Arturo Gatti

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Arturo Gatti
Arturo Gatti 24 November 2002.jpg
Gatti in 2002
Statistics
Nickname(s)
  • Thunder
  • Blood and Guts Warrior
  • The Human Highlight Reel
Rated at
Height 5 ft 7 12 in (171 cm)
Reach 70 in (178 cm)
Nationality
  • Italian
  • Canadian
Born (1972-04-15)April 15, 1972
Cassino, Italy
Died July 11, 2009(2009-07-11) (aged 37)
Ipojuca, Pernambuco, Brazil
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 49
Wins 40
Wins by KO 31
Losses 9

Arturo Gatti (April 15, 1972 – July 11, 2009) was an Italian Canadian professional boxer who competed from 1991 to 2007.[1][2][3] Nicknamed "Thunder", Gatti was known for his heart and bravery in the ring, and also carried exceptional punching power.

A two-weight world champion, Gatti held the IBF junior lightweight title from 1995 to 1998, and the WBC super lightweight title from 2004 to 2005. He also participated in The Ring magazine's Fight of the Year a total of four times (1997, 1998, 2002, and 2003). He announced his retirement on July 14, 2007.[4][5] On December 10, 2012, Gatti was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, in his first year of eligibility, and becoming the tenth Canadian boxer to be inducted.[6]

Born in Cassino, Italy, and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Canada,[7] Gatti relocated to Jersey City, New Jersey as a teenager. He returned to Montreal after retiring from boxing to work in real estate.[8][9]

Professional career[edit]

Arturo Gatti was a member of the Canadian National team, and was training to represent Canada at the 1992 Summer Games, but at age 19 (in 1991), he decided to turn pro instead.[2][10] He began boxing professionally on the night of November 17, 1992.

His next fight, on March 24, 1993, was his first fight abroad, where he visited Amsterdam, Netherlands and knocked out Plawen Goutchev in round one.

In 1994, he beat Leon Bostic, and followed through with a Round 1 knockout over Pete Taliaferro to win the USBA Super Featherweight title. He retained the title against Richard Salazar and former world champion Jose Sanabria.

Signing with HBO[edit]

On December 15, 1995, Gatti challenged the IBF Super Featherweight Champion Tracy Harris Patterson, Floyd Patterson's adoptive son. Gatti became world champion when he narrowly outpointed Patterson (scoring: 116–111, 115–112, 114–113) and signed a multi-fight deal with HBO to fight on HBO Boxing.

He only had two fights in 1996, once defending his world title. His title defense, at Madison Square Garden against Dominican Wilson Rodriguez was the first of three Gatti fights in a row to be named a candidate for "Fight of the Year" by Ring Magazine. Dropped in round two and with his right eye closing fast, Gatti knocked Rodriguez down in round six with a left hook to the body, before finishing him off in round six to retain the title.

In 1997, he again won a points victory over Patterson, but this time by a larger margin (118–108, 117–109, 116–110). He then scored a technical knockout over former world champion Calvin Grove in the seventh round of a non-title affair. Then came his defense against former world champion Gabriel Ruelas, which was also named "Fight of the Year" by Ring Magazine. Rocked by a left uppercut in the fourth, Gatti absorbed more than 15 consecutive punches before being saved by the bell. In the fifth, he connected on a left hook to knock Ruelas out.

To the lightweight division[edit]

After that fight, Gatti relinquished the world title, going up in weight to the lightweight division. However, 1998 was a bad year for Gatti, as he lost all three of his fights that year. He lost by a technical knockout in round eight to Angel Manfredy, and then lost a pair of close 10 round decisions to Ivan Robinson, the first by split decision, the second by unanimous. In Gatti-Robinson II, Gatti had a point deducted in the eighth round for low blows. Had the point not been deducted, the fight would have been a draw, as Robinson was only ahead by one point on two scorecards.[11] Gatti-Robinson I was chosen "Fight of the Year" by Ring Magazine, thus marking the second year in a row that a Gatti fight was given that award and the third year in a row a Gatti fight was nominated.

He only had one fight in 1999, knocking out Reyes Munoz in round one.

Controversial fight against Gamache[edit]

Gatti's first fight of 2000 proved to be controversial. Faced with former world champion Joey Gamache, Gatti won by a knockout in round two. A subsequent lawsuit by Gamache's handlers claimed Gatti had gained 19 pounds since the weigh-in the day before and thus had a large advantage over Gamache.[12] In the wake of the fight, boxing regulators pushed for a new law limiting the amount of weight a competitor can gain between the weigh-in and time of the fight. Gatti was also accused by Gamache's handlers of not having actually made the contracted weight of 141 pounds. After Gatti-Gamache, some boxing commissions started weighing boxers a second time.

