Thunder versus Lightning as the Storm Clouds Gather
By Rob Scott (June 23, 2005) 
There is always that sense of calm before many storms. There was that resolute calm and respect before and after Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo conjured up a hail storm and rained on each other over a month ago. The same with Kostya Tszyu and Ricky Hatton; being hand-on with this fight, I was very impressed with the before and after respect which these two fighters displayed towards one another. In the ring was a different story though, as both Tszyu and Hatton threw all niceties aside for eleven mean intentioned rounds.

This Saturday night, Caesars Atlantic City and Ballys Atlantic City jointly hosts ‘Thunder and Lightning’ as Arturo ‘Thunder’ Gatti, 39-6 (30), defends his WBC super-lightweight championship against ‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd Mayweather, 33-0 (22), live on HBO pay-per-view, from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. With this match-up there hasn’t been a calm before Saturday’s inevitable storm. Strong winds were kicked-up from the moment this fight was even spoken about. From Mayweather’s initial claim of Gatti ducking him and saying, “I’m gonna make him look like the C-class fighter he is”, to Team Gatti making reference to Mayweather’s legal woes and Gatti himself calling Mayweather “A little boy who deserves a spanking” – the verbal hail has existed from the inception of this promotion. Bottom line – these two just don’t like each other.

Gatti has been Gatti; a man of a few words, but one who feels that Mayweather doesn’t have to like him – but he will respect him. On the surface, respect from Mayweather has been non-existent.  Mayweather has told whoever has been in earshot of how he is going to “Dog Gatti”, “Maybe cut it to four”, “Take Gatti to deep waters and drown him”, etc. The quotes are many, but none are flattering.

Beneath the rough physical and verbal exterior of Mayweather though, an observant person should know that there is a rough – but intelligent side as well. Even with Mayweather telling us his harsh intentions, make no mistake about it; his words are speaking louder than his actions will. We can think back to when Bernard Hopkins gave us certain thoughts before his ‘01 match-up with Felix Trinidad; he said that fight would be war filled with knees and elbows – or something to that effect. When the fight did happen, Hopkins put on a strategic boxing clinic. Mayweather himself gave us the impression that he would war with Diego Corrales. When that fight happened, Mayweather didn’t war, but put on a masterful boxing performance. Both he and Hopkins did the turn around because if there is one thing that they had for their opponents, it was a healthy respect for their punching power.

Everybody plays the fool – sometime; this Saturday night will not be that time for Mayweather. Deep down Mayweather is trying to fool us into thinking that he will totally engage with Gatti, but mentally I’m looking and looking – and that’s a sight that can’t be seen. Thus far, just as with his fight with Corrales, there is that limited respect for Gatti as a fighter, but former two-division champion Mayweather will indeed respect this opponent’s power. When the bell rings to signal the start of Saturday’s showdown, look for Mayweather to put his superior boxing skills to further use. If he doesn’t, Gatti just may make Mayweather the biggest fool of them all.

Also This Week's Headlines:
Ricky Hatton's prediction on Mayweather-Gatti Dp
Lennox Lewis Witness In Pacquiao-murad Trial Dp
Officials: Tyson can't build pigeon coop in back yard Dp
Roy Jones Jr's Team Eyes Hopkins Bout Dp
Next Up For Tarver? Maybe Roy Jones Jr. DP
The Coming Storm: Thunder vs. Lightning Julian Kasdin
Roberto Duran Is Aging Gracefully (great Read) Dp
To HBO, Floyd's no pretty boy Dp
'Thunder And Lightning': Perfect Storm In The Ring Dp
Mike Tyson knocked out Junior Hosea 19 years ago.. Dp
Lazcano's Feud With Oscar De La Hoya Ends Dp
Now Nicky Cook eyes up a world title shot Dp
Cotto On Collision Course With Hatton SportingLife Uk
Mayweather Disses Hatton: 'Dirty' Hatton in £5m fight offer Manchester Online
The disrespect of 'Iron Mike' Dp
Tyson: Don't give up on life Dp
© Copyright / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing 1998-2005