By Dave Wilcox
Going into the Mayweather-Gatti pay-per-view, most people figured that Arturo Gatti had very little chance of retaining his title against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. As it turns out, the people were right. Mayweather called Gatti a "C" level fighter during the promotion for this bout. Compared to Mayweather, I guess he’s correct as well. Visions of Roy Jones vs. Vinny Pazienza and Ray Mancini vs. Bobby Chacon came to mind as I watched this one sided affair. Arturo Gatti has already been on the wrong side of a horrible mismatch when Oscar De La Hoya went "Mayweather" on him a few years ago.
Arturo Gatti might be a "C" level fighter, but he will go down as a guy with "A" level heart. Regardless of what becomes of him in the future, boxing fans will always hold him in a special place within their hearts. Gatti is a throwback to the fifties, he takes five shots to give two. Against club fighters like Micky Ward, his blood and guts style made him a hero.
Against a great boxer such as Floyd Mayweather, that same blood and guts style turns Gatti into a heavy bag with boxing trunks. Gatti has nothing to be ashamed of, because he gave so much of himself to the sport of boxing in each and every performance. I wish he would retire, but a warrior like him will never retire until the corporate powers refuse to let him fight any longer. Or until he no longer can make money for all the leaches, I mean promoters. My only hope is that Arturo avoids serious injury and lifelong effects from the punishment he has received in the ring. Gatti is a credit to the sport and deserves a better life after the ring.
As for Floyd Mayweather, he is truly amazing in the ring. Floyd's speed is off the charts and his accumulative power is underrated. If you don’t think Floyd Mayweather is the best pound for pound fighter in the world, you need to have your eyes checked. Let’s hope Mayweather did not scare Ricky Hatton or Miguel Cotto with his viruoso performance.
With all the venom that spewed from Mayweather’s mouth before the fight, I was happy to see him show respect and class in his post-fight interview with Larry Merchant. I was almost ready to put him on the list of fighters that I personally dislike, but he showed Gatti the respect that he deserves.
Congratulations to the new Champ, Floyd Mayweather. Thanks for the memories Arturo Gatti.
A note about Chavez Jr.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., actually impressed me tonight. Chavez posses a large arsenal of punches and works the body, just like his dear old dad. He is a little weak in the power category, but remember he is only nineteen years old. Within three years, he will be challenging for a title in my opinion. I loved the first round of Chavez's fight when he hurt Ruben Galvan with a big power shot on the Gatti-Mayweather undercard . Chavez didn’t get wild, the first thing he did to follow up the landed blow was to work the body. A nineteen year old shouldn’t be that disciplined in the ring. I expect big things from the younger Chavez.
Random PPV thoughts:
-Dear Jim Lampley, please don’t ask Larry Merchant a question in the beginning of a round, because it usually takes him about two minutes to complete a sentence. Spit it out already Socrates!!
-Nice to hear that Roy Jones didn’t take credit for Mayweather’s victory tonight. He usually finds a way to self-promote at some point in the evening.
-I guess Vivian Harris is lucky he didn’t go to England to fight Hatton.
-I like Jim Lampley, so I’m really not trying to pick on him, but to clarify something……The Vivian Harris vs., Carlos Maussa fight was not "worth the PPV price".
-Is it a coincidence that Randy Newman was the referee for the "short people"? I thought I already told HBO that people who weigh less than my eight year old can’t fight on PPV.