin-to-noggin after the weigh-in, almost everyone present swears that the slugger from St. Petersburg blinked. “Joe got right in his face and stared into his eyes and Lacy didn’t want to know,” said Enzo Calzaghe, Joe’s trainer and dad. “He looked away, and I think it was the moment he realized exactly what he is up against” The solidarity of the legendary Duva clan is officially at an end. There are now three Duva boxing promotional companies in northern New Jersey. Donna Brooks and her younger brother Dino announced Wednesday that they’re going their separate ways. The split is due to “philosophical differences.” Dino Duva will keep the company name, Duva Boxing, as well as the promotional rights to Samuel Peter, Kirk Johnson and Kendall Holt. “It’s amicable, believe me,” Dino Duva said of the separation. “My father supports both of us. Our family’s been through a lot. We’ve been through our ups and downs in the boxing business. It just came to the time where we thought it would be best to go our own separate ways. We wish each other the best, and we’ll probably do some business together when the circumstance presents itself” This just in: Former heavyweight contender Peter McNeeley, who had the honor of being the first man to lose to Mike Tyson when the Iron Man had finished serving his prison sentence for rape in 1995, was in court Thursday on charges he punched a guy in a bar and stole his wallet. USA Today reports that McNeeley pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Dedham District Court to charges of assault and battery and unarmed robbery. The incident took place Wednesday night outside the Shamrock Pub in Norwood, Mass. Authorities said the victim’s wallet contained $200. “The allegations are that he struck somebody outside a bar, and then absconded with his wallet,” said David Traub, a spokesman for the Norfolk District attorney’s office. Sounds like Peter McNeeley better chill The third leg of the Oscar De la Hoya/Ricardo Mayorga press junket roadshow hit the Windy City Wednesday. The fight called “Danger Zone” (the perfect title for a Samuel L. Jackson movie) seems, judging from the press reports, to be living up to its hallowed name. The press conference at the Hacienda Tecalitlan restaurant on Ashland Ave. in Chicago was promoted and hosted by Don King, but since the promoter and his fighter were late arrivals, the capable Golden Boy took the floor. Everything was calm, surface, polished, civilized, as only De La Hoya can be, but when King, Mayorga and the entourage arrived, things really heated up. King controlled the room and kept everyone rapt with his rap. When Mayorga took the podium once DK had done his thing, he was full of menace, full of imminent mayhem, full of macho doom. A few choice insults in Spanish set the tone gutter meets castle in the sky and then Mayorga pumped up the volume by reaching over and smacking Oscar in the back of the head. Hard to know if that’s bitch slap Nicaragua-style, or if Mayorga is indeed the “Hispanic Mike Tyson” as King claims, when it comes to the building a gate. After all that hoopla, New York City was chockfull of anticipation when the fourth and final stop on the Danger Zone snakes its way across America tour made it to the ESPN Zone, a touristy sports mall/dining facility in Times Square, Thursday afternoon. With Don King at the lecturn, Mayorga, along with his manager Carl King and trainer Stacy McKinley, was to Don’s right on the dais. On King’s left sat Golden Boy East and West, Bernard Hopkins, looking pleased as punch, and Oscar De La Hoya, simmering at a slow boil, respectively, and Oscar’s dressed to kill in a red doublebreasted blazer trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr. The press conference was little more than soundbite city, which was the point, but it was still a good show, with Mayorga, looking very natty in a white suit with matching white fedora (he must have kidnapped Scarface’s tailor), hollering and screaming and insulting everything from Oscar’s boxing to his sexual tastes. De La took it in his stride he’s a master of that but swore there’s no man on earth I hate more than Ricardo Mayorga, and come May 6, I will knock him out. From De La Hoya’s mouth to God’s ear.