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Remembering: Arturo “Thunder” Gatti

Posted by beeshabo on September 5, 2007

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Arturo Gatti, The “Human Highlight Film”, “The Blood and Guts Warrior”and “The Comeback Kid”….he was given all these names (thunder being his alias) during his time as a #1 Contender up until his days as a Boxing Champion. To me Arturo is/was one of the most dynamic fighters that i’ve even set my eyes on, he had such a heart that you couldn’t help but to fall in LOVE with him. In the ring Gatti would amaze you, shock you, scare you, and most of all he’d make you smile in sheer admiration for his willingness to please his fans. HE NEVER LET US DOWN!!! Just to put it in perspective, Arturo Gatti participated in Ring Magazine’s “Fight of the Year” a total of four times (1997, 1998, 2002 & 2003).

THE FIRST TIME I SAW GATTI FIGHT
It was March 23, 1996 in a Junior Lightweight IBF title defense against Wilson Rodriguez, it was Gatti’s first display of his huge Heart and Stunning Courage. In the first round, Gatti was stunned and dropped by a swift combination to the head, on his way back to his corner after that scary first round Gatti already looked beat up. In the second round Gatti would suffer another knockdown, but this time he was hurt bad and scrapped himself off the mat with his right eye swollen shut. Between rounds 2 & 3, the ringside physician was forced to give Gatti a vision test because of the bad swelling underneath Gatti’s right eye. Gatti passed the test, and was allowed to come out of his corner for round 3. Within the first minute and half of round 3, the tide turned in Gatti’s favor as he showed a sense of urgency and viciously attacked Rodriguez with relentless pressure that lead to a devastating left hook underneath Rodriguez’s left elbow that sent him crumbling to the canvas. Rodriguez would get up and do what he could to survive the round while Gatti was doing everything in his power to get Rodriguez out of there. Somehow Rodriguez weathered the storm and was able to get himself back in the fight and he gave as good as he got up until round 6, in round 6 Gatti (doing what he always did) traded with Rodriguez never letting up and fighting with full force as he did in round 1 when he was put down, and like most did not expect, Gatti landed a sweet left hook that put Rodriguez down (and kept him down). It was this very fight that made me LOVE Gatti. I remember during the entire fight I was standing and screaming at the TV, boy was it so exciting and dramatic.

His first fight of 2000 proved to be controversial. He faced former world champion Joey Gamache and won by a knockout in round two. But when Gamache went into a coma and it was discovered that Gatti had gained 19 pounds since the weigh in the day before and thus had a large advantage in size over Gamache, boxing legislators pushed for a new law requiring boxers not to exceed a certain amount of extra weight from the weight accorded on the day of the fight. Gatti was also accused by Gamache’s handlers of not having actually made the contracted weight of 141 lbs. After Gatti-Gamache, boxing commissions started weighing the boxers a second time, on the day of the fight.

Gatti then won his two other fights that year, over lesser quality name opponents.

He would lose a Unexpected Competitive fight against Oscar De La Hoya, this very fight lead to Gatti re-thinking his career and fighting status and Retirement was deeply considered. But Gatti felt deep inside that he had more to give his die hard fans, so he returned to ring well rested and ready for war…So he got exactly that, A WAR!!! He was part of crowd pleasing Trilogy with Irish Mickey Ward, and suffered a broken had in their second encounter. Gatti would go on to face undefeated Gianluca Branco, and won by Unanimous Decision. His next fight was very important for Gatti as he was ready for his next quest to beat the unbeaten and Ultra Strong Leanord Dorin. Gatti really silenced all of his critics who suggested that Gatti hang up the gloves, Gatti Knocked Out the game Dorin in the 2nd round on a body punch. But after his impressive wins over two former undefeated fighters, Gatti would lose 3 of his last 5 fights, the loses were against Floyd Mayweather Jr, Carlos Baldomir and Alfonso Gomez. With all 3 losses coming by way of TKO.

His last hoorah was on July 14th 2007 against the contender’s Alfonso Gomez, Gatti looked horrible, he looked “Washed Up” and suffered a TKO. This was his last fight, in his post-fight interview…Gatti announced his permanent retirement. GOD!! its about time, he gave us so many memorable fights, so many exciting moments, and he showed so much LOVE!!

I would just like to thank Gatti for his true warrior heart, he will always be remembered as one of the most dynamic and ultra-popular fighters of his generation.


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One Response to “Remembering: Arturo “Thunder” Gatti”

  1. termdefined said

    First comment! I hope this blog becomes the number boxing blog on the internets!!!!

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