5 Most Memorable Arturo Gatti Fights
Arturo Gatti (40-9, 31 KOs) is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable fighters in history, entertaining us in the super featherweight, light welterweight and welterweight divisions. He had an impressive career – with the legendary trilogy against Micky Ward being the centrepiece.
Gatti was an all-action fighter who would never shy away from going toe-to-toe with his opponent. He had unbelievable punching power, ending many fights in the first round. His boxing ability was often underrated as he was involved in many wars and quick knockouts, but showed his IQ at various times during his career, including the second fight with Ward. He had an exceptional chin, which saw him take a lot of punishment during his career and keep coming forward. At Big Fight Weekend, we wanted to pay homage to one of the sport’s greatest entertainers and bring you 5 of the best Gatti fights.
5 Memorable Arturo Gatti Fights
Arturo Gatti defeats Mickey Ward in their Trilogy fight by decision, brutal, and unforgettable boxing battles showcasing extraordinary heart, determination, and warrior spirit. Gatti and Ward put on an unforgettable trilogy and both showed great heart. 2 boxing legends! pic.twitter.com/5Qibuf8MPa
— Fight King (@BestFightKing) September 10, 2023
Arturo Gatti vs. Micky Ward I
Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward brought us three phenomenal fights, with the first classic taking place on May 18, 2002. The anticipation for this fight was huge, with both men being known for their bravery and willingness to trade.
Ward attempted to set the tempo early, but Gatti settled well, landing telling combinations, inflicting a cut above the right eye of Ward. The Canadian-born fighter imposed himself well, utilising his speed and impressive footwork, which troubled Ward. “Thunder” needed to be mindful of Ward‘s power, especially his favoured left hook to the body. The final minute of round three gave us fireworks, with both men standing their ground and trading heavy blows.
The middle rounds brought us plenty of action, with Gatti conducting clever work, which was met by constant pressure from Ward. Soon after the 9th round began, Ward landed a thudding body shot, which forced Gatti to take a knee. Somehow “Thunder” regained a foothold and backed “Irish” into the ropes. Ward returned with some unbelievably heavy shots, with both men contributing to one of the greatest rounds in the history of boxing.
Both men somehow returned for the final round, slugging it out until the final bell sounded. The majority decision victory was awarded to Ward, but Ward and Gatti contributed to one of the most memorable fights of all time.
Arturo Gatti vs. Micky Ward III
Gatti had won the second least eventful fight of the trilogy against Ward by using footwork to box smartly and negate Ward’s power. These same tactics were employed in their third fight, with Gatti boxing smartly throughout the first three rounds. The American fighter hurt his right hand in round four, which severely hampered his ability to throw it.
From this point, Gatti was instructed to stay behind his jab. Gatti was saved by the bell following a knockdown from Ward in the sixth. Round seven signalled an all-out brawl, as both men met in the middle of the ring and engaged in all-out war. The back-and-forth nature of the fight continued until the final bell sounded, with Gatti awarded the unanimous decision victory. Ward and Gatti had ensured their trilogy would go down in boxing folklore.
Gatti vs. Tracy Harris Patterson
Tracy Harris Patterson, the IBF super featherweight Champion and adoptive son of Floyd Patterson put his strap on the line against Arturo “Thunder” Gatti. “Caesar” seemed to be waiting throughout the fight to counter Gatti, but the Canadian-born fighter boxed smartly, and set the tempo with a stiff left jab, before inflicting a knockdown in round two. Patterson and Gatti exchanged heavy shots in round three as the fight looked to explode. The left hand of “Thunder” was landing at will over the next few rounds, backing Patterson up against the ropes.
Despite being met with a heavy right hand from Patterson in round seven, Gatti continued to box astutely, counterpunching effectively. “Thunder” showed his class and boxing ability as we entered the championship rounds boxing beautifully, landing effective counterpunches. Gatti kept his work rate up in the later rounds, and when caught with a heavy shot in round eleven, he regrouped well and went back to boxing behind the jab.
“Thunder” showed his heart and courage, winning the fight via unanimous decision.
Gatti vs. Gabriel Ruelas
Gatti made the 3rd defence of his IBF title against Gabriel Ruelas. The Mexican fighter – was warned early in the fight for low blows. The Canadian showed his power in round four, landing a big overhand right, which staggered Ruelas.
The Mexican fighter showed his own power, hurting Gatti with a beautifully timed uppercut near the end of round four. Both fighters went toe-to-toe in round five, trading heavy blows. Gatti landed a big left hook in the fifth, which forced Ruelas to the canvas, forcing referee Benji Esteves to end the contest, awarding Gatti the victory via a fifth-round TKO. The fight was competitive during its five rounds, with Ring Magazine later calling it Knockout of the Year and Ring Magazine Fight of the Year for 1997. The even nature of the fight was reflected in the scorecards at the time of the stoppage, with one judge having it 39-37 for “Thunder” and the other two having it 38-38.
Gatti vs. Wilson Rodriguez
Gatti decided to defend his IBF title against Wilson Rodriguez at Madison Square Garden. “Thunder” struggled early on, with Rodriguez landing jabs and right hands, negating Gatti’s aggressive charges. Gatti flew out of his corner in the second, applying plenty of pressure, but Rodriguez continued to counter effectively, dropping Gatti with a combination. At the end of the second, Gatti was warned by his corner – the swelling around his eye meant that he had to change the tide of this fight and change it quickly.
The following round saw Gatti meet Rodriguez on the inside, and both fighters exchanged heavy shots for the rest of the round. The fans were being treated to a classic slugfest. The bravery of both was staggering, with Gatti scoring a knockdown in the fifth following a thudding body shot. The sixth round continued in the same vein, with both fighters continuing to land heavy shots – before Gatti was first to the punch with a massive left hand, which landed squarely on his opponent’s chin and sent him crashing to the canvas, with the referee waving the fight off, awarding Gatti the victory.