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Arturo Gatti to face "The Contender" participant Gomez on July 14

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    Arturo Gatti to face "The Contender" participant Gomez on July 14

    Arturo Gatti to face "The Contender" participant Gomez on July 14

    Fri Apr 27, 5:12 PM

    (CP) - It will be nearly a year between bouts when Montreal native Arturo Gatti steps into the ring July 14 to face Mexican Alfonso Gomez in Atlantic City.

    Gatti's manager Pat Lynch told reporters in New Jersey this week that after a lengthy discussion of possible opponents, agreement was reached with the HBO network on Gomez (16-3-2), a brawler in the Gatti mould. Lynch did not return phone calls on Friday.

    The 26-year-old Gomez gained fame by appearing on the reality TV boxing show "The Contender" in 2004.

    It will be part of a welterweight doubleheader at Boardwalk Hall with IBF champion Kermit Cintron (27-1) of Puerto Rico facing Walter Matthysse (26-1) of Argentina. The HBO broadcast is also expected to show WBO welterweight champ Antonio Margarito (34-4) against American Paul Williams (32-0) in California.

    It falls on the same night that Steve Molitor (23-0) of Mississauga, Ont., is to defend his IBF super-bantamweight title against Takalani Ndlovu (27-3) of South Africa at a site in Ontario yet to be determined.

    Gatti (40-8 with 31 knockouts) last fought on July 22, losing a bid for the WBC welterweight title on a ninth-round TKO to Carlos Baldomir of Argentina.

    There has been speculation that it will be the farewell bout for 35-year-old Gatti, although he has yet to make a decision on his retirement. It is the last fight on Gatti's contract with HBO, but the network holds right of first refusal if he opts to prolong his fight career.

    The free-swinging former super-featherweight and light welterweight world champion has parted ways with Buddy McGirt and will have former foe Mickey Ward as his trainer. Ward has worked in Gatti's corner before, but never as trainer.

    The two traded blows in three memorable brawls in 2002 and 2003.

    Organizers are looking for the same from Gomez, who has been known to stand toe-to-toe and trade blows. It will be a first career 10-round bout for Gomez, who has never gone more than eight.

    HBO reportedly wanted a more skilled opponent, suggesting former lightweight champ Paul Spadafora or Steve Forbes, but Gatti's camp felt they didn't suit his style.

    Gatti's career has been on the wane since he was thrashed in five rounds by Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2005. He rebounded with with a win over Thomas Damgaard of Denmark before losing to Baldomir.

    The next Canadian fight of note is Tuesday night, when 43-year-old former WBC super-middleweight champion Dave Hilton Jr., in his first bout since spending more than five years in jail for sexual assault, faces Adam Green at the Maurice Richard Arena in Montreal.

    Adrian Diaconu has a WBC light-heavyweight eliminator on May 9 against American Rico Hoye at Mel's Studio in Montreal.

    And Sebastien Demers of St-Hyacinthe, Que., challenges Armenian-born Arthur Abraham for the IBF middleweight title on May 26 in the Bavarian city of Bamberg, Germany. '

    I'm going to say Gatti out brawls Gomez, wins by TKO late rounds.

    Gomez is capable of fighting smart. I think if he chooses to, he'll cruise it out.
    52 blocks documentary: arrived

    "Joe Lauzon looks like a quiet, Internet guy..." -- Dana White


      I'll be cheering for Gatti, but he is nearing the end of the line as a champion caliber fighter.



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