NEW YORK -- A former boxer who says he sustained permanent brain damage in a 2000 bout against Arturo Gatti is now suing, saying Gatti weighed too much for the fight.
Joey Gamache, 39, and his wife filed a lawsuit in federal court Feb. 21 alleging breach of contract over the Feb. 26, 2000 bout at Madison Square Garden. Gatti won the fight.
By contract, both fighters had to weigh 141 pounds eight hours before the bout started, according to the suit filed by lawyer Keith Sullivan. Gatti made weight the day before the fight, but the suit said his weight was ''falsely represented" and he was actually 160 pounds by the time he got into the ring.
Gatti overwhelmed Gamache in the first round and the fight was stopped 20 seconds into Round 2, but Gamache was hospitalized for two days afterward, the suit said.
''As a result of the devastating punishment inflicted by the severely overweight defendant . . . [Gamache] has sustained severe and permanent neurological damages and injuries, which caused him to end his career as a professional boxer," according to the suit.
Gamache of Lewiston, Maine, suffers from migraine headaches he attributes to the beating. He works as a trainer at Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn.
''Every day is a battle," Sullivan said yesterday. ''He has great difficulty getting past these migraine headaches and he takes a cocktail of medications to get through it."
Gamache has a separate complaint pending before the state Court of Claims against the New York State Athletic Commission over the administration of the weigh-in, Sullivan said.
Donald Tremblay, spokesman for Bloomfield, N.J.-based Main Events, Gatti's promoter, said the company had not been served with the complaint and wouldn't comment on its claims.