Gatti also won his two other fights that year, against Eric Jukabuwski and Joe Hutchinson.

Trilogy against Micky Ward[edit]

Gatti at the post-fight press conference on June 7, 2003

In 2001, Gatti only had one fight, going up in weight to meet welterweight Oscar De La Hoya, who beat him by a technical knockout in five rounds. In 2002, Gatti returned to the light welterweight division and defeated former world champion Terronn Millett by a knockout in round four.

He then split two ten round decisions with "Irish" Micky Ward, losing their first bout, but winning their second. Gatti-Ward I also earned "Fight of the Year" honors by Ring Magazine and the 9th round was called the Round of the Century by Emanuel Steward.

On June 7, 2003, he and Ward had a rubber match. Gatti broke his twice-repaired right hand on an uppercut to the hip in the fourth, and he dropped his arm. In the sixth, Gatti dominated the round but got caught with an overhand right to the top of the head a second before the bell rang and went down. The final scorecards read, 96–93, 96–93 and 97–92, in favor of Gatti. The third fight between the two was again named "Fight of the Year" by Ring Magazine.

Gatti vs Ward I & III are also part of HBO's 10 best fights of the decade.

Career after Micky Ward[edit]

On January 24, 2004, Gatti, having recovered from a broken hand, scored a tenth round knock-down and defeated Gianluca Branco of Italy by a 12 round unanimous decision to win the vacant WBC Light Welterweight title.

On July 24, 2004, he knocked out the previously unbeaten former world champion Leonard Dorin Doroftei in two rounds at Atlantic City, to retain his title.

Gatti's second defense of his WBC title came against former WBC Super Featherweight Champion Jesse James Leija on January 29, 2005. Gatti beat Leija by a fifth round knockout. That same night, Arturo's protégé, Danny "Little Mac" McDermott, won his pro debut.

In his next fight, Gatti fought former Super Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. on June 25, 2005. He took a horrific beating and Gatti's corner man threw in the towel after he was beaten around the ring, thus ending his title reign via sixth-round technical knockout.

After the loss to Mayweather, Gatti moved up to the welterweight division. He beat Thomas Damgaard on January 28, 2006, by an eleventh round technical knockout to win the vacant IBA Welterweight title and become a champion in 3 different weight divisions.

On July 22, 2006, Gatti lost by a TKO to Carlos Baldomir, vying for the WBC & The Ring Welterweight Championship. He then broke off his relationship with Buddy McGirt and had a new trainer in Micky Ward.

Gatti attempted a comeback on July 14, 2007, against Alfonso Gomez, only to get TKO'd by Gomez. After the fight, Gatti announced his retirement in the dressing room, reportedly quipping: "I'll be back — as a spectator."

Fighting style[edit]

Arturo was an aggressive, all-action fighter, often remembered as a Slugger. Early on in his career, Gatti showed his tremendous punching power as he amassed a large amount of first-round knockouts. Although he had the ability to box many opponents (as shown in the second Micky Ward fight) Gatti would often get into brawls when his opponents were able to take the power and fight back. This is why many of his bouts against good opposition were slug-fests.

Gatti had incredible heart, and an iron chin, shown in the majority of his major fights. He was able to absorb incredible amounts of punishments by fighters such as Wilson Rodriguez, Gabriel Ruelas, Angel Manfredy, Ivan Robinson, Oscar De La Hoya, Micky Ward, Floyd Mayweather and Carlos Baldomir, none of whom could knock him out cold. In the Rodriguez fight he showed off his recuperative abilities as he was close to being stopped under a barrage of shots and in the next round he stopped his opponent.

Oscar De La Hoya, who faced many big punchers from 130 pounds to 160 pounds, says Gatti hit him the hardest out of any fighter.

