By Tré Berry III🖋️
There are different types of scaling around the world, but in many sectors, Steel/Alloy is revered as the hardest type of metal that is out there. There is no better way to describe a warrior such as 🇮🇹🇨🇦Arturo “Thunder” Gatti (40-9-0, 31KO), who was one of the ultimate blood & guts warriors that the sport has had since the 50’s, with a heart as big as the reservoir that he routinely dug deep in to pull off incredible come-from-behind wins, or getting back into fights in near impossible situations to come back from.
While this is what we’ve known Gatti for, he had pretty good, underrated skills, and he hit his skill peak once he got comfortable with his Head-Trainer Buddy McGirt in a perfect time of his career where he really needed to expand his game.
On May 18th, 2002, Gatti finally met the one man in the world just as crazy as he was, and that was 🇮🇪“Irish” Micky Ward, and those two delivered to us one of the craziest wars of the last few generations. The fight was razor close, with the difference being a ruling blunder by Referee Frank Cappuchino, taking a point away from Gatti for an accidental low blow, without any warnings. Ward won on the strength of that and a fierce late rally that had Gatti severely injured and nearly out on his feet in the 9th round. In the aftermath of the first fight, Gatti realized that he could deal with Ward in a better way, so Buddy McGirt helped to sure up Arturo’s defensive skills, and in a re-match stuck to a game-plan of utilizing his footwork in the pocket, and getting Ward to come off his marker to chase Arturo around, falling off balanced while Gatti popped him with counters all night in the second fight. In yet another war, Gatti evened the score up on his warrior rival with a comfortable points win. Almost hard to believe, their 3rd and final encounter actually matched the excitement by the first contest, and though Gatti kept the same principles that had him winning the second fight, there were far more exchanges in this one, and in many pockets, the action was evened out,with both men giving any and everything they had, exhausted, gas-tanks on empty, battered, bloody, but a seemingly endless supply of auxiliary power to keep them going to the final bell. With some tension in the air, the judges felt Gatti did just enough to get the decision victory, thus capping off the epic new-age trilogy, with Thunder Gatti having the 2-to-1 edge over the proud Irish fighter. Far more important than any verdict, or World Titles (believe it or not, there were ZERO Titles on the line for all 3 contests) was the bond that banded the sports two toughest fighters together, to leave an indelible mark on the sport with moments that could never be taken away from them for as long as they would live.
After 30 rounds of timeless, chaotic, sophisticated violence, the two actually became best friends in life. Ward actually stuck by his friend and Trained Arturo in what would be Gatti’s final bout as a prizefighter. What happened in that fight doesn’t matter in the grand scheme…what matters is that they had this 🔄full circle moment, from competitors, to friends, to working as one unit. Gatti unfortunately lost his life on July 11th, 2009. The details surrounding his death can be described as sketchy, so I’m not going to go there…..but boxing lost one of its giants that day, not in the sense of being a good fighter (which he was), but being an all-time great competitor & warrior who reminded us of the time when you had the Carmen Basilio’s and Gene Fullmer’s of the world fighting these type of fights in the 1950’s. Rest easy Champ, the man may be gone, but the legacy lives on through the memory and video delivered from the man known as “Thunder”.
THE STAND-OUT ROUNDS OF THEIR 30 FOUGHT TOGETHER
Gatti vs. Ward I, Round 9 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5mRv3xGY80
Gatti vs. Ward III, Round 7 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHQZYPFCMFI
Gatti vs. Ward III, Round 10 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXo7xwuHO18