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Old 05-18-2012, 07:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: ~~~10 year Anniversary - Arturo Gatti vs Micky Ward 1~~~ (Full Fight Inside)

good piece on grantland about this fight
Jim Lampley asks Larry Merchant about the significance of there being no sanctioning-organization titles involved in this fight, and Merchant offers, "To Gatti and Ward, the only title that means anything is 'warrior.' The only belts that mean anything are the ones that they punch each other with. These are character actors who won starring roles, soldiers who won battlefield commissions."
46:35: The bell rings for Round 9. If you want to find out if someone is a true fight fan, say the words "Round 9" and see if they know what you mean without explanation.

46:50: Fifteen seconds into the round, Ward's trademark left to the body cracks into Gatti's side and puts him on the canvas! The crowd goes absolutely ape****, and Gatti, looking like he wants to vomit, cry, and do a DeNiro impression all at once, gets up at the count of nine and a half. You know when fighters intentionally wait until the last second to get up, so they can maximize their rest and recovery time? This wasn't one of those situations. Gatti was a half-second away from being counted out.

47:05: Ward storms across the ring and goes right back to the body, doing everything he can to take Gatti out. DiBella's left elbow is working overtime as both warriors are slugging away.

47:40: An exhausted Ward stops punching, and Gatti seizes the moment and opens up, dominating the next 30 seconds. Lampley: "Can you believe there's still a minute and a half to go in the round?" Gatti backs Ward into the ropes, landing a succession of flush punches, and after Ward retaliates with a combination, Gatti comes right back and hammers him to the body.

48:40: With a minute to go in the round, Gatti and Ward fall into a clinch in the corner, but Ward comes out of the clinch and hurts Gatti with a right hand. A left hook to the body leaves Gatti in agony. Steward, who has been calling for that body shot for most of the round, screams, "That's where he needs to go, to the body!" I just got my first chill of the rewatch — not bad for a 10-year-old fight that I've seen at least two dozen times. In a sound bite that will be replayed countless times on HBO over the next decade, Steward says, "You know, you dream of fights like this, but very seldom do they live up to the expectation. This is even more than you can dream of!"

49:05: As Ward hammers Gatti with rights to the head, a scene unfolds in the corner that HBO's cameras fail to catch and that most fight fans remain unaware of to this day. McGirt climbs the steps, white towel in hand, prepared to stop the fight with about 30 seconds to go in the round. Lampley says, "You can stop it anytime, Frank." But Cappuccino is turned the wrong way and doesn't see McGirt, and Gatti summons a desperate combination that convinces McGirt his man isn't quite finished yet. McGirt backpedals down the steps, completely unseen by Cappuccino.

49:35: With two seconds on the clock, Lampley gives one of the fight's signature calls, "Gatti's gonna survive the round!" and Arturo staggers to his corner in full zombie mode. Steward gets in his own timeless call, "This should be the Round of the Century!"2 Power punch totals for the round: Gatti, 42 of 61; Ward, 60 of 82. Damn! That's some awful defense.

49:50: McGirt says to Gatti in the corner, "I'm not going to let you take this punishment." He seems to be probing to see how Gatti responds. Or if Gatti is capable of responding.
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