Post-career[edit]

Gatti retired with a record of 40 wins and 9 losses, with 31 wins by knockout. On September 24, 2008, reports had surfaced that Gatti was considering a comeback against Montreal welterweight Antonin Décarie (now 25–1), the Canadian and North American Boxing Organization Champion. On December 10, 2012 Arturo Gatti was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.[13]

Death[edit]

On July 11, 2009, Gatti was found dead in a hotel in Ipojuca, Pernambuco, Brazil, where he was on vacation with his Brazilian wife, Amanda Rodrigues, and their 10-month-old son.[4][9][14] He was 37 years old. Gatti was to attend his sister's wedding the same day. Gatti's widow was charged with first degree murder after the strap of her purse was found stained with blood.[15] Rodrigues could not explain how she spent more than 10 hours in the hotel room without realizing Gatti was dead. Former boxing champion Acelino Freitas, who was a close friend of Gatti, claimed Gatti and Rodrigues were having problems and were about to separate.[16] The Brazilian authorities initially ruled Gatti's death a homicide, but after the coroner's autopsy report was released, they declared it was a suicide, and his widow was set free.[17] On July 31, 2009, it was announced that the Canadian government would be seeking more information from the Brazilian authorities on Gatti's death. Gatti's family confirmed that there would be a second autopsy done in Quebec.[18][19][20] On August 1, a pathologist hired by the ex-boxing champ's family said Brazilian authorities overlooked bruises on Gatti's body in the initial autopsy. "There were definite injuries that had not been seen by Brazilian authorities," Baden said.[21] Almost a year later, in March 2010, the circumstances concerning Gatti's death remained unclear.[22]

At the family's request, a Quebec coroner agreed to exhume the body so that two pathologists could conduct a second autopsy. Coroner Jean Brochu said, "We've been waiting for this for a long time," and "it's going to take a while" before conclusions can be made, and released to the public.[22] A shortage of staff at the coroner's office was blamed for contributing to the delay of the investigation.[22] Regarding a new toxicology report being prepared, Brochu quipped that it "may take a century to get the results."[22]

The Quebec coroner's report was released in November 2011. Brochu agreed with prior conclusions that Gatti died a violent death from asphyxia by neck constriction. He also noted that Gatti had carisoprodol, a muscle relaxant, in his system, along with alcohol. An expert toxicologist from Quebec retained by the coroner said the drug can produce withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, confusion and psychosis. The coroner also stated that "obvious presence of post-mortem lividity" indicated that the body had been suspended for some time before ending up on the floor.[23]

