Goodbye to Gatti the Great, Again
Arturo is probably my favorite boxer active today. What tremendous fights he has given boxing fans. The trilogy with Mickey Ward and his wars with Wilson Rodriguez and Gabe Ruelas, etc… He is a warrior in every sense of the word.
As much as I like Arturo I feel he has without a doubt reached the end of the line after being defeated by Alfonso Gomez. This was a fight that Arturo was not supposed to lose..Gatti could expect a tough fight but he was expected to go out a winner. To me Gomez is a naturally talented boxer with a great personality. He really won over the fans on the “Contender” show. Still I thought he had limitations and I really didn’t think he could beat Arturo Gatti. Not even a fading version of Gatti. Whatever Gomez could do, Artuto could do better. Every match up, jab, hand speed, power, defense and ring generalship all favored Arturo. This is not a knock against Gomez who can be quite a clever boxer when he chooses to. Gomez also has some sting to his punches and is better defensively then he is given credit for. He just does not do these things as well as Arturo. Or so I thought. I also thought Gatti had the edge in heart because of his proven track record against world class opposition. Gomez though had shown great heart in his performances too.
How did I see the fight coming out? I saw Gatti winning it . I envisioned him busting Gomez up early with his jab and sharp counterpunches. He might even knock Alfonso down but I doubted if he would be able to keep the gutsy Gomez on the canvas. I felt midway through the fight there would be some wild exchanges as Arturo may get careless in his eagerness to put Gomez away. Finally Gatti would settle down and get back to his game plan, chopping Gomez up with stinging rapid fire combinations.
It would be a nice payday and swan song for the most exciting boxer of this era, Arturo Gatti. Boy was I ever wrong. Arturo was handed a good old fashioned whipping by Gomez. Was Gomez that good or had Arturo slipped more then I realized? This remains to be seen. No doubt that Gomez has stepped up. How far he will go remains to be seen. It is now painfully obvious though that Arturo Gatti has reached the end of line. He may not have gone out a winner but he’ll always be remembered as a great warrior by the fans. Goodbye Arturo.
Next entry: The Blue Bomber: Al Lewis
Previous entry: Maskaev Refuses to Sign Contract for Defense Against Peter