Is there a modern day Arturo Gatti?
By Darren Munsey: The late great Arturo ‘’Thunder’’ Gatti (40-9-0) captured our hearts with his hell for leather fighting style. He was far from the most gifted boxer we have even seen but no one can deny he had the heart of a lion and was involved on several classic toe to toe brawls we will never forget.
He was pure entertainment as you never knew if he was going to knock out his opponent or get knocked out himself. He was a 2 weight world champion and awarded no less than 4 fight of the year awards by Ring Magazine. In my opinion Gatti’s wars against Ruelas, Robinson and the remarkable trilogy with Micky Ward (38-13-0) earned Gatti his reputation as 1 of the most entertaining fighters in the modern day era.
So who is the nearest modern day currently fighting equivalent to Gatti? My thoughts were boxers that have given us several classic fights, wars if you will and with toe toe fighting styles. Fighters who win their fights by the size of their heart and never say die attitude rather than being the best technically. Fighters who have the bravery to climb off the canvas and win. It was impossible for me to narrow it down to 1 but 4 fighter’s spring to mind when I think of toe to toe wars and pure entertainment. They are as follows:-
Carl Froch (27-1-0)
I have always been a fan of Froch’s entertaining fighting style and being a Brit this maybe a slightly bias selection but Carl’s fight with Pascal was a true classic. His wars with Kessler and Magee show the Pascal classic was not a 1 off. Froch’s low hands fighting style and iron chin are a good indication we have not seen the last of the wars Froch will be involved in.
Erik Morales (51-7-0)
When I think of Morales fights the first thing that springs to mind is the Barrera trilogy. These earned 2 fight of the year awards and were truly spectacular. He was also involved in highly entertaining fights with the likes of Diaz, and inflicted Pacquiao’s most recent defeat. After that fight Morales was quoted as saying ‘’my promoter always says that I make the fights very difficult, but they’re not difficult, they’re fun for the public’’ which I think sums up the man. Morales’ recent performance against Maidana shows he is not quite done yet.
Juan Manuel Marquez (52-5-1)
His 2 classic fights against Pacquiao will live in the memory for a long time. His fights against Diaz (twice), Katsidis and Casamayor were also very entertaining. More than anything Marquez has shown on several occasions he has the heart to climb off the canvas to win.
Michael Katsidis (27-4-0)
I first saw Katsidis fight in 2007 when he came over to the UK to fight Graham Earl. The fight only lasted 5 rounds but you will struggle to find 5 more action packed rounds. Katsidis was put down put eventually prevailed. Katsidis has been involved in several brutal wars which include his fights against Amonsot, Casamayor, Diaz, Escobedo and Marquez. In almost every fight Katsidis is involved in his face becomes a bloody mess but this shows the heart of the man, he will not quit. This was very apparent in his recent loss to Guerrero.
I think the likes of Barrera and Maidana also deserve a mention and I am sure I have missed some very worthy fighters so all of your comments are very welcome. It is good to know that great entertaining fights have not disappeared from boxing and the fighting spirit of Arturo still lives on.