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
49 fights 40 wins 9 losses
By knockout 31 5
By decision 9 4
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
49 Loss 40–9 Mexico Alfonso Gómez TKO 7 (10), 2:12 Jul 14, 2007 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
48 Loss 40–8 Argentina Carlos Baldomir TKO 9 (12), 2:50 Jul 22, 2006 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Lost IBA welterweight title;
For WBC, The Ring, and lineal welterweight titles
47 Win 40–7 Denmark Thomas Damgaard TKO 11 (12), 2:54 Jan 28, 2006 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Won vacant IBA welterweight title
46 Loss 39–7 United States Floyd Mayweather Jr. RTD 6 (12), 3:00 Jun 25, 2005 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Lost WBC super lightweight title
45 Win 39–6 United States Jesse James Leija KO 5 (12), 1:48 Jan 29, 2005 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Retained WBC super lightweight title
44 Win 38–6 Romania Leonard Doroftei KO 2 (12), 2:55 Jul 24, 2004 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Retained WBC super lightweight title
43 Win 37–6 Italy Gianluca Branco UD 12 Jan 24, 2004 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Won vacant WBC super lightweight title
42 Win 36–6 United States Micky Ward UD 10 Jun 7, 2003 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
41 Win 35–6 United States Micky Ward UD 10 Nov 23, 2002 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
40 Loss 34–6 United States Micky Ward MD 10 May 18, 2002 United States Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut, U.S.
39 Win 34–5 United States Terron Millett TKO 4 (10), 2:23 Jan 26, 2002 United States The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
38 Loss 33–5 United States Oscar De La Hoya TKO 5 (10), 1:16 Mar 24, 2001 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
37 Win 33–4 United States Joe Hutchinson UD 10 Sep 8, 2000 Canada Molson Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
36 Win 32–4 United States Eric Jakubowski TKO 2 (10), 0:40 Apr 29, 2000 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
35 Win 31–4 United States Joey Gamache KO 2 (10), 0:41 Feb 26, 2000 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
34 Win 30–4 Puerto Rico Reyes Munoz TKO 1 (10), 3:09 Aug 14, 1999 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S.
33 Loss 29–4 United States Ivan Robinson UD 10 Dec 12, 1998 United States Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
32 Loss 29–3 United States Ivan Robinson SD 10 Aug 22, 1998 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
31 Loss 29–2 United States Angel Manfredy TKO 8 (10), 2:57 Jan 17, 1998 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
30 Win 29–1 Mexico Gabriel Ruelas TKO 5 (12), 2:22 Oct 4, 1997 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Retained IBF junior lightweight title
29 Win 28–1 United States Calvin Grove RTD 7 (10), 3:00 May 4, 1997 United States Caesars, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
28 Win 27–1 United States Tracy Harris Patterson UD 12 Feb 22, 1997 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Retained IBF junior lightweight title
27 Win 26–1 United States Feliciano Correa KO 3 (10), 2:05 Jul 11, 1996 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
26 Win 25–1 Dominican Republic Wilson Rodriguez KO 6 (12), 2:16 Mar 23, 1996 United States The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. Retained IBF junior lightweight title
25 Win 24–1 United States Tracy Harris Patterson UD 12 Dec 15, 1995 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. Won IBF junior lightweight title
24 Win 23–1 United States Carlos Vergara TKO 1 (10), 0:57 Oct 7, 1995 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
23 Win 22–1 Canada Barrington Francis TKO 6 (10) Jul 13, 1995 United States Caesars, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
22 Win 21–1 United States Tialano Tovar KO 1 (10), 1:41 Apr 22, 1995 United States Bally's Park Place, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
21 Win 20–1 Russia Roman Smolenkov KO 1 Mar 9, 1995 Netherlands Martinihal, Groningen, Netherlands
20 Win 19–1 Venezuela Jose Sanabria UD 12 Nov 22, 1994 United States Meadowlands Exposition Center, Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S. Retained USBA junior lightweight title
19 Win 18–1 United States Richard Salazar TKO 10 (12), 2:29 Aug 16, 1994 United States The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. Retained USBA junior lightweight title
18 Win 17–1 United States Pete Taliaferro TKO 1 (12), 3:00 Jun 28, 1994 United States Meadowlands Exposition Center, Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S. Won USBA junior lightweight title
17 Win 16–1 United States Darrell Singleton TKO 1 (8), 0:41 May 6, 1994 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
16 Win 15–1 United States Leon Bostic MD 8 Jan 8, 1994 United States Friar Tuck Inn, Catskill, New York, U.S.
15 Win 14–1 United States Glenn Irizarry TKO 1 Nov 11, 1993 United States Melville Hilton Hotel, Huntington, New York, U.S.
14 Win 13–1 United States Derek Francis KO 1 Oct 23, 1993 United States Sands Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
13 Win 12–1 United States Luis Guzman KO 1 Aug 24, 1993 United States Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
12 Win 11–1 United States Robert Scott KO 1 Jul 30, 1993 United States Ramada Hotel, New York City, New York, U.S.
11 Win 10–1 Dominican Republic Christino Suero KO 3 (8), 1:55 Jun 20, 1993 United States Harrah's Marina Resort, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
10 Win 9–1 United States Clifford Hicks KO 3 May 15, 1993 United States Memorial High School, Brick Township, New Jersey, U.S.
9 Win 8–1 United States Curtis Mathis TKO 3 Apr 7, 1993 United States Robert Treat Hotel, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
8 Win 7–1 Bulgaria Plamen Gechev TKO 1 Mar 23, 1993 Netherlands Sportpaleis van Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands
7 Loss 6–1 United States King Solomon SD 6 Nov 17, 1992 United States The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 United States Joe Lafontant UD 6 May 15, 1992 United States Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
5 Win 5–0 United States Antonio Gonzalez TKO 1 (4), 1:35 Apr 22, 1992 United States Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 United States Francisco Aguiano TKO 1 Oct 22, 1991 United States The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 Puerto Rico Richard De Jesus TKO 1 (4), 0:28 Aug 2, 1991 United States Quality Inn Hotel, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
2 Win 2–0 United States Luis Melendez KO 1 (4), 0:19 Jul 9, 1991 United States The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
1 Win 1–0 United States Jose Gonzales TKO 3 (4), 1:27 Jun 10, 1991 United States Meadowlands Exposition Center, Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S. Professional debut

Titles in boxing[edit]

Regional titles
Preceded by
Pete Taliaferro
USBA junior lightweight champion
June 28, 1994 – March 1995
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
John Brown
Minor world titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Shane Mosley
IBA welterweight champion
January 28, 2006 – July 22, 2006
Succeeded by
Carlos Baldomir
Major world titles
Preceded by
Tracy Harris Patterson
IBF junior lightweight champion
December 15, 1995 – January 1998
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Robert Garcia
Preceded by
Kostya Tszyu
WBC super lightweight champion
January 24, 2004 – June 25, 2005
Succeeded by
Floyd Mayweather Jr.

