Epitome of boxing

June 8, 2005

Over the last few days I’ve been obsessing over and downloading the complete Arturo “Thunder” Gatti vs. “Irish” Micky Ward series. I heard it was good, but I really had no idea that it was going to be as classic of a match up as it was. The first fight is probably the best of the series, and possibly the best fight I’ve ever seen. I recommend you find it and watch it, no matter if you’re a sports or boxing fan or not.

I’m somewhere in the middle of the road. I don’t keep track of who is who in the boxing world and I rarely get to watch a match, but when I see them on HBO or elsewhere I do enjoy them. It’s one person and his heart and soul and determination vs another. The fighter who can use his specific style and his way of fighting while maintaining a tunnel vision is sure to come out the winner. In the case of Micky Ward, it seems that it was all about heart and soul. He could box but he was not a dancer or mover. Micky Ward would come straight at you and take the blows, waiting for his moment to blast back with everything he had. Arturo Gatti is the exact opposite. He’s all about speed and movement, always dodging, weaving, ducking. He’s a firm believer that floating like a butterfly will work.

Both of the guys in the match-up were incredibly tough and that’s really why it was such a great thing to watch. Both could take serious blows – they would fall down, break their hands, have blood pouring down their faces, but they always got up and kept going. Just when you thought somebody was done for they would keep the fight moving, seemingly feeding off of each other’s energy.

The theme of all three of the fights is that Arturo is dominating with his speed and overall boxing skills when Micky comes out of nowhere with his flurry of punches and his signature left hook to the liver; power and speed vs the concrete chin and heart. Apollo vs Rocky as it were, except this time Rocky is Irish-American and Apollo is Italian-Canadian-New-Jersian or some shit like that.

Ward had his very own style, which might be labeled by most people as “inept” if it weren’t for the fact that there were results. I’m still not sure if Arturo was a quick boxer or if he just looked quick next to a stoic Micky Ward. Ward would take a beating and just when you thought he was going down, just when his opponent put all of his effort into putting him down, he would blast back. His opponent would be exhausted and bewildered: how is this guy even standing? Where does the energy come from? Nobody knows, and that’s why Ward is something special.

Either way, go check the fights out – especially the first one. If you’re disappointed, you are not a man. Your man-certificate will be revoked. Fair warning.

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