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Remembering: Erik “El Terrible” Morales

Posted by beeshabo on October 3, 2007

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Erik Morales was a classic Mexican champion, he fought he’s best every time he would step in the ring, he never backed down from a challenge nor a brutal war. It was his very warrior heart that left so many people up out of their seats as they witnessed this future hall of famer destroy everyone in his path. Erik never let you down, he had so much pride that he would nearly kill himself to maintain greatness and maintain his championship level of intensity. Every and anytime Erik would fight, you just knew it was going to be great, he would do things in that ring that took guts and determination, but he would make it look easy, he beat many many great fighters, but he will always be remembered for his worlds famous trilogy with fellow countrymen and rival, Marco Antonio Barrera. Their names will forever be linked together, and they brought out the best and worst of each other, every minute of their encounters as opponents in the ring were beautiful, filled with heart, passion and determination, and not to mention an extreme will to win.

There have been many great Mexican Champions to come before the macho Morales, but he’s definitely one to remember, He has been in the ring with some great fighters such as: Marco Barrera (3 times), Manny Pacquiao (3 times), Junior Jones, Kevin Kelly, Daniel Zaragoza, Wayne McCullough, In-Jin Chi, Paulie Ayala, Jesus Chavez and Carlos Hernandez, and he has one victory in both of his trilogies (against Barrera & Pacquiao).

Its very hard to explain and define a career of such an accomplished fighter like Erik Morales, he’s done it all, he’s fought the best, he’s won some and has lost some, but he’s been a great great champion.

Erik’s trilogy with rival Marco Antonio Barrera is now a part of Boxing history, and it will forever be remembered as one of the best of all time, it had everything, drama, suspense, thrills, chills and action, it would have made the perfect movie. It were these very fights that made Erik the man he is today, (at that time) he was a rising star that was squaring off against who many felt was dying lion, counted out or not given the slight of chance, Barrera fought a brilliant fight against stern Morales, but Morales came out on top their first time around, and he lost the following two by a close and almost controversial decisions. But if you watch these fights, they seemed almost scripted and rehearsed because of its remarkable non stop action, and flawless accuracy, the fights were savagely entertaining, almost unreal in their quality.

Morales was involved in a second historic trilogy, and this one was with the non stop power punching machine Manny Pacquiao. The stage for this amazing match-up was set by the fact that Pacquiao had already fought a few great fighters, he took out a small yet game Emmanuel Lucero in three rounds, he pummeled an un-prepared Marco Antonio Barrera, and got a draw in a battle with Juan Manuel Marquez (Marquez down 3 times in round 1). Like the champion he is, Erik Morales signed a deal to face the Mexican Destroyer Manny Pacquiao, it would not be an easy task for the aging Morales, but after all, he loves a challenge and he loves to fight.

In their first fight, Morales appeared well prepared and seemingly had Pacquiao figured out as he was boxing beatifully, he became a counter-punching virtuoso, playing Pacquiao like a violin, and landing at will. Pacquiao used his strength to back Morales up, but it was Morales who was landing the power shots as he ripped Paquiao with everything he threw, a frustrated Paquiao was doing everything he could to inflict his own damage. With blood dripping into his eyes, Manny stood his ground and was able to make it a competitive fight that ended with Morales as the winner. Erik Morales had did what his fellow countrymen couldn’t, he muted Pacquiao’s onslaught and established his own rhythm to take control of the fight, what a glorious victory it was.

With revenge on his mind, Manny Pacquiao convincingly beat Morales twice in a row (the second bout ended in a 10th round TKO), but the third bout ended in a 3rd KO as Morales had not desire to continue after suffering the 3rd knockdown of the fight.

Although Morales lost 5 of last 6 bouts, his legacy was already written in stone, there was no shame in losing, he’ll be a champion forever.

On August 4th 2007, Morales moved in weight (to 135lbs) to face the current WBC Lightweight Champion David Diaz. Although Morales was clearly fighting in a weight not suited for him, he fought valiantly, he dropped Diaz in round one with a stiff right hand counter punch, the fight ended in a controversial Unanimous Decision in Diaz’s favor.