In popular culture[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Canada wants more info about Gatti's death". National Post. 
  2. ^ a b "Canadian former boxing champion Gatti found dead in Brazil". TSN. July 11, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Canadian former boxing champion Gatti found dead in Brazil". CTV News Channel. July 11, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Boxer Arturo Gatti found dead". CBC News. July 11, 2009. 
  5. ^ The Other Fighter: Remembering Arturo "Thunder" Gatti
  6. ^ "Arturo Gatti inducted into Boxing Hall of Fame". QMI Agency. December 11, 2012. 
  7. ^ Pothier, Jacques (Feb 2011). Éditions La Presse, ed. Arturo Gatti : Le dernier round (in French). Montreal. ISBN 978-2-923681-52-8. OCLC 701590105. 
  8. ^ "Arturo Gatti considering return to the ring". The Canadian Press. September 24, 2008. 
  9. ^ a b "Foul play suspected in Gatti's death". ESPN. July 11, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Hard-hitting Arturo Gatti was one of Canada's boxing greats". The Canadian Press. July 11, 2009. 
  11. ^ http://boxrec.com/media/index.php/Arturo_Gatti_vs._Ivan_Robinson_(2nd_meeting)
  12. ^ "Boxer suing Gatti". AP. March 3, 2006. 
  13. ^ "Montreal boxer Arturo Gatti mourned as legend". The Gazette. July 12, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Lutador de boxe canadense é achado morto em flat em Porto de Galinhas, em Pernambuco" (in Portuguese). O Globo. July 11, 2009. 
  15. ^ Emert, Harold; Abramson, Mitch; Goldsmith, Samuel (July 12, 2009). "Wife of Gatti Charged With Murder". Daily News. 
  16. ^ "Police quiz wife of boxer Gatti". BBC News. July 12, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Arturo Gatti's death ruled a suicide by Brazilian police". NJ.com. July 30, 2009. Retrieved 2015-09-29. 
  18. ^ "Federal government demands more details on Arturo Gatti's 'suicide'". Vancouver Sun. July 31, 2009. 
  19. ^ "Brazil police rule Gatti's death suicide". The Associated Press. July 30, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Boxer Gatti's death ruled suicide". BBC News. July 30, 2009. Retrieved March 31, 2010. 
  21. ^ Baden: Brazil's investigation incomplete. ESPN via The Associated Press. August 1, 2009
  22. ^ a b c d Boxing Champ Gatti's Death Remains a Mystery. NY Daily News. March 2010.
  23. ^ "Gatti death circumstances uncertain, Quebec coroner says". CBC news. 2011-11-09. Retrieved 2015-09-29. 
  24. ^ Arturo Gatti - Toe To Toe JB Hi-fi. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
  25. ^ "Wedding Day Funeral". Murder in Paradise. Investigation Discovery. April 2013. 

External links[edit]

Awards
Previous:
Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield
The Ring Fight of the Year
vs. Gabriel Ruelas

1997
Next:
Ivan Robinson vs. Arturo Gatti
Previous:
Wilfredo Vázquez
KO11 Eloy Rojas
The Ring Knockout of the Year
KO5 Gabriel Ruelas

1997
Next:
Roy Jones Jr.
KO4 Virgil Hill
Previous:
Arturo Gatti vs. Gabriel Ruelas
The Ring Fight of the Year
vs. Ivan Robinson

1998
Next:
Paulie Ayala vs. Johnny Tapia
Previous:
Micky Ward vs. Emanuel Augustus
The Ring Fight of the Year
vs. Micky Ward

2002
Next:
Arturo Gatti vs. Micky Ward II
Inaugural award BWAA Fight of the Year
vs. Micky Ward

2002
Next:
James Toney vs. Vassily Jirov
Previous:
Arturo Gatti vs. Micky Ward
The Ring Fight of the Year
vs. Micky Ward II

2003
Next:
Érik Morales vs. Marco Antonio Barrera II

Further reading[edit]

Cooley, Will. "'Vanilla Thrillas': Modern Boxing and White-Ethnic Masculinity," Journal of Sport and Social Issues 34:4 (November, 2010), 418-437.

  • Raspanti, John J. and Taylor, Dennis. "Intimate Warfare: The True Story of the Arturo Gatti vs. Micky Ward Boxing Trilogy" [Rowman and Littlefield], (2016.) ISBN 978-1442273054