15 Year Ago, Boxing's Mega-Match Ward vs. Gatti

VIA BARSTOOL SPORTS: I was three years old on May 18th, 2002. Just under two months away  from turning four. I don’t remember Gatti/Ward I at all, but I remember  it being described to me growing up. My brother, who is 12 years older  than me, would play EA Fight Night Round 2 with me and when I didn’t  know who to pick, he’d always recommend Gatti (he played as Ward). Him  and his friends that would come over would gush about this legendary  trilogy between Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti, often times bringing up  “Round 9″. I was really too young to grasp how phenomenal a fight it  was, even if I had seen it…but I hadn’t. I forgot about it, and a few  years went by. 

Then, my Grandma was babysitting me one day when I was no older than 9  or 10, and my Uncle Joe called me into the kitchen where he had a very  tiny box TV usually tuned in to horse racing. This time, ESPN Classic  was on, and he asked if I had ever seen the first fight between Micky  Ward and Arturo Gatti. When I told him I hadn’t, he said “Well Robbie,  sit down”. He was an old school Featherweight Champion who just fucking looooved the sport. Watching that fight with him was an experience. It didn’t  matter that the television it was playing on was maybe 8 inches. Round 9  was the closest thing to a Rocky fight I’ve ever seen, still to this  day. In fact, you could say “Round 9″ to a fight fan and they’d know  immediately that you were talking about this fight. They should almost  retire the ninth round in all of boxing. Just skip it like hotels skip  the 13th floor. Anyway, just do yourself a favor a watch this fight. I  don’t care if you’ve seen it or if you haven’t, it’s worth watching  today on the fifteenth anniversary. Goes to show how a certain sporting  moment can leave a lasting memory as well, because when my Uncle Joe  passed a few years back, one of the first things I thought of was  watching this fight with him. Alright I’m done being mushy, go watch  these two barbarians beat the fuck out of each other.

P.S. If you don’t have time for the whole fight, at least watch this highlight tape:

Ron And Ian

Ron And Ian

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