Arturo ‘Thunder’ Gatti, is one of my many sporting heroes. I believe he was one of the greatest warriors in combat sports history.
‘Thunder’ displayed prowess and heart like no one else. He never gave up in the ‘squared circle’ and that was evident in every one of his fights. “The People’s Champ”, is a fitting title for him.Embed from Getty Images
While he was not the most technically skilled boxer, Arturo ate every punch that was thrown at him and he put on some of the most exciting fights ever. He was truly one of a kind but lamentably he died in 2009 when he was just thirty nine years old and still in his prime.
Gatti was involved in a trilogy with Micky ‘Irish’ Ward that was nothing less than pugilistic perfection. Thirty rounds of blood, sweat and tears that was recorded in history and rightfully so.Embed from Getty Images
Ward beat Gatti in the first fight and Gatti got him back in the last two. The first fight was the best of the lot by far. The ninth round of that fight was termed, “The round of the century” by the legendary trainer Emmanuel Steward.
A moment in the third fight gives us insight into Gatti’s character. It happened in the fourth round when he took a body shot at Ward’s hip and broke his right hand. When his trainer asked Gatti what he wanted to do, he replied, “I gotta keep going”.Embed from Getty Images
He fought the next six rounds with his dominant hand broken. Gatti had to change his fighting style completely. Despite this he came out of the fight victorious. There is no better testament to his hard work and attitude than this. Gatti and Ward became such good friends that in Gatti’s last fight he had Ward in his corner. A perfect end to an iconic rivalry.
It surprises me that most people (even those who follow combat sports) don’t know the name Arturo Thunder Gatti. It could be because of his untimely death resulting in a short career. Gatti is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated sportsmen to have ever lived.