Morales announced his retirement hours after his loss to Diaz.

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Simply Flawless: Barrera vs Hamed

Posted by beeshabo on September 18, 2007

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It was April 7, 2001 when Barrera showed us what he was truly made of, pure guts and raw talent that you’re only born with, it was this very day that he dismantled the sensation that was Prince Naseem Hamed in 12 wonderful rounds of great action.

Coming into the fight, Barrera was 3 and half to 1 underdog, Prince was chosen to win the fight by 28 out of 30 boxing journalists, no one gave Barrera credit, but I did. It was this very day that Barrera silenced all of his critics, he gave his fans something to brag about, and he finally humbled the wild and cocky Hamed in a championship fight for the vacant IBO Featherweight title. Who’s laughing now?

Throughout his career, Hamed was a sensational puncher with outstanding reflexes and a decent chin, I mean this guy would blast through his opponents like nothing, he could been outgunned in power, or at a clear disadvantage when it came to boxing skills, but it didn’t matter, he’d beat you someway, somehow.

From the opening round, Barrera asserted himself, he was using angles and his off rhythm jab to get himself in charge as quick as possible, Hamed spent most of the first round circling Barrera and trying to get in close to land his bombs. As so many fighters have came out boxing with Hamed, they usually find themselves on the end of his punches where they feel them most, but Barrera is moving away from Hamed’s power and is comfortable boxing. During all of the pre-fight antics, Barrera was extremely convincing to the fact that he will attack, attack and attack Hamed, and so far he’s done everything but, its a boxing match at center ring. During the first couple rounds a confused Hamed is still searching for his openings, cleary confident in his power to take Barrera out at any point and time, but without success or assertiveness he could find yourself searching all night against a man like Barrera.

Nothing Hamed tries is working against Barrera, as soon as Hamed throws Barrera comes right back with something, landing clean hard shots when in close or out at range, the point is, he’s landing. Some fighters have had some success when boxing with Hamed, but it was their demise when deciding to abandon their game-plan to try and make a statement, that’s when they’d get nailed, but Barrera was boxing, and boxing smart.

The fight would look like a carbon copy as it got deeper into the rounds, Hamed still confused and still did not have an answer for anything Barrera threw, ever trick or rough house tactic that Hamed attempted was capitalized by Barrera’s quickness and precise punches to punctuate his awareness of the fight. It was a perfect plan of attack for Barrera, he tricked the Hamed camp into believing he would trade, but instead he came out boxing, but as the fight progressed, Barrera would begin to brawl, it was this very plan of attack that was drowning Hamed in frustration of his inability to land anything significant.

Round 9, Hamed is way behind on the scorecard, it is no doubt that the fight has slipped within his reach if he cannot deliver a knockout, but with having to assert himself more could have also lead to him being knocked out, but he had to do something becaue Barrera has seized the moment. Hamed finally starting opening up with his punches, after he had been only throwing one punch at a time, but still then, Barrera was able to turn Hamed’s aggression against him as he countered every shot that was headed towards him, nothing major landed for the desperate Hamed. It was a amazing display of executing your fight-plan to the tee, Barrera was exposing Hamed’s improvisational style in every way shape or form. In round 12, Hamed missed a wild looping punch that Barrera used to slam him into a turnbuckle, and the crowd roared in appreciation. The fight ended, and so did Hamed’s career.

It was a great, great fight

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Remembering: Diego “Chico” Corrales (R.I.P.)

Posted by beeshabo on September 14, 2007

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Diego Corrales was one of the most dynamic and exciting fighters that I’ve ever had the opportunity to watch, he was a relentless pressure fighter with amazing power in either hand. He had a will that was evil, he almost seemed willing to die in the heat of battle in order to place himself at the top of boxing, he was skilled at what he did, and no matter if he won or loss, he always put on a good show. Diego was unique in ever way, with the biggest heart imaginable, and it showed every single time around, and he loved us (his fans).

