The trilogy of super fights between the late great Arturo Gatti and Irish Mickey Ward has to be one of the most memorable and highly rated trilogy match-ups in the history of boxing. The first fight of the trilogy was a very long awaited fight of the new Millennium in 2002 and was non-title 10 round contest. The fight was conducted in front of an enthused crowd who knew the prospect of this being an absolute classic, and they were right.
Gatti began the fight by throwing bomb after bomb at Ward’s head and body with blistering power, and it just seemed that Ward walked through the attacks, although being completely outclassed with Gatti’s sublime footwork and variations of punches to the head and of body of Ward.
It initially appeared that Arturo was winning the fight comfortably until an unintentional low-blow to Ward made him received a point deduction by the referee, who at times seemed to lose his authority, especially when the bell rang after the illegal blow, not allowing Ward the 5 minutes allowed to recover.
Ward looked a beaten man in the corner with some very serious damage to his face, but he came back in the next round and took the fight to Gatti. Back and forth between the pair were thrown some serious punches. The pair stood toe-to-toe as the crowd went wild with the spectacle they were privileged to witness.
In the later rounds, Ward gave a beautiful body shot which sent Gatti to the canvas, and it seemed all over. But he got up at the count of 9 like a true champion and got back to the task at hand.
The fight continued until the end of round 10, and the decision could have gone either way. The announcement came in and one judge called it a draw, and the other two judges going toward Ward for a majority decision. It was reported that both fighters ended up in the medical trauma unit after the fight.
It was clearly obvious that the two would meet again for a rematch. This was an absolute classic and the first of 3 great fights.
Clubber Rating 10 /10!
You’ve seen the highlights. Now you’ve got to watch the whole fight. You won’t be disappointed.