Boxing Weigh-Ins: Old-Style Back In
ED SCHUYLER JR.
Apr. 19, 2000
NEW YORK (AP) _ The New York State Athletic Commission is taking a step backward with weigh-ins for two featured fights underneath the Lennox Lewis-Michael Grant heavyweight title match April 29 in Madison Square Garden.
There was a time when all fighters were weighed in the day of a fight, even heavyweights, although there is no weight limit in that division.
So Lewis and Grant will weigh in two days before the show in an effort to gain more publicity for the card.
The weigh-ins for Paul Ingle's IBF featherweight title defense against Junior Jones and a bout involving Arturo Gatti, at contract weights, will be held at 8 a.m. EDT the morning of the fights.
That was the way it was before big boxing shows were shown on cable and pay-per-view television. Weigh-ins for some of these shows were televised live, and it became a matter of course to hold them a day before the fights.
``I knew there would be reaction about my weight,'' Gatti said in a telephone interview at a news conference in the Garden. ``I've made the weight all my life. It's stupid to do this.''
Gatti was accused of weighing more than the contract weight of 141 pounds for his fight against Joey Gamache Feb. 26. HBO announced that he weighed 160 pounds the night of the match in which he scored a second-round knockout over Gamache, who weighed 140 3/4 at the weigh-in and 145 on fight night.
Attorneys for Gamache, who has retired, have announced their intention to sue the athletic commission and Tony Russo, its executive director. Gamache has said he does not want to sue Gatti.
Gatti and manager Pat Lynch both contend the boxer weighed the contract limit of 141 at the weigh-in.
As for the unofficial HBO weigh-in, Lynch, who attended the news conference, said: ``They weighed him on a bathroom scale on the floor. How accurate is a bathroom scale on an uneven floor?''
``I knocked him out because he was no (competitive) opponent,'' Gatti said of Gamache. ``That was the problem. If I had beat him up for five or six rounds, then nobody would have said anything. But I blew him away.''
The contract weight for Gatti's April 29 bout is 147 pounds, give or take a pound. He was supposed to fight Homer Gibbon, but, Lynch said, Gibbons has a medical problem and another opponent has to be found.
``I'm not crazy about this,'' Lynch said. ``It puts the fighter at risk (because of dehydration from making the weight).''
``What can you do?'' said Teddy Atlas, who trains Jones. ``They did it for 100 years.''