I Saw That Look Again in Butler, PA

By Ted Sares -- On Wednesday July 2, 2008, at renovated Pullman Park in Butler, Pennsylvania, Heavyweight Brian “The Beast” Minto 31-2- 20, iced “Big” John Poore 20-3, 18, in the first round in a fight that proved absolutely nothing except Poore was a poor opponent for Minto. The quick blow out allowed for a walk-off fight featuring undefeated Anthony Gatt, 5-0-1, against hometown fighter, 37 year old Jim Emrick who came in at 4-1-1..

In the first round, Emrick caught Gatt, 33, with a half jab-half hook and sent him to the canvas. Gatt was up immediately as the punch did no harm except to give Emrick a 10-8 lead. In the second, Gatt quickly became the aggressor and unleashed an incredible volume of punches for a heavyweight with many finding their mark on Emrick‘s hard head. He easily won the round, and then staggered Emrick in the third stanza as he stepped up the pressure throwing three or four shots to every one thrown by the 37 year old.

In the last round, Gatt threw an astounding 137 punches and many landed in and around the area of Emrick’s head. I was getting tired just watching Gatt doing his thing as referee Rick Steigerwald allowed him to wail away without slowing down the action. The bell finally rang saving Emrick from futher punishment in what now had become a bad mugging.

Surely, Gatt had come back from a bad first round to win the bout 38-37 which is the way I had it. In fact, I felt an argument could be made for a 10-8 fourth round in which case the score could have been 38-36. Heck, he had Emrick reeling in rounds 2, 3, and 4. And that’s just the way Judge Alexis Pierce had it. Unfortunately for Gatt, judges Dana DePaolo and Bobby Bell saw it 38-37 for the hometown boy, Emrick.

Now I don’t like second guessing judges or referees (and I rarely do it), but neither do I like it when the spirit of a fighter is tested by a bad decision. I sense Gatt will come back from this, but the look on his face when the decision was announced is a look I have seen far too many times, and it’s one I don’t like.

Article posted on 04.07.2008

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