During his great career, Diego compiled a pro-record of 40 Wins, 5 Losses, and 33 of his wins coming by way of Knock Out. Corrales was involved in one of the most brutal, dramatic, skillful, amazing fights that I’ve ever seen, and that fight was his war (that almost turned trilogy) with the great Jose Luis Castillo on May 7th 2005.

There is nothing bad to say about Corrales, he was the epitome of a fighter, always willing to step up to the plate no matter how huge the challenge seemed to him or anyone. There was no such thing as “Quit” when it came down to fighting, in his bout with Floyd Mayweather, Corrales suffered 5 knockdowns at the hands of the speedy Mayweather and never once thought about quitting, he was clearly incapable of winning, not to mentioned nearly having to kill himself to make the 130lb weight limit. After 10 grueling rounds of a severe beating, Corrales’ corner threw in the towel, even after he had no chance to win unless a lucky (yet doubtful) punch would land on the oncoming Mayweather, Corrales was furious in the stoppage, nearly accosting his father and corner men, Corrales would not speak to his father for sometime after the fight.

After his bout with Mayweather, Corrales was sentenced to 14 months in prison due to domestic violence, upon his release from prison, Corrales went back to work, and took on any and all challengers to prove once again that he was the best fighter in the world.

He fought with the quick and slick Joel Casamayor twice within 5 months, losing the first via TKO in round 6 due to a sever cut through his bottom lip. Both fights proved that Corrales still had the heart and determination to win, as he protested the stoppage although he was suffering a major injury that could have caused major damage. In the second fight with Casamayor, Corrales turned from a puncher, to a boxer, using his height advantage to out-box the cuban southpaw to a 12th round Split Decision.

August 7th 2004, Diego took on the undefeated Brazilian artist Acelino “Popo” Freitas for the WBO Lightweight title. In the first half of the fight, Freitas looked sensational, using his quick elusive punching style to keep Corrales off of his game-plan. Although Corrales was clearly behind on the scorecards, he was fighting with the same pressure style, pinning Freitas against the ropes, bullying him, hitting him, and in round 8 he landed a left right combo to the head of Freitas and down he went. Freitas sucked up the oxygen and fought on, but in round 9, he was down again by a Corrales power punch, and down once more in the 10th. But after Freitas had suffered his 3rd knockdown in round 10, he quit during the referee’s mandatory 8 count, and Corrales was declared the winner via TKO in round 10 of an amazing fight.

Then came his two stunning fights with Jose Luis Castillo, the first took place on May 7th 2005, and boy was it awesome. Both men traded continuously through the entire fight, back and forth, back and forth, never letting up. On to round 10, the most dramatic round of the century, Corrales suffered the first knockdown of the fight by a powerful left hook to jaw by Castillo that sent him crumbling to the canvas and in that moment even spitting out his mouthpiece. Dazed and yet still had his wits, Corrales rose from mat, after a quick rinse of the mouthpiece he went back to it, and withing seconds of recovering from the first knockdown, down Corrales went for a second time, and this time it seemed to be from an accumulation of punches. Once again, Corrales spit out his mouth piece obviously trying to buy himself time to clear his head, the referee deducted a point from Corrales for excessive spitting of the mouthpiece. With time running out for Castillo to take advantage of his wounded opponent, he showed eagerness to hit Corrales one more time, believeing that it would only take one more punch to finish Corrales. That was his mistake, Castillo went at Corrales recklessly, and with one punch Corrales changed the fight, the left hook landed and wobbled Castillo, against the ropes and helpless Corrales continued to bomb on Castillo and referee Tony Weeks jumped in a called a halt to the bout. WOW!! Absolutely amazing!!!!!!

In their second fight, it was a quick and easy KO victory for the bigger stronger Castillo, who had initially failed to make the weight, but Corrales (the warrior he is) elected to continue the fight as scheduled. In this fight in was clear that Castillo was much stronger, he landed the harder punches, and after one solid left hook on the inside, Corrales was dropped. Upon rising from the canvas, Corrales barely beat the 10 count, but he stumbled into the ropes and the fight was over. It was a controversial ending to a quick and still great fight.

