So I made a big mistake after writing yesterday’s post. I went and watched one of my favorite YouTube videos that I always find motivating. In 2002, Micky Ward fought Arturo Gatti in the fight of the year. The fight is best known for the “Round of the Century” in the fight’s 9th round. The fight kicked off a trilogy of fights between Ward and Gatti that many people consider to be the finest in boxing history.
I highly recommend watching the entire fight, because it really is something even if you’re not a boxing fan.
There’s a lot of reasons I love watching this fight. If you’ve seen the Mark Wahlberg movie The Fighter, then you know the inspiring story of Micky Ward. The Gatti fights take place after the movie; they’re rumored to be the subject of the film’s sequel, and I think they should just insert the whole fight by itself because even Hollywood can’t top it. What the 9th round doesn’t show is that Ward was getting his ass kicked through the first 7+ rounds, including suffering an inadvertent low blow. The fight is a microcosm of Ward’s career. Taking 10 punches to give one.
Interestingly though, the fight is a microcosm of Gatti’s career as well. Gatti was a flashy up-and-comer who fell apart due to alcoholism gambling and drugs only to work his ass off to get back into the ring. There’s a moment that 9th round where the announcers are calling for the referee to stop the fight, but Gatti hangs in there, survives the round and almost takes the fight in the tenth despite being out on his feet.
The fight – and the careers of both fighters – are a testament to internal fortitude and a never-give-up attitude that I find inspiring. Ward walks through a hailstorm of punches to land one hook. Gatti takes the beating of a lifetime and refuses to stay down. The other two fights are almost as good. In the third fight, Gatti hits ward with a right cross so hard that it knocks Ward out on his feet AND breaks Gatti’s hand! If Ward hadn’t been in the corner he’d have gone down, but instead he’s stays upright while Gatti fires off some lefts. When Gatti comes back with the right (his broken hand) the blow brings Ward back to consciousness and he bursts out of the corner. Jesus Christ, right?
I mentioned watching this fight last night was a mistake. That’s because it kept me up all night I was so keyed up. Not the best thing when you have 7 hours of meetings scheduled for the next day, but what can you do?
I had the chance to get to the boxing gym after that long day at work (more accurately, I dragged myself to the gym) and got in a real good workout. Something about getting the blood flowing actually made me feel better and actually inspired me justalittlebit creatively. I’ve been carrying a notebook out with me at night and jotting down notes. I got a few good ones tonight, so if you’re the one – maybe one-and-a-half – person that comes here to read my writing I may have something for you in the future.