Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Arturo Gatti

A little piece I wrote for a boxing website:

Dear Arturo Gatti,

Please stop fighting. You have nothing to prove to us or to yourself anymore. We will remember you, we have the tapes and the memories.

We remember you blasting out touted prospect Pete Taliafero on TNF, what a stunner that was. Who is this kid?

Both eyes closed, guessing the fingers the doc held up, scamming one more round, then destroying Wilson Rodriguez with that textbook left hook.

The 1920's movie star looks, the blood, the guts. Gabriel Ruelas had you out on your feet. Gatti can't possibly take anymore ref, stop this damn thing. Bam--There's that hook again.

Angel Manfredy was on that night. Punching through the cuts and the plasma, it just wasn't enough.

And Ivan Robinson, just a bit too slick, but oh were they wars.

All we have to say is Gatti/Ward. Like Ali/Frazier, immortalized, our collective jaws on the floor in that 9th round. Sublime stuff.

The golden boy was a little too golden, the pretty boy a little too great, but you took the punishment, christians to the lions, yet we didn't care. You are still our generation's Lamotta/Graziano/Zale/Fullmer, and we love you for that.

For a decade we were transformed back to a time when boxing was a different game, a rough trade in a rough and tumble country, before million dollar contracts and ballgames on the tube 24/7, two gladiators in a squared circle telling truths about themselves.

Arturo, you're our gladiator. But, for every gladiator there is an end. The end is here. For your sake and ours, don't let it be on your sword.

Stop fighting now, and we promise we won't forget where you've taken us with you on your journey. It may be decades before we go there again.



1 comment:

moor-rambler said...

Great piece, Zimm. The same letter should've been written to Ali as well. Let's hope Arturo takes the hint. Think I'll go home and get out my Gatti/Ward dvd....