A third fight with Castillo was scheduled soon after the second, but again, Castillo failed to make weight, but this time Corrales didn’t want no part of it and the fight was off.

After having to suffer a devastating KO loss to Castillo in their second meeting, Corrales went on to claim what was his against his previous conqueror, Joel Casamayor. How ironic, this time it was Corrales who failed to make the contracted weight of 135lbs, but like Corrales did for Castillo their second time around, Casamayor favorably allowed the fight to happen. With the extra weight, and possible energy for Corrales he fought a dull fight that went in Casamayor’s favor to end in a Split Decision for the Cuban fighter.

We’re off to Welterweight. After knowing that he was no longer able to compete in the 135lb division, Corrales made a crucial decision to try his skills at welterweight (147lbs) so he took on tough guy Joshua “Hitter” Clottey, a man who gave Margarito something to think about. Corrales looked horrible, he looked slow and sluggish as he hit Clottey with everything but the kitchen sink, and it made no impression on the sturdy Clottey who continued to fight his fight. Clottey would drop Corrales in rounds 9 & 10, the fight went the full 10 rounds (as scheduled) and it left Corrales with another loss. Too bad

But no matter what, Corrales will forever be remembered for his huge heart, and un-matched courage to fight anyone anywhere.

Corrales lost his life on (May 7th 2007) the two year anniversary of his LEGENDARY bout with Jose Luis Castillo.

 (Check out some videos of Corrales, courtesy of YouTube.com here)

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Kennedy McKinney vs Junior Jones: 4 Exciting Rounds

Posted by beeshabo on September 14, 2007

December 19th 1997 marked the day that Junior Jones celebrated his birthday (turned 27), and fought Living Legend Kennedy McKinney (32-3-1) for the WBO Super Bantamweight Title in New York at the Madison Square Garden. Junior Jones claiming this would be a birthday bash, and McKinney wants no part of it, and it was clear.

During referee Wayne Kelly’s final instructions to the two fighters who stood center ring McKinney oddly gave his back to Jones, and only turned momentarily to give the traditional touch of gloves before returning to his corner to listen for the first bell.

Jones comes out into the first round, asserting his left jab to the body of McKinney, both men doing some feeling out, Jones a bit more eager to get things going as he’s fighting at a faster pace, in an accidental clash of heads Jones suffers a minor cut underneath his right eye. With a minute or so left in round 1, both guys swinging wildly at one and other trying to make a statement in the closing seconds of the round. Jones comes out as the aggressor in round 2 throwing viciously with both hands, and McKinney just kinda sitting it out, trying to withstand Jones’ onslaught as Jones came on very strong in the opening moments, although under sever attack, McKinney calm a relaxed and just sitting back and waiting for his moment to strike. Jones still on the attack, squaring his shoulders up and he drives McKinney into the ropes leaving himself open for McKinney to land his share of punches, and yet McKinney did not elect to counter at that moment.

Round 3 begins, Jones having fought at an extraordinary pace, marked by the fact that he threw 100 punches and landing 36 of 64 power punches in round 2. The fight is being held at center ring, with Jones keeping up his fast pace, attacking and striking at will, McKinney still holding back a bit, ducking and slipping punches, but still hasn’t got off. With a 1:27 left in round 3, Jones lands a right left right combination on the inside, and McKinney is down for the first time in the fight, McKinney is up at the count of 8. As soon as the referee allowed McKinney to continue, Jones was all over him, landing vicious lefts and rights, but McKinney holding his hands high and using the ropes for resting as he selectively picks his shots to mute Jones’ oncoming punches. Doing well enough to survive what seemed to have been the worst, McKinney showed his champion heart, and still picking his shots in order to get out of the round 3, and if he is able to do so, with a minutes rest between rounds, how much resilience will McKinney have. In the closing seconds of round 3, both men landing a straight right, and both wobbled for a moment, WOW, the bell rings to end round 3 and McKinney still in the fight

