224967 Bullies, 3314 online  
  • Register
Our Sponsors:

Results 1 to 10 of 23
Page 1 of 3 1 23 LastLast
  1. --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Arturo Gatti: Badass of the Month August 2009

    On July 11, 2009, Canadian/Italian boxer Arturo Gatti was found dead in a hotel room in Ipojuca, Pernambuco, Brazil. His estranged wife Amanda Rodrigues was first arrested for his murder and then released. The Brazilian police deemed Gatti’s death a suicide, though blood was found on the strap of his wife’s purse and she could not explain how she spent ten hours in a hotel room with a corpse without noticing. Gatti’s family has requested a second autopsy. Doubtlessly, there will soon be un-disprovable allegations of spousal abuse (Gatti was charged with assaulting Rodrigues in March 2009). Doubtlessly, the truth of all this will never be known. This article is not about the circumstances of his death, but of his life.

    I come today not to bury Arturo “Thunder” Gatti, but to praise him.

    For everyone who loves a sport, there are a few rare and precious moments of awe that burst without warning into what starts out as an ordinary contest. They are different for everyone. For me, those moments include watching Roger Clemens throw fastballs so powerful that I cringed from my seat in my living room; Secretariat’s unbelievable drive in the first quarter of the first turn of the Preakness passing the entire field like the other horses were standing still; watching Stephen Hendry shoot a perfect snooker game in the World Championship – and sitting, open-mouthed and humbled, as Arturo Gatti and Mickey Ward faced off in their final fight.

    Gatti and Ward fought three times. I have seen – and loved – all three fights, but it is Gatti-Ward 3, fought June 7, 2003 that is seared in my mind. I cannot say that it was a beautiful fight – both men were punchers in the old style, taking many, many hits (Gatti always looked like a side of meat at the end of his fights).

    Unlovely, imperfect, yet that match was gorgeous to behold. The sheer heart of each man blazed like fire. I remember turning to my father during a break in the fight, almost weeping (as I am now) and saying “These men are WARRIORS.” Ward was magnificent, refusing to give in to the hammering he was taking. Gatti fought from the fourth round onward with a broken hand. Let me repeat that:

    In the fourth round of the fight, Arturo Gatti broke his right hand. He fought six more rounds, getting knocked down (and nearly out) in the sixth just at the bell, then rallying and winning a unanimous decision. At the end of the fight, as they had before, both fighters embraced in the ring, and it was clear that they loved and respected each other. They were gracious and classy towards each other. They acted as men, and as fighters, should.

    It is from that fight that my impressions of Gatti were formed. I obviously do not claim I knew the man, and I was hardly shocked to discover he had been accused of assaulting his girlfriend earlier this year. But in the extremity of the ring, he fought his best without hating, demeaning or mocking his opponent. That is indicative of something decent in a boxer, obscured by human nature as it might inevitably be.

    He was obviously far from a perfect human being. In 2000, he faced off with former world champion Joey Gamache. Gatti fought in multiple weight classes over his career, from super feather weight at the beginning to welterweight at the end. In this match, fought as a lightweight, Gatti won by a knockout in round two. A lawsuit by Gamache's handlers claimed Gatti had gained 19 pounds between weigh-in and the fight. Gamache never fought for a title again, and alleged in the lawsuit that Gatti had caused him to become brain damaged. If that is true, it’s sickening to think it was a deliberate action, and totally at odds with my personal impressions. I have no idea of the truth in this case; I must reserve my judgment. The lawsuit sounds plausible, but I have not heard the defense of the claim and I will neither condemn nor exonerate anyone without evidence.

    That was in the past by the time Gatti and Ward fought their third and final time (Ward retiring after the fight). Less than a year later, Gatti had recovered from his broken hand and defeated Gianluca Branco of Italy for the vacant WBC junior welterweight title. Watching his post Ward fights, I was astonished by Gatti again.

    His style had clearly been that of a natural puncher, absorbing a lot of damage to deal as many punches as possible (hence, the face like a pug dog and the raw meat look he always sported at the end of a bout). But after Ward, I saw a puncher who had turned himself into a boxer, patiently waiting for his openings, calmly distracting opponents with his front hand to slam a cross in behind when their vision was obscured. As always, his heart and courage were there. This was a man who simply refused to fall.

    In 2004, Gatti fought the unbeaten former world champion Leonard Dorin, and dropped him with a single body shot. Anyone who boxes knows how hard that is to do, how much punishment a human can take and still stand. Gatti's second defense of his WBC title came against former world junior lightweight champion Jesse James Leija, in 2005; the fight ended in a fifth round knockout for Gatti.

