SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Arturo "Thunder" Gatti didn't live to see his finest day.
Gatti, who won world championships in two different weight classes, heads the class of 2013 to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The honor, announced Monday, comes 3 years after his untimely death.
A native of Calabria, Italy, who was raised in Montreal, Gatti retired in 2007 with a record of 40-9 with 31 knockouts and was selected in his first year of eligibility. Gatti died 3 years ago in Brazil at age 37 under mysterious circumstances.
"He gave it all in the ring," said "Irish" Micky Ward, who had three memorable bouts with Gatti. "He gave everything to the sport of boxing. He gave the fans what they wanted."
Also selected for induction were: Virgil "Quicksilver" Hill, a five-time world champion who won a silver medal at the 1984 Olympics and defended his light heavyweight title 20 times over his two reigns; two-time light flyweight champion Myung-Woo Yuh of South Korea; lightweight Wesley Ramey and middleweight Jeff Smith in the old-timer (posthumous) category; 19th century Irish boxer Joe Coburn in the pioneer category; referee Mills Lane; ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr.; manager Arturo "Cuyo" Hernandez; cartoonist Ted Carroll; and journalist Colin Hart.
Inductees were selected by the Boxing Writers Association and a panel of international boxing historians. Induction ceremonies will be held June 9 at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y.
His relentless style made Gatti a crowd favorite.
"Arturo was a throwback-type fighter like [Jake] LaMotta or [Rocky] Graziano," Ward said. "He could also switch it off. He could brawl if he had to, and he could box as well as anybody. He had them both."
Ward won the first junior welterweight fight against Gatti, blood streaming down his face as he captured a majority decision in May 2002. Gatti avenged the loss in Atlantic City, knocking Ward down in the third with a punch that shattered one of Ward's eardrums and sent him facefirst into a stanchion. Gatti broke his right hand in the fight and won a unanimous 10-round decision.