Following on from the first fight I shown, I wanted to show another amazing fight but this time from the modern era and as it is St Patrick’s day this week and as I am from Northern Ireland I thought I would show an Irish American fighter go to war in a gladiatorial battle from start to finish and this one lasted the full ten rounds and there was no belt of any description on the line.
The fight was a Light / Jr Welterweight / Super Lightweight bout between ‘Irish’ Micky Ward V Arturo ‘Thunder’ Gatti, May 18th 2002 at Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut, USA. This was the first of an epic trilogy that defined the two boxer’s careers.
Micky Ward had a bit of a roller-coaster career and he didn’t have it easy up to the fight with Arturo Gatti, he was 37 years of age at the time of the fight and near the end of his career which was tough with a record of thirty seven wins with twenty seven knockouts, eleven losses and zero draws, he was mainly fighting at a local level but over his career he did manage to fight for some belts.
Those belts were the USBA, IBF Inter Continental, IBF World, Interim USBA, unfortunately Ward lost all of these title fights but he did manage to win the WBU Super lightweight title in 2000 against Shea Neary in England but he chose not to defend it.
Ward won The Ring Magazine Fight of the year 2001, 2002 & 2003 against Emanuel Augustus, Arturo Gatti first fight and Arturo Gatti third fight, this made him the first fighter to achieve this feat since the great 1950’s fighters Rocky Marciano and Carmen Basilio.
Micky Ward was portrayed in a semi-autobiographical film in 2010 by Mark Wahlberg called The Fighter, the film documents a set period of time in his life.
Apparently The Fighter 2 is currently in development and it will showcase the trilogy of fights against Arturo Gatti.
Arturo Gatti already had tasted success fighting for USBA and IBF world Super Featherweight titles, he made the step up to Lightweight in 1998 after successfully defending his IBF title three times but it didn’t start out to well for him at Lightweight as he lost his first three fights against Angel Manfredy (TKO), Ivan Robinson (Split Decision) and Ivan Robinson (Unanimous Decision) again. He won four fights in a row before moving up in weight and coming up against the legend that is Oscar De La Hoya in 2001, which he lost on a TKO, he then moved back down to lightweight to fight and beat former world champion Terron Millett by knockout before stepping out against Irish Micky Ward.
He was 30 years old at the time of the fight with a record off thirty three wins with twenty seven knockouts, five losses and zero draws, Gatti had a reputation as a slugger but he could box when he wasn’t getting dragged into wars. Gatti retired from boxing in 2007 he was 35 years old and had a record off forty wins with thirty one knockouts, nine losses and zero draws. Two years later from his retirement, Gatti was found dead in a hotel in Brazil, there was a lot of confusion around how he died and there is still questions hanging over the case to weather he was murdered or committed suicide.
Sit back and enjoy one of the best fights you are likely ever to see.