11 years ago today, Arturo Gatti had just finished his 2nd bout of a thrilling trilogy with Micky Ward. He was never the same as a fighter though. Although his star appeal was never greater and he went onto higher profile bouts, Arturo left everything he was, in the Ward trilogy.
On cold, thunderous nights, I’m reminded of the late, Arturo Gatti.
I’ll refer to him as Arturo throughout because of the personality he portrayed. He came across as your best friend or the guy next door.
Arturo was a troubled man. He lived with his heart on his sleeve. He lived with transgressions and tribulations.
Born in Montreal, Arturo grew into the warrior he was on the streets of New Jersey. He was your buddy, the guy who would share a drink with you at the bar
The way he lived life was the same way he fought in the bring, with no regrets.
Arturo was like a character out of a superhero comic. Chiseled body with flowing hair. A smile that hid a killer beneath the armor. Scars that told a story of blood, sweat and tears.
His scars told stories of wars, battles an average soul could never survive. They say you can answer questions from looking into a persons eyes. What if that persons eyes were beaten shut?
That all the answers a person would need. The questions are endless though. How can a human absorb so much punishment and continue? How does one keep coming back for more? Simple, he’s a solider to entertainment and admiration. Respect earned is respect given, Arturo fought for respect, not from other fighters or critics, but from the fans.
He loved his fans, so much, a piece of him died with every performance. He spent more post fights on a hospital gurney then at a podium. What else could be said than what we already witnessed?
His lifestyle resembled his fighting style. Most blood and guts fighters do, it’s what makes them special. There is no on and off switch, there was pure entertainment, in and out of the ring.
He embodied everything a fighter is. In the end, his life ended the way he lived, in a fight, sadly, with blood.
Yet, on thunderous night, I envision Arturo walking through the clouds like it was The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Thunder!