Round 4 begins, this time at a bit slower pace, Jones looking a little tired but still landing power shots, McKinney aiming for his right hand and lands one, and down goes Jones, but the ref rules it as slip. Although McKinney did apply pressure to the back of Jones’ neck to help him down to the canvas, Jones appears hurt and dazed, this is McKinney’s shot as Jones for the moment seems punched out. Jones is on the move, retreating against McKinney’s pressure, and with one solid right hand from McKinney, down goes Jones, badly hurt and he stays down until the count of 8, referee Wayne Kelly asks Jones if he wants to continue and Jones clearly answers “Yeah”. With :24 left in round 4 Jones is up and let back in to battle on wobbly legs, and without another single punch thrown, Jones falls straight into McKinney sending himself and the ref to the canvas and ref Wayne Kelly waves the fight off, McKinney has done it.

Although this fight was very short, it was great to watch, these two warriors put on a spectacular show in 4 amazing rounds.

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Re-Living: Oscar De La Hoya vs Fernando Vargas

Posted by beeshabo on September 11, 2007

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September 14 2002,
Boy was this a special night for me as a boxing fan, the Golden Boy vs the ferocious, it was beautiful.
This gave a time for many to consume enough beer for a year, and for smokers to maltreat their lungs for an evening of good boxing. Most of the Pre-fight hype antics were, What will the year lay off mean for De La Hoya? Can De La Hoya carry his punch north to Jr. Middleweight? Would Fernando’s emotions take over?, will he overcome the beating he took from Trinidad? These were a few of many questions raised by boxing experts and boxing writers, with already enough bad blood to start an epidemic of hate and animosity, this fight was building into something meaningful for the sport, something to look at years from now and say “Now that, Was a darn good fight”

All this pre-fight hype, and no one could even believe that it would surpass even the build-up and put itself into contention of fight of the year.

During the ring-walks the crowd was roaring for the two combatants, the De La Hoya side filled with beautiful women cheering as if they were at an N’sync concert, and all of the die hard Vargas fans cheering as if at a Dodgers home game, already so much excitement.

There was a great size difference of the two as they stood center ring to receive final instructions by referee Joe Cortez, Vargas looking lean and muscular, and De La Hoya looking bigger than ever before, just a blown up welterweight. The size difference would explain it all within the first few rounds, as Vargas stole the show by forcing De La Hoya to the ropes and ripped him with stiff body punches, even causing a panic to the De La Hoya corner as Vargas nearly knocked him out of the ring as he was entangled in the ropes for a few short moments. Finally De La Hoya was able to get the fight back to center ring, but Vargas was only at times able to drive De La Hoya back to the ropes where he needed him, but for the most part Oscar was working his beautiful jab to target Vargas’ right eye and land his previously absent straight right hand.

By the 9th round, Vargas looked tired, his mouth hanging open as he gasped for a deep breath, and De La Hoya showing some signs of fatigue as he stayed off his lead foot, a subtle signal of fighter who has been hurt to the body. Vargas did enough to keep himself in the fight, by nearly winning the 9th and landed some good lefts and rights to Oscar’s weakened body. The 10th looked like a carbon copy of round 9, with Vargas trying desperately to get to De La Hoya’s body while Oscar implanted a sweet combination with seconds left in round 10, and with one stiff left hook that landed squarely on Vargas’ jaw, the fight changed as Vargas wobbled in the breeze, and just before Oscar could follow up the bell rang, ending the 10.

Between rounds 10 and 11, Vargas still looked groggy, blinking heavily with both eyes. Within the first minute of round 11, Oscar pressed the issue to find out if Vargas was still hurt from the previous round, and with a vicious left hook, he got his answer, Vargas was sent sprawling to the canvas. With Vargas eagerly attempting to get up and nodded at ref Joe Cortez to signal that he was okay and ready to continue, De La Hoya stood in a neutral corner anticipating his next move on the wounded Vargas. Once the ref allowed Oscar out of the neutral corner, Vargas’ instinct took over and his only defense was to try to duck and slip Oscars punches, but De La Hoya pressed onward at Vargas and pinned him against the corner. With his shield held high, Vargas was being smacked around and it eventually gave Joe Cortez no other choice but to stop the fight as Vargas was not throwing back.

