Friends and fans of Arturo “Thunder” Gatti are invited to attend a memorial Mass that will be held in his honor on Thursday evening, July 30th at 7 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic in Jersey City.
“Since it was not possible for so many of Arturo’s friends and fans in the US to attend his funeral this past weekend in Montreal, we think that it is only right to give them the opportunity to celebrate Arturo’s life and pay their respects next Thursday at St. John’s,” said Gatti’s boxing manager and mentor, Pat Lynch.
“Arturo was much more to me than a business associate or even a friend,” said Lynch, who handled Gatti throughout his 17-year professional boxing career. “I am humbled and honored by the fact that he considered me to be his second father. I don’t know if I will ever get over losing him.”
“Arturo Gatti was a living legend whose passion in the ring was exceeded only by his great loyalty to the people he truly loved and cared for,” said Kathy Duva of Gatti’s longtime promoter, Main Events.
“Words are inadequate to describe the unspeakable sadness of losing him this way. On July 30th, his friends and fans from the area will have the chance to come together to grieve and remember Arturo not only as a boxing icon, but as a great friend.”
Nicknamed “The Human Highlight Film,” Gatti thrilled fans throughout his storied boxing career with his heart-stopping all-action style. A two-time world champion in two weight divisions, the Jersey City resident was beloved by his vocal legion of fans.
Gatti set attendance records at Atlantic City ’s Convention Hall during a run of nine straight sell-outs between 2002 and 2007. Four of his bouts were chosen to be honored as “Fight of the Year” by the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Gatti fought 20 times on HBO, including a legendary trilogy of fights with Mickey Ward, which was voted the second greatest boxing trilogy of all time, behind Ali vs. Frasier, by fans in an ESPN sports poll.
Even though no title was at stake in any of the three, ten-round bouts, HBO color analyst and Hall of Fame trainer Emmanuel Steward described round-nine of Gatti’s first encounter with Ward as “the round of the century.”
Joined together for eternity by virtue of their thrilling 30 rounds in the ring, Gatti and Ward later became the best of friends, culminating in Ward’s appearance as Gatti’s trainer for his last professional bout in 2007.
Gatti, 37, was found dead in a vacation villa in Brazil on Saturday, July 11th. Brazilian authorities have charged his wife, Amanda, with his murder.
St. John the Baptist R.C. Church is located at 3026 Kennedy Blvd., a short walk up Kennedy Blvd. from the Path Station in Journal Square.