Gatti-Mayweather: Set to Make Magic!

*Photo by Tom Casino: Better Be Careful, Floyd! Arturo Gatti shows bad intentions as he rips a right hand while training at World Boxing & Fitness Center in Jersey City, NJ. for his fight with Floyd Mayweather, Saturday,June 25th at Boadwalk Hall in Atlantic City live on HBO Pay Per View.

20.06.05 - By Aaron B. Dye: "Thunder meets Lightning" live, On Saturday, June 25th from the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, when Arturo Gatti squares off against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in a highly anticipated junior welterweight title bout. Both fighters are looking to further establish their legacy with a big win in the biggest fight of their respective careers. Mayweather (33-0-0, 22 KO's) has participated in the majority of the trash talking leading up this bout, showing more disrespect for an opponent than he has for any of his previous victims. "Thunder" Gatti (39-6-0, 30 KO's) has remained a consummate gentleman throughout the promotion, more often than not refusing to take part in anything to degrade the reputation of the sport he loves..

Since losing to Oscar de la Hoya in his last fight above the junior welterweight limit, Arturo Gatti has been on a tirade throughout his division, winning six of his last seven contests, the lone loss being a brilliant match-up against future hall-of-fame slugger "Irish" Micky Ward. After emerging victorious from the Ward trilogy, Gatti has been stunning in dismantling undefeated Gianluca Branco, former champion Leonard Dorin, and longtime contender "Jesse" James Leija.

On the other hand, Mayweather has been perfect, if not awe-inspiring, at his new weight limit, winning impressively over DeMarcus Corley and Henry Bruseles. Neither fighter was up to the caliber of Gatti's previous three opponents, but they were capable in providing a slight test for the undefeated Mayweather. Prior to moving up the junior welterweight division, Mayweather turned back hordes of adversaries from junior lightweight and lightweight, never once being truly tested in the chin, heart, or resolve department.

Its difficult to say which boxer has the edge in experience, with both having a multitude of championship bouts. Mayweather built up an amazing record of 13-0-0 (7 KO's) in his tenure as champion from 1998 to 2003, incorporating a reign in two separate divisions. Gatti has also remained perfect over his own two championship reigns, going 7-0-0 (5 KO's) as a junior lightweight and junior welterweight champion. Both fighters have fought four world champions, although Mayweather conceivably fought the better of them. With victories over the likes of Jose Luis Castillo and current lightweight kingpin Diego Corrales, the dossier looks quite bright for "Pretty Boy" Floyd.

Stylistically, this fight has the potential to be a blockbuster. At one point, it could have been marketed as a bout between a pure boxer and a pure slugger, but after witnessing Gatti return to the smooth boxing style that first won him a title versus Tracy Harris Patterson, it becomes a little more complicated than that. Not surprisingly though, it will be quite difficult for Arturo Gatti to box circles around the speedier, quicker Mayweather as he did against his previous opposition. His only hope would be lulling Mayweather into a brawling, toe-to-toe fiasco, which is unlikely considering Mayweather's reluctance to trade over the years.

The most likely scenario to be carried out in this bout is that Mayweather puts on another boxing clinic, similar to the one he put on against Diego Corrales. Mayweather long ago showed that the more he trash talks, the better he performs. The disregard of an opponent seems to fuel the fire in the loins of the Mayweather clan, and it is no different for Floyd Jr. The fabulous training habits in super fights for Floyd always appear to be accompanied by a gutter mouth, so look at the disrespectful comments to be a sign he prepared diligently for this fight.

The general boxing public is probably rooting for the underdog Gatti to rise to the occasion and defeat the blabbermouth Mayweather, but all signs point towards a letdown for those particular fans and experts. Gatti has the power to uproot the obnoxious speedster, but Mayweather obtains the will and the skill to deter any such possibility of victory from the corner of the one-man highlight reel. Look for Mayweather to defeat a game and conditioned Gatti over twelve mostly one-sided rounds to take his third championship in as many weight divisions.

The Betting Line: Mayweather is a resounding -370 favorite, meaning a $50 wager will yield practically nothing ($63.50). For anyone who senses a Gatti victory, another $50 bet will bring to fruition a nice $175. However, it is not advisable to anyone reluctant to lose his or her money to bet on the heavy underdog Gatti, as the most likely outcome is an easy decision victory for the boastful Mayweather.

Article posted on 21.06.2005

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