MONTREAL - Arturo (Thunder) Gatti, whose epic bouts against American Mickey Ward highlighted a rise to fame that ended in his mysterious death, will be the 10th Canadian pugilist to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Gatti will be inducted posthumously on June 9 as part of an 11-member class.
He died at a Brazilian resort in 2009 at age 37 and while the official cause of death was suicide by hanging, his family believes his death was a homicide.
A native of Calabria, Italy who was raised in Montreal, Gatti trained in the New York City area, where he became one of the sport's most exciting fighters while battling his way to titles in two different divisions.
A career 40-9 record, with 31 knockouts, included a fifth-round TKO at the hands of Oscar De La Hoya in 2001 and a sixth-round stoppage by Floyd Mayweather in 2005.
But it was Gatti's three-fight epic against Boston's (Irish) Mickey Ward in the early 2000s that marked his history in boxing. The first and third fights were named fight of the year and the two men will be forever linked.
"He gave it all in the ring," Ward said in a statement. "Arturo was a throwback type fighter like LaMotta or Graziano. And he could also switch it off and he could box as well as anybody in the game. He could brawl if he had to and he could box as well as anybody in boxing, so he had them both."
Gatti was the IBF super featherweight champ as well as the WBC super lightweight titleholder. He retired from boxing in 2007 following back-to-back losses.