Today is the 10th anniversary of the first boxing match between Micky Ward vs. Arturo Gatti. If you are not a fan of boxing or have never heard anything about this fight, it can be summed up in four words: Fight of the Century.
Eric Raskin of Grantland.com wrote a piece today looking back at that fight and I highly recommend it (the video of the fight is also posted in the piece). Here is an excerpt:
I interviewed Lampley for a "Fights of the Decade" piece in 2009, and here's what he said about the ninth round and Gatti-Ward I in general: "Once every few years, I'm going to see a fight which, even though I've been calling fights for 22 years, still challenges at a gut level the question of how men do this and why they do it. And to me the ninth round of Gatti-Ward is the ultimate in that regard. To look at that round is to marvel that human beings can survive this experience. I remember when I stood up at the end of the fight to move from my seated position at ringside to where we did on-cameras, a distance of no more than eight or nine feet, I almost could not stand all the way up to a straight position, because my stomach hurt so much from the tension. I had stiffened up, and my stomach had tightened like a board, just from the fear that they were going to kill each other."
I have re-watched this fight countless times and it still amazes me every time I see it. Ward and Gatti are not the greatest boxers you will ever see, but they are both warriors that became world champions because of their heart was always bigger than the more skilled boxer standing across the ring from them.