Boxing Is Missing A Piece of Its Heart Now
By Jason Petock, DoghouseBoxing (July 12, 2009)  
Today is a sad and tragic day for all fans of boxing, as it has been reported that Arturo Gatti has left this earthly plane. No fighter will be able to replace the ferocity and true heart that Arturo fought with in the ring, a man who literally encompassed what it meant to be a fighter and actually fight for a living, not just go through the motions. He showed us all what a man could do when he would put it all on the line everytime he laced up the gloves, and his loss is saddening and too abrupt. Boxing is missing a large piece of its heart right now that cannot be replaced, that piece was Arturo “Thunder” Gatti.

I actually never had the honor or privilege of meeting Arturo in person. Nor have I ever seen any of his bouts live, although I always wanted to. Out of all of the fighters out there, living or deceased, I honestly have to say that Gatti was truly my favorite. I had tried in vain once to get an interview with him. Luckily, I got to speak to Arturo for about 3 minutes, and as one of his biggest fans, those were the best three minutes of my life. I was humbled when I was told by Danny McDermott, also a fighter, that Arturo had read an article of mine and that it motivated him and he agreed with what I had written. It made me feel proud that a hero of mine had taken notice of me and my small little world. I’ll never forget any of that.

Boxing media over time hasn’t been particularly too kind to Arturo Gatti. When they weren’t dissecting his opponents, or judging him very harshly, they were immediately rushing him out the door, even when he still had a quarter tank of gas left in the tank. He fought everyone and anyone he could, and refused to duck fighters, something that has become commonplace these days in a weaker society it seems. I always defended the man in my writing, and chose not to follow the crowds, who are generally more interested in sensationalism and less interested in telling the truth. I write as a fan and because I love the sport, and technically I am not a writer. At least in the sense of boxing journalism. Boxing writers write to make money and deface fighters careers often, I write as a fan like I said and make no money doing it.

What is even sadder is that now those very same writers who would slam Arturo Gatti and his career will now hop off of their original bandwagons and get onto other ones, so that they can shine in the fall of a great fighter. I miss you Arturo already, although we never knew one another, you were always a hero of mine and someone who I looked up to and admired from a distance. Your wars in the ring gave me hope in troubling times. You let me know that anything could be accomplished and that it is a man’s heart and will that make him persevere and nothing more. I only wish that I could have met you. Maybe one day I’ll meet you in Heaven, if they’ll take me that is.

Goodbye Arturo “Thunder” Gatti. They say when someone dies that the sky opens up and the angels cry for them. I know they are crying for you as well Champ. You are missed by all and there is a void in boxing where you once were. There can never be a fighter to come along and take your place and your career is inspirational, motivating and a lesson for us all. Rest well Arturo, you’ve earned it.

Jason at:

© Copyright / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing 1998-2009