Gatti's first fight of 2000 proved to be controversial. Faced with
former world champion Joey Gamache, Gatti won by a knockout in round
two. A subsequent lawsuit by Gamache's handlers claimed Gatti had
gained 19 pounds since the weigh-in the day before and thus had a
large advantage over Gamache. In the wake of the fight, boxing regulators
pushed for a new law limiting the amount of weight a competitor can
gain between the weigh-in and time of the fight. Gatti was also accused
by Gamache's handlers of not having actually made the contracted weight
of 141 pounds. After Gatti-Gamache, some boxing commissions started
weighing boxers a second time.
Gatti also won his two other
fights that year, against Eric Jukabuwski and Joe Hutchinson.
against Micky Ward
Gatti at the post-fight press conference on June
In 2001, Gatti only had one fight, going up inweight to meet
welterweight Oscar De La Hoya, who beat him by a technical knockout
in five rounds. In 2002, Gatti returned to the light welterweight
division and defeated former world champion Terronn Millett by a knockout
in round four.
He then split two ten-round decisions with "Irish"
Micky Ward, losing their first bout, but winning their second. Gatti-Ward
I also earned "Fight of the Year" honors by Ring Magazine, and the
9th round was called the Round of the Century by Emanuel Steward.
June 7, 203, he and Ward had a rubber match. Gatti broke his twice-repaired
right hand when he struck Ward's hip bone with an attempted body shot
in the fourth, and he dropped his arm. In the sixth, Gatti dominated
the round, but got caught with an overhand to the top of the head
a second before the bell rang and went down. Gatti would win the match
by unanimous decision. The third fight between the two was again named
"Fight of the Year" by Ring Magazine.
Gatti vs Ward I & III
are also part of HBO's 10 best fights of the decade.
On January 24, 2004, Gatti, having recovered from a broken
hand, scored a tenth round knock-down and defeated Gianluca branco
of Italy by a 12-round unanimous decision to win the vacant WBC light
On July 24, 2004, he knocked out the previously
unbeaten former world champion Leonard Dorin Doroftei in two rounds
at Atlantic City to retain his title.
Gatti's second defense
of his WBC title came against former WBC super featherweight Champion
Jesse James Leija on January 29, 205. Gatti beat Leija by a fifth-round
knockout. That same night, Arturo's protege, Danny "Little Mac" McDermott,
won his pro debut.
In his next fight, Gatti fought former super
featherweight and lightweight world champion Floyd Maweather Jr. on
June 25, 2005. He took a horrific beating and Gatti's corner man threw
in the towel after he was beaten around the ring, thus ending his
title reign via sixth-round technical knockout.
After the loss
to Mayweather,, Gatti moved up to the welterweight division. He beat
Thomas Damgaard on January 28, 2006, by an eleventh-round technical
knockout to win the vacant IBA welterweight title and become a champion
in 3 different weight divisions.
On July 22, 2006, Gatti lost
by a TKO to Carlos Baldomir, vying for the WBC & The Ring welterweight
championship. He then broke off his relationship with Buddy McGirt
and had a new trainer in Micky Ward.