June 28, 1991: Joey Gamache, 25, of Lewiston wins the World Boxing Association’s super featherweight title by achieving a technical knockout against Jerry Ngobeni, 24, of South Africa, at the Lewiston Raceway.

Gamache later wins the WBA lightweight title on June 13, 1992, in a fight against Chil-Sung Jun, 31, of South Korea. He remains the only person from Maine who has won a world boxing title.

At the age of 10, when Gamache was having trouble mastering some baseball skills, his father encouraged him to work out in a boxing gymnasium to strengthen his throwing arm. That led to a fascination with boxing that exceeded his interest in baseball. Trained by Tony Lamprom and Teddy Atlas, he turned professional in 1987 and won his first 29 pro bouts.

Gamache’s pro career record is 55 wins – including 38 knockouts – and four losses in 59 professional bouts, of which the first seven and two others take place in Maine. Six of them are held in France.

In a Feb. 26, 2000, match at Madison Square Garden in New York, Italian-Canadian boxer Arturo Gatti (1972-2009) knocks Gamache out in two rounds with such force that it puts Gamache in a hospital for days and prompts him to end his career. Gamache says he suffered a brain injury during the bout.

He later files a lawsuit against the New York State Athletic Commission, claiming that Gatti weighed too much for the fight and that a failure to monitor Gatti’s weight properly played a role in Gamache’s loss of both the bout and his career.

In 2010, Judge Melvin Schweitzer rules that, based on the evidence, boxing commission official Anthony Russo allowed Gatti to step off a scale before ascertaining that the boxer had met the weight limit. Schweitzer says he cannot conclude, however, that the flawed maintenance of boxing standards caused Gamache to lose the bout and stop boxing.

HBO Boxing unofficially weighed Gatti at 160 pounds and Gamache at 145 pounds.

Gamache now works as a boxing trainer.

Presented by:

Joseph Owen is an author, retired newspaper editor and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. Owen’s book, “This Day in Maine,” can be ordered at islandportpress.com. To get a signed copy use promo code signedbyjoe at checkout. Joe can be contacted at: [email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.