Dorin-Gatti - Youth versus Experience

19.07.04 - By Richard Landis: Arturo Gatti does well in Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall. He siphons fans out of Jersey City and its environs to sell-out the canvernous hall where Miss America is more well known there than boxing but, if Gatti keeps winning, he could be asked to MC the annual beauty pageant. After all, he is Mr. A. when it comes to selling tickets.

Is Dorin intriguing enough to challenge Gatti? Dorin's best effort was a draw with Paul Spadafora over a year ago in Pittsburgh, Pa. In that fight, Spadafora used reach advantage to jab and fend off the hard charging Dorin. Spadafora sustained a cut, yet back-peddled under pressure and hung-on to jab his way to the draw. Dorin, for his part, stormed inside, determined, used right hands and pressure (although he got countered) to attack even when out-punched. The scores were close: 115-113 Dorin; 115-114 Spadafora; 114-114 Draw. In this corner, we scored it 116-112 for Dorin.

If you look at Dorin's strengths he is tough, aggressive, with an in-your-face style. He can control the tempo of a fight with his overwhelming punches, but he's not a hard puncher, and how about his chin? A weakness is that he is four inches shorter than Gatti. And, Dorin is very vulnerable to a boxing style that Buddy McGirt has gotten Gatti to employ in recent fights. In fact, McGirt has alluded to the fact that Gatti might hop on the bicycle if necessary.

Thusly, can Dorin draw Gatti into a brawl? Dorin doesn't think Gatti will move and box. He says so because in Dorin's estimation, Gatti is too "old school." The question begs: If Gatti does put on track shoes and he turns Dorin at advantageous punching angles (for Gatti), how does Dorin adjust? Or does he chase Gatti, flailing frustratingly at the fading but wiser champion.

"Leo The Lion" has not fought the caliber of opponents that Gatti has gone to war with in his 13 year pro career. Gianluca Branco may have surprised him until the 10th round when Gatti nailed him with a left hook to assure victory in winning the WBC Light Welterweight title but, let's face it, Gatti is near the end of a "born again" career. He says he wants Paul Spadafora after beating Dorin then, following Spadafora, there's Floyd Mayweather. Can Gatti make it that far? As Gatti has often said: "The ring is the most comfortable place in the world!" Is it still?

Article posted on 19.07.2004

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