After being examined by the medical officer for the fight. Dr J. J. McGirr, Gattellari telephoned his mother at Bonnyrigg, telling her tearfully in Italian “I’m O.K.”
Dr McGirr said later that Gattellari had not been badly injured, but was very upset.
Gattellari recovered enough to smile when a small band of loyal fans were found waiting outside the dressing-room.
They crowded around his car offering him consolation as he left the Showground.
The end for the little Australian-Italian champion came three parts of the way through unlucky round thirteen.
After being knocked down twice earlier in the round, Gattellari was defenceless as the tough Italian calmly unleashed a barrage of hard blows.
Cheers for “Salvatore”
Gattellari went down, spreadeagled, near the ropes and the American referee, Harold Valan, did not finish the count when it was obvious that the Australian could not continue.
Valan and the handlers of both boxers crouched around Gattellari with concern as he lay on the floor.
After about five minutes of attention in his corner, Gattellari recovered to grasp Burruni by the face with both hands in congratulation.
A big crowd of about 20,000, many of whom were members of Sydney’s Italian community, paid up to £10 a seat to watch the fight.
On the knockout of Gattellari they rushed the ringside, and climbed on chairs yelling excitedly “Salvatore, Salvatore.”
They kept up the chant until Burruni was bundled out of the ring by 10 policemen, who shielded him as they forced a passage through the milling crowd.
One Italian girl, screaming “Salvatore,” climbed over the backs of people nearby to force a necklace of shells on to Burruni.
The fight was billed for the world flyweight championship and a large silver belt was strapped around Burruni’s waist after his win.
However, the title is in dispute because the World Boxing Council claims it has stripped the Italian of his title.
Organisers believe they will gross about £45,000 from the gate.
The two fighters were guaranteed their payment before the fight. It is believed that Burruni will receive about £23,000 and Gattellari £7,000.
It was a hard-fought, exciting fight with blood being drawn by both boxers.
It was the Italian community’s night.
The Italians arrived in excited, buzzing droves from 5 p.m. onwards, and they kept pouring into the grounds up to start of the contest at 9.15 p.m.
They packed the bleachers, which in this case were the Showground stands.
The fight last night had the traditional ballyhoo of the championship contest.
The fighters were led into the ring from their dressing-rooms under the Suttor Stand by the Australian and Italian flags and guards of honour formed by R.S.L. youth groups.
The tiny boxers could hardly be seen among the boys of the honour guard.
The Italian anthem “Fratelli D’ltalia” (Brothers of Italy) and then “Advance Australia Fair” were played as the boxers entered the ring.
Gattellari scored well in the early rounds, but as the fight progressed, it became obvious that the heavily muscled Italian was the stronger.
The crowd roared encouragement to Gattellari in the twelfth round when he opened a cut on the side of Burruni’s left eye.
But this seemed a spur to Burruni who launched a vicious attack from the beginning of the thirteenth round.
Gattellari went down on his knees from a hard right for a short count early in the round and soon after he was knocked down again to his hands and knees.
Burruni was quoted as a 5-4 on favourite before the fight started.
Some big bets, including one of £1,000, were reported on Burruni.
After the fight, Burruni’s manager, Umberto Branchini, said they would go home to sleep last night.
Tonight, after visiting the trots at Harold Park, they would probably celebrate at King’s Cross, he said.