by Chris Milton
40-9 (31 KOs), A record that doesn’t tell the whole story. Arturo Gatti is a fighter that made records irrelevant. A two-time double weight World Champion also made belts irrelevant. In fact when he fought, everything was irrelevant. A year ago today Thunder was taken from us in circumstances that are as confusing today as they were a year ago.
“Gatti could make a fight fan out of Jesus” –Ironmike
As you can see by his record Gatti was never going to become an all-time great skill-wise. In fact, at times he could be quite limited, but he never gave up. In the face of insurmountable odds we started to expect him to come through them with something dramatic and impossible. If he didn’t, then we knew it would not be for want of trying.
Quite simply, there is not another fighter who has ever captured the hearts of fans as much as Arturo Gatti. It almost became a ritual, people who deplored violence would pay to see him fight; Despite the fact that he was not an elite fighter, he would sell out arenas even while going 6-4 in his last 10 fights.
Gatti will forever be remembered for his epic trilogy with Micky Ward, his brutal fights with Ivan Robinson. Practically every fight followed the same script, Gatti would start off boxing then get caught and the rollercoaster would begin. We would live the highs and lows of every fight with him. We started to take every punch he took. We threw the same punches he did, we took those beatings alongside him and shared in the elation of his wins.
Every time Gatti fought you knew you were going to see something special. Win or lose he would give it his all and offer no excuses, trying for every second of every round, showing huge heart, determination and an unbreakable will. Many times during his career we all thought it was over, only for him to come back in spectacular fashion, smile his famous smile and show us it was his intention all along. You knew with Gatti that you were always on the cusp of something special, you were never let down.
“He was like a part of the family” –Marciano_wbc
Michael Buffer anointed Gatti the ultimate blood and guts warrior I cant think of a title more fitting for a man who truly defined the word, “warrior.” He captured our hearts and although he had been retired for two years before his death we still feel as though he was robbed from our lives.
But when we look back its hard not to smile, his enthusiasm for making sure the fans got their moneys worth was second to none. He was more afraid of a boring fight than he was of losing infact so were we.
“20 years from now you’re all going to miss me because there will never be another Arturo Gatti” — Arturo Gatti
For once Gatti was wrong, we miss him already. Rest in Peace Champ and thank you for everything.