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Gatti: How Much More can this Warrior Take?

Jan 29, 2004  By Vito Trabucco
He’s one of the most exciting fighters of our era.  He provided us with one of the most exciting trilogies that our sport has ever seen.  He’s a huge draw and a fan favorite whether he wins or loses .  But how much more can Arturo “Thunder” Gatti take?

I am the first to admit of being selfish when it comes to boxing, wanting to always see a good fight. Nothing is greater than seeing two warriors going at it.  And like everyone else, I love to see a good fight end with a devastating knockout.  But I think we fail to see what repercussions these fighters have to go through.

This past Saturday night, Arturo Gatti, 37-6,28 KO’s again broke his hand in his tough win against a game opponent in Gianluca Branco,32-1-1,15 KO’s who I think we may be seeing again real soon.  Gatti looked great showing us how he’s not just a great fighter, but a great boxer as well.

Now the public is crying out for some more Gatti. Trust me, I’m one of Gatti’s biggest supporters, but that’s also the reason I don’t want to see him end up in bad shape.  I understand our society and its thirst for blood, but if we truly care about the livelihood
of our favorite fighters, then we really need to understand what these guys have to deal with. 

So how long can Gatti keep this pace up?  How many more fights can he bang up his hands and or take more damage on those swollen up eyes?

Well, now there is talk about a possible Montreal bout with Leonard Dorin, 21-0-1, 7 KO’s. You may remember Dorin from his controversial draw with “The Pittsburgh Kid” Paul Spadafora. Dorin is a tough opponent and a good first title defense for Gatti. Dorin is not the hardest puncher in boxing so the chances of Gatti getting into a slugfest are not as great.  But then again, we are talking about Arturo Gatti here.

The long term for Gatti is where I see potential problems. The junior welterweight division is one of the toughest in boxing. Gatti is a champion now so his competition is going to rise.  Don’t get me wrong; Mickey Ward is a great fighter, but one of the elite
he is not.

Can Gatti go through another Mickey Ward type bout with fighters such as Rickey Hatton, Sharmba Mitchell, or even the young prospects like Miguel Angel Cotto? Maybe he can.  But it’s going to be tougher than most of us think.  I just hope he knows when to say when.

Arturo Gatti’s legacy is no lesser than other great Italian champions like Jake Lamotta or Rocky Graziano. He doesn’t fight much different than them.  And like Lamotta and Graziano, maybe Arturo Gatti will have a movie made about him as well one day. In fact, I would like to be the one to direct it.

Email questions or comments to Vito at: vitotrabucco@yahoo.com .

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