Referee Joe Cortez stood over Vargas and protecting the beaten fighter, Oscar ran to his corner spitting out his mouth piece and throwing up both his hand in celebration of one of his greater victories. During the official announcement by Michael Buffer Vargas and his camp rushed out of the ring, without visiting the corner of De La Hoya and that being a sign of his still obvious “Bad Blood” toward his conqueror. De La Hoya celebrated and in his post fight interview Oscar said this “He was just talking so much trash. Tonight, I let my fists do the talking.”

Vargas was sent to a precautionary checkup and was not involved in any immediate post fight interviews.

Official Punchstats

 
FIGHTERS De La Hoya Vargas
TOTAL PUNCHES
Thrown 660 525
Connected 281 227
% 43% 43%
JABS
Thrown 423 136
Connected 171 59
% 40% 43%
POWER PUNCHES
Thrown 237 389
Connected 110 168
% 46% 43%
JUDGES SCORECARDS
Jarman-Manning 94 97
Smith 96 94
Tucker 96 94

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Re-Living My Favorite KO of the Year

Posted by beeshabo on September 6, 2007

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On July 7th 2007, Undefeated Vic Darchinyan suffered his first defeat at the hands of Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire.

Ever since I first watched Darchinyan fight, I had this personal vendetta against him or something, I was just not fond of him or his fighting style, many loved his straight forward style with KO written all over each Punch he threw. He was just so unorthodox, and had so many flaws in his offense and defense, I prayed for the day that someone could expose him for what he was – A one dimensional fighter that beat up on little guys. In his fight with Victor Burgos, Darchinyan looked over anxious and kept winding up his wide swinging punches, and right then and there is when I realized that he can easily be hit and countered, the only problem was getting someone in there who would not fold under Vic’s constant pressure and stinging power punches. Every fighter that has been in the ring with Darchinyan change as soon as the feel his punches, it was as if his punch would throw off their entire game plan, there were no longer focused or determined, their minds were set on just not to get hit and to just survive.

Nonito Donaire came off to me as an average boxer, he had pretty quick hands and decent power, but when he was set to face his brothers former conqueror (darchinyan) I knew that he would win. Nonito has showed poise, he’s showed determination and great boxing skills, I knew that he had what it takes to beat a man like Vic Darchinyan. Although Nonito wasn’t a great prospect, or a well known Filipino fighter, he was definitely skilled and was used to fighting guys bigger then Darchinyan, but Vic thought he could still do what he did to Nonito’s brother -Knock Him Out.

Darchinyan vs Donaire

During the first few moments of the fight, I seen that Nonito looked very confident, he had his game face on and looked extremely comfortable and relaxed. Vic used the first round to try and intimidate Donaire, by just walking straight to him with this cocky smirk on his face, occasionally walking straight at Donaire with both hands down as a sign of no respect. Donaire stuck to his fight plan, and he was executing it very well, counter punching Vic, using angles and boxing beautifully. From the first round on, Vic showed nothing against the Filipino, he was confused and at times a bit over anxious to get at Donaire. In round 3, for the first time in his career, Vic was in trouble, he was hit 3 times flush on the chin by Nonito’s accurate left hook counter punch. By this time in the fight there was no doubt in my mind that Donaire had Darchinyan’s number, there was no way that Vic was going to win, he was scared, hurt, and full of fear. In round 5, Vic was too eager, winding up every punch, dropping his hands and getting sloppy with his offense, and with one lunging punch he was counter BEAUTIFULLY by Nonito’s left hook and down he went. Vic was down for the first time in his career, and he was hurt bad, he struggled to get up and ultimately stumbled into the ropes and it gave the ref no choice but to call a halt to the bout as Vic was in no shape to continue.

This was a beautiful display of courage, determination and skills by the young Nonito Donaire, Congrats to him for years to come, he proved that if you just stay long enough, you’ll soon find out that there is not such thing as the boogeyman!!!

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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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