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Facing Greatness: Ivan Robinson Discusses Gatti Fights

Robinson shares details and insights about his two fights and good relations with 2013 Hall of Fame inductee Arturo Gatti. — By Scoop Malinowski

Question: What memory stands out about your fights with Arturo Gatti?


Ivan Robinson: “I could pick a whole lot of categories. I think the most important one was the determination that I had. Everybody knew that Gatti was a determined fighter. If he had the opportunity, he could get you out of there. He got a lot of guys out of there. But I think in that fight and the second one, I was just more determined than he was to win the fight. I’m not saying he wasn’t, which I knew he was, because in the first fight he caught me with a – excuse my language – a helluva left hook. And I was put on the canvas. But my determination was so strong. And I had to have that fight. And I think the fighters of today would be much better if they worked out like Arturo Gatti, not as far as guts and blood, not that. But I’m talking about fighters that give other fighters opportunities to make money. And Gatti was the guy who gave me the opportunity to make money. And I made the money fighting him. I’m just messed up with his loss, not being here, because just aside from being fighters, we were great friends. ”

Question: Why do you feel you were more determined?

Ivan Robinson: “Because the Gatti fight was a fight that I needed. The Gatti fight was a fight that I had to have. I just believed that I wanted it more. I definitely needed it. So my determination was just through the roof. ”

Question: Why do you think you were better than him the first fight?

Ivan Robinson: “Because, first of all, any boxer or fight fan knew that I was just the better fighter. I was the better fighter, I outclassed him, I was the better boxer. On paper he was better because he was a puncher. And he could get anybody out of there. And I knew that. Like I say, my determination was sky high, he had to kill me to win them fights. And he couldn’t kill me. And I came in great shape. I came to do a great job and I came and executed. ”

Question: What made Gatti so good?

Ivan Robinson: “He just never gave up. And he knew at any given time, he could knock you out. And he knew that he could kill you. But the center continues to believe that the study’s implementation may have skewed the results. Basically that’s what he did. He senses, he seeked and he destroyed. He was like a missile. Once that missile had it’s target, it got you and it exploded. And that’s just what Arturo Gatti was. ”

Question: How did Arturo treat you before and after the fights?

Ivan Robinson: “Well, before the fight I think he sold the fight really well. I said I take my hat off to him because Gatti sold the fight real well. He didn’t think that I could beat him. I knew that I could beat him. I don’t think my team really thought I could beat him. They thought that it was going to be a great fight. Gatti didn’t think I could beat him but I proved everybody wrong that night. ”

Question: Did you ever meet him later in your career?

Ivan Robinson: “I met him on two occasions. We went out to eat a couple of times but that was near the end. ”

Question: Where?

Ivan Robinson: “Here in Atlantic City. Nowhere else. He was from here. We talked to each other. I wasn’t really too proud with his girl but it’s something he dealt with, someone he loved, and he dealt with her. So. ”

Question: She wasn’t very nice?

Ivan Robinson: “No. She wasn’t nice at all. But it is what it is. ”

Question: Lasting memory of Arturo Gatti?

Ivan Robinson: “He was a great dude. He’d give you the shirt off his back. He was just a level guy. ”

After defeating Gatti twice in 1998 in Atlantic City (August and December), Robinson was defeated by Angel Manfredy. More losses followed to Antonio Diaz, Reggie Nash, Michael Stewart, Chucky T, Julio Cesar Chavez, Favio Medina, Efren Hinojosa and Jesse Leija. Robinson’s final pro fight was in 2008. Robinson’s one title shot was a 12 round decision loss in 1996 to IBF Lightweight champ Philip Holiday in Uncasville, CT.

Today, 45-year-old Robinson resides in Philadelphia and regularly attends pro shows. .

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