    Then came Mayweather in June 2005. To say Gatti was overmatched is an understatement. Mayweather destroyed him, ironically with body shots, and Gatti’s side threw in the towel. That was the beginning of the end for Gatti, though he did take the empty IBA Welterweight title in 2006. But he was knocked out in his next fight, and switched trainers to his old opponent and friend Mickey Ward.

    His “comeback” fight in 2007 also ended in a knockout, and that was that. Arturo Gatti retired from boxing at the age of 35. He had fought 49 times, with 40 wins (31 by KO) . A rumored second comeback in 2008 never happened. Now, in 2009, he is dead, possibly murdered, possibly a suicide. An ignominious end for a man who inspired at least me to remember that boxing is called “the sweet science” for a reason.

    Arturo Gatti was not a great boxer, nor great man. He was flawed, and unpredictable and human, with all the baggage that entails.

    But he absolutely inarguably had courage. He was a skilled and ruthless fighter, and at least later in his career a gracious opponent. I am not one to hero worship athletes as so many people do, nor live vicariously through them, nor support anyone based simply on which country they came from. But Arturo Gatti made me proud that he called himself a Canadian.

    Rest in Peace, Arturo “Thunder” Gatti, Bullshido Badass of the Month, August 2009.
    Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	arturo-gatti.jpg 
Views:	138 
Size:	72.9 KB 
ID:	10375  


  2. Eddie Hardon is offline

    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,498

    Posted On:
    8/05/2009 6:36am


     Style: Trad Ju Jitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Excellent tribute. Well done, you.

    FWIW, Mickey Ward sustained permanent Double Vison against Arturo hence Mickey's forced Retirement.

    RIP Arturo.

    This week's Boxing News (UK):

    Last edited by Eddie Hardon; 8/05/2009 9:36am at .
  3. X_plosion is offline

    Registered Member

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    468

    Posted On:
    8/05/2009 7:08am


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Gatti was an exciting fighter who had a lot of heart in the ring. It was sad to see him go.
  4. thorthe power is offline
    thorthe power's Avatar

    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    584

    Posted On:
    8/05/2009 8:00am


     Style: Not sure anymore

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Great write up!! Arturo was the real life Rocky...RIP
  5. Metsudragon is offline

    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    STL, MO
    Posts
    167

    Posted On:
    8/05/2009 10:53am


     Style: Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Bullshido's pretty much one of the few mma sites that considers boxers fighters instead of the usual mma vs boxing cesspool, great write up JKDChick. :/ Really sad about what happened to Gatti
  6. marcusdbrutus is offline
    marcusdbrutus's Avatar

    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    East Coast Canada
    Posts
    1,565

    Posted On:
    8/05/2009 3:13pm


     Style: MT, Judo & BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I'm going to belt out a war cry right now, at work, to honor the man.

    Incredible tribute.
  7. JKDChick is offline
    JKDChick's Avatar

    Senior Administrator

    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    8,131

    Posted On:
    8/05/2009 6:30pm

    staff
     Style: JKD, BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thank you all. I hope I didn't come across as trying to white wash Gatti, since I think he probably did engage in the underhanded weight gain alleged of him.

    I just loved the way the man boxed, and treated Ward at least. I wish more of the UFC guys would act like him.

    Edits made for spelling errors.
    Monkey Ninjas! Attack!
  8. danno is offline
    danno's Avatar

    Light Heavyweight

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Shoalhaven, Australia
    Posts
    3,155

    Posted On:
    8/05/2009 8:13pm

    supporting member
     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    one of my favourite all time fighters. the gatti-ward fight blew my mind. i might go watch it for the 10th time.
  9. Roidie McDouchebag is offline
    Roidie McDouchebag's Avatar

    Injury Waiting To Happen

    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Kamloops, BC
    Posts
    9,419

    Posted On:
    8/05/2009 10:04pm

    supporting member
     Style: Snatch Wrestling

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Seems like he was kind of a loser in real life, but in the ring he was awesome.
  10. SoylentNinja is offline

    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    428

    Posted On:
    8/05/2009 10:35pm


     Style: Judo n00b

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Great tribute JKDchick. I thought it was well writ.
Page 1 of 3 1 23 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Powered by vBulletin™© contact@vbulletin.com vBulletin Solutions, Inc. 2011 All rights reserved.