Posted On:2/02/2006 2:02am
For Gatti, Win Puts Off Retirement
By JOHN CURRAN, Associated Press Writer Sun Jan 29, 3:18 PM ET
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - Arturo Gatti had his mind made up. If he couldn't beat Thomas Damgaard, he was going to call it quits — after 15 years, 47 fights and one of boxing's greatest trilogies.
It was his secret, though.
"I didn't tell nobody on my team because they would have got worried that I had that in the back of my mind. I didn't want to announce it, but that's what I was feeling," he said.
Retirement will have to wait.
Rebounding from his loss to Floyd Mayweather last June, Gatti (40-7) stopped previously unbeaten Damgaard in the 11th round of a scheduled 12-rounder Saturday.
Gatti, 33, who burnished his warrior legacy in a three-fight series with Micky Ward, took Ward's advice into the ring against Damgaard (37-1), a hard-hitting lefty and two-time European champion who has fought as a welterweight since 2000.
Ward, a former Damgaard sparring partner who was in Gatti's corner Saturday, told Gatti not to get into a brawl with him.
Gatti didn't, avoiding toe-to-toe confrontations and forcing Damgaard to stalk him.
Throughout the fight, the right-handed Gatti switched in and out of a left-handed stance, eschewing jabs for off-hand punches that caught Damgaard unaware.
When he connected, the partisan crowd of 11,568 at Boardwalk Hall roared its approval.
"It was difficult to have 12,000 people against me," said Damgaard, who had never fought outside Denmark before. "I never had it before."
Gatti hurt his right hand punching Damgaard in the fourth, but insisted after the fight that his southpaw switching was a matter of strategy, not because his right hand hurt.
He also struggled with a rib injury suffered in training, which he kept a secret going into the fight, he said.
"I was going to win that fight, no matter what. A few bruises there and there wouldn't stop me from winning a fight," he said.
Trailing on all three judges' cards, a bloodied Damgaard could only hope for a knockout as he flailed away at Gatti in the 11th. But Gatti nailed him with a hard right and his legs went wobbly. Referee Lindsey Page Jr. jumped in, stopping it at 2:54 of the 11th.
"I thought he was shot after Mayweather, but I was wrong. He gave me a hell of a fight," said Damgaard.
For Gatti, who lost his 140-pound WBC title in that fight, it was his first fight as a 147-pounder in five years.
Next, he has his eyes set on Carlos Baldomir, who upset Zab Judah earlier this month to take the WBC welterweight title.
"Baldomir is perfect opportunity. We're going to fight in July, hopefully," Gatti said.
So much for retirement.
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Posted On:2/02/2006 6:36am
i have to say that gatti is one of my favourite fighters to watch. that loss to mayweather was pretty bad though... i actually thought he was heading downhill.
DO NOT LISTEN TO ME
Posted On:2/02/2006 7:13am
Style: Kickboxing/Sub. Grappling
Rumor is his next fight will be agaisnt Carlos Baldomir.
and good morning to you too
Posted On:2/02/2006 9:28am
That guy that beat Zab? That should be interesting.
You can't make people smarter. You can expose them to information, but your responsibility stops there.
Posted On:2/04/2006 12:32pm
Gatti should have enough left in the tank to beat Baldomir.
Posted On:2/04/2006 12:33pm
Gatti should beat Baldomir and retire right there, on top.
Posted On:2/04/2006 1:14pm
They mention it in the article but frm what I have read it's just up for them to sign the contracts. A date, venue, and time have been set.
Posted On:2/04/2006 6:17pm
What is this AP Writer talking about? Damgaard had no power. If he had any power what so ever he would have put Gatti away because he was landing some decent shots.
Gatti will probably beat Baldomir but there is nowhere to go but down for Arturo. Thanks for the great fights but call it a career and dont' jeopardize your health just to get a couple more paychecks in.
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