Mayweather on: Gatti - Mayweather is On!
By Jeff Mayweather (March 13, 2005) 
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After much riff-raff from both sides, the Gatti-Mayweather Super Fight has been made; never for one minute did I think it wasn't going to happen. It was just a matter of principal and respect on Gatti's part; he felt as though since Mayweather took his time to sign the contract, he would send a message as well. Gatti needs this fight just as much as Mayweather in terms of the money it will generate for both. Gatti knows that fighting Mayweather will generate the most capital in his pocket.

The Jr. Welterweight division is hot and Gatti certainly could pick someone else to replace Mayweather and run the risk of losing to a lesser guy while making far less money. Gatti is a businessman at this stage of his career, he is not afraid to fight anyone, and besides, he already has loses on his records to guys with half the talent Mayweather has, so it's a no brainer to fight Mayweather. Not only it represents the biggest payday for Gatti, but it's also a win, win situation. If he loses to Mayweather, there is no shame in it, he has lost before and actually very few people give Gatti a real chance of winning, even the strongest Gatti supporter would have to second guess himself.

This match-up has a great storyline, boxer versus puncher, bad guy versus good guy, but the reality is that this fight is a total mismatch. Floyd will have his finest moment and make people even forget about his performance in the Corrales bout, in which he looked flawless. I'm a major Gatti fan but here he has a puncher's chance, nothing else. The skill level is so far apart, it's like the average Joe playing One on One with Michael Jordan.

Gatti is a great guy, very personable and I really like him, not only as a fighter, but as a man. He's a guy I wouldn't mind hanging out with, from the few times I've talked with him. When it comes to this fight that happens to be between him and my nephew, they are on two totally different levels. Floyd is faster, has better defense and can punch as well, maybe not as hard as Gatti but good enough, because the difference is that Floyd's punches will be landing a lot more than Gatti's who, by the way, is also prone to cuts. Arturo only has one advantage, in that he will be the bigger man in the ring on fight night. He is probably a little better puncher, too, but he isn't the fastest fighter when it comes down to his hand speed; in actuality he's slow of hand and slow of foot, which will make him look even slower when he gets in the ring with Mayweather.

Floyd Jr. may have a mountain of problems outside the ring but in the ring he is at peace, the ring is his sanctuary. He is a fighter destined for greatness. While outside the ring he may very well lack what it takes to be considered being great, in the ring you're watching someone special and may not realize it until his career is over. Just as people watched Ray Robinson, Joe Louis and Cassius Clay, at the time they were actually fighting many people didn't realize that history would be talking about these guys long after their careers were over, even after they passed on.

I know the magnitude of watching my nephew because I saw it from the very beginning, when he was a prodigy, long before there was ever a HBO contract, long before he fought in the 1996 Olympics and became the first American to beat a Cuban in twenty years and capture a Bronze Medal, long before he even threw his first punch in an amateur fight, I knew his destiny. Gatti will only become a part of that legacy as one of the many challengers who tried and failed. On June 25th Gatti will bring his A-game and fight with all his will and heart, but that won't be enough to hold on to his Championship Belt. He'll be in with a special fighter, and I don't say that because he's my nephew, I say it because it's true and I saw it from scratch. At three years of age I saw Floyd Jr. do things that I know an average three year old couldn't even begin to comprehend. Those same qualities have stuck with the same three year old kid, but the difference is that he's a man now, and the entire world gets a chance to take notice of something I had the pleasure of witnessing so many years ago.

Many will say that this fight will be Floyd's defining moment, I say this kid -or I guess I should say young man- has a lot more hurdles to jump over and I for one feel that, depending how long he stays around he will get over most, if not all. His biggest fight won't even be in the ring, it will be with himself and his inability to do right outside of the ring, and to embrace this time in his life and enjoy life's simple pleasures without complicating things. It shouldn't be that hard to make the right choices in life, but if the young Mayweather doesn't, he will certainly get a ten count, not by a referee but by a judge, and that ten won't be seconds, it will be years. In the meantime... It's On!

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