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Gatti beats Patterson again

February 23, 1997 GMT

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) _ IBF junior lightweight champion Arturo Gatti scored a unanimous 12-round decision over Tracy Patterson on Saturday.

In a rock-‘em, sock-’em sequel to the 1995 bout in which Gatti took away Patterson’s title, Gatti dominated throughout with solid, relentless punching as Patterson was forced to play defense.

Judge Robert Exton favored Gatti 118-108, George Hill had it 117-109 and Wayne McCullough scored it 116-110.

In the fight, Gatti was credited with throwing 1,031 punches and Patterson only 354.

Gatti, 24, from Jersey City, N.J., is 27-1. Patterson, 32, of New Paltz, N.Y., dropped to 57-5-1. Each weighed the class limit of 130 pounds.

Patterson scored a first-round knockdown but it was called off by referee Rudi Battle because of a low blow. TV replays showed the punch was at about the waistline.

Patterson also rallied briefly in the sixth round, stiffening Gatti with a right to the head and following with a flurry of punches. But he couldn’t get Gatti down again.

In the ninth, Patterson slipped and fell after missing with a right hand, and Battle called it a knockdown.

The fight was held in a ballroom of Convention Hall, where Gatti’s homestate fans chanted the fighter’s name when it appeared Gatti was certain of victory.

On the undercard, World Boxing Union junior lightweight champion Angel Manfredy survived a 10th-round knockdown to post a unanimous decision over Wilson Rodriguez. Manfredy, 20-2-1, was stopped cold with a stiff right in the 10th and went down after a left hook. But he opened a cut over Rodriguez’s right eye _ the left already was cut _ and ended the round by rocking Rodriguez (44-9-3) with consecutive lefts.

Manfredy, from Gary, Ind., weighed 130 and Rodriguez, from Spain, weighed 129 1/4.