Gamache has claim rejected in court

Updated: April 8, 2010, 8:52 PM ET
Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The New York State Athletic Commission failed to properly weigh boxer Arturo Gatti before he fought Joey Gamache at Madison Square Garden in 2000, but that didn't cause Gamache's career-ending knockout loss, a judge said.

Evidence shows a commission official let Gatti off the scale before it could be reasonably determined he made the 141-pound limit but doesn't show Gatti was "substantially" heavier, Court of Claims Judge Melvin Schweitzer said in awarding no damages.

HBO unofficially weighed Gatti at 160 pounds and Gamache at 145 pounds before the next night's fight.

Gamache, a former two-time world champion, was pummeled by Gatti, who knocked him out in the second round.

Gamache says he suffered brain damage in the fight and was hospitalized for days. He ended his career with a record of 55 wins and four losses.

The commission official, Anthony Russo, said in a deposition he couldn't recall if he or the commission's chairman at the time, Mel Southard, conducted the weigh-in. Russo has since died.

The Athletic Commission, which oversees and regulates boxing and wrestling events, said Thursday it was pleased with the judge's ruling and agreed "that the issue of the weigh-in was not what caused" the injuries Gamache suffered.

"The procedures we have in place today for weigh-in are far different than they were 10 years ago, with electronic scales and multiple monitors," commission spokesman Joel Barkin said. "We think we have a very accurate and efficient weigh-in system today."

Before the trial, Gatti was found dead under mysterious circumstances at a Brazilian resort.

Brazilian police initially ruled Gatti's July 2009 death a homicide and detained his wife, Amanda Rodrigues. They later ruled the death a suicide.

Last week, Rodrigues was awarded $100,000 from his estate by a Quebec Superior Court judge as compensation for the legal fees she was forced to pay following his death. She also received $2,000 a month for the couple's 18-month-old son.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press