The Breaking Of A Champion!
How do you break a Champion?
Since the event was co-sanctioned, out of curtesy, the IKF allowed the ISKA to appoint 2 of the 3 judges for the bout. The ISKA selected Dwight Brown (Who Gatto already had a protest against from a previous bout which according to protest rules, he wasn't even suppose to be allowed at ringside let alone be a judge for one of Gatto's bouts... LET ALONE A WORLD TITLE BOUT!) and Igor Oranski of Russia who the IKF later realized was the manager of Gatto's opponent, Olga Vlasova.
Oranski had told IKF President Steve Fossum at the weigh-ins a day earlier that he was Gatto's opponents "PROMOTER & MANAGER" from Russia however, no one informed Fossum before the fight that he was now appointed as a judge of the bout.
When Gatto entered the ring though, she was focused on the bout and didn't bother to ask about who the judges were. Both her and IKF Representative Steve Fossum simply trusted in the ISKA's selection of these judges. Gatto had no idea who the judges were. Fossum never knew of the protest Gatto had against Brown. In fact, Brown sat next to Fossum during the entire bout.
During the break of the 6th round, after Brown scored his card, he asked Fossum if he saw the bout that way as Fossum saw him score the round for Vlasova of Russia. Fossum said "No, I didn't see it that way at all." and Brown's reply was, "Lets just say that Gatto will have to knock her out to win this one."
When the bout came to an end, it was known that the 3rd judge was appointed by the California State Athletic Commission. Experienced judge Susan Thomas (Many years of Martial arts Experience as a martial artist and as an official) seemed to be the only neutral judge of the three. As the judges scores were read, Thomas scored the bout 98 to 92.5 Gatto. (The ridiculous ISKA HALF POINT System was used in the scoring of this bout) However, the other judges saw the bout very differently. Brown had the bout 99 to 97.5 and Oranski scored it 99.5 to 97.5, both for Vlasova of Russia.
Obviously, Gatto was OUTRAGED (L) in the ring and burst over to Brown and let him have a piece of her mind. Gatto refused a rematch since it was later made clear that the rematch idea was the motivation of the decision. They all thought Gatto would jump at a re-match but it would now need to be in Russia for a big billed "REMATCH!" Gatto refused vowing to never fight for the ISKA again and basically, lost all drive to fight at all.
The IKF didn't recognize the loss after reviewing the video of the bout numerous times and ended up overturning the decision and awarding Gatto the World Flyweight Title. Despite being offered other bouts, Gatto refused them all and never fought again. Her spirit broke by the politics of some of those who dared to call themselves leaders in our sport. Her career ended with a record of 23 wins, her 1 loss to Kathy Long, 1 draw with 19 wins coming by the KO or TKO.
It marked a point in IKF Sanctioning history that forced the IKF to never again be the "Nice Guy" and allow another organization to have full say on officials. Now the IKF researches ALL event officials. It established a stern rule that anytime an IKF World Title is up for grabs, there will be at least 2 IKF Judges or 1 Judge and the Referee involved in any IKF World Title bout.
Here's A List Of Gatto's
World Title Accomplishments
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