Floyd Mayweather and Arturo Gatti: Everybody has a plan…

23.06.05 - By Barry Thompson: Boxing is a truly physical sport, taking the boxer to high levels of physical stress and strain, massive weight loss in some cases, and the buildup of eight weeks of preparation, however, biggest part of boxing is the preparation of the mind. A boxer can be distracted by the jeers of the fans, problems with the management team, too much focus on the promotion, future bouts, or an overwhelming feeling of intimidation..

A fighter also can lose his nerve while waiting for the bout to began, walking towards the ring, or even standing in the corner looking across at his opponent. One must not lose his focus leading up to a fight. Sometimes you can see the possible conclusion of a fight before they get in the ring. The weigh in, the numerous press conferences, or the dialog that goes on between the two fighters leading up to the big moment can all spell out the beginning of the end for a fighter.

Even with all the aforementioned obstacles conquered, the final obstacle must be tackled: first contact. A statement that seems to ring true, regardless of training, press conferences, stare downs and ring announcements that the fighter has to overcome is this:

“Everybody has a plan, until they get hit.”

Arturo Gatti has been dodging the mind games that he perceives Floyd Mayweather to be playing on him by avoiding press conferences, conversations, and even close encounters. There has only been one press conference that both attended, and Gatti has avoided even having a conversation, stand-off, face off, or any other contact. This might be his best strategy, as Floyd appears supremely confident, and physically prepared for this fight.

Given all that was said above, I would like to provide two versions of the outcome of this epic battle on Saturday night:

Version One: Gatti avoids all contact until he gets in the ring, then rushes Floyd and attempts to pound him into oblivion. Floyd calmly parries all that Arturo has to offer, popping him with jabs and combinations all the while smiling as if this is just another bum to work over.

This pisses Gatti off and, realizing that he cannot outbox Floyd, rushes again and attempts to beat him with power shots to the body like Philip NDou attempted. Floyd displays more power than anyone realizes and begins to back Gatti up, cutting him up viciously and smiling as he ducks and counters the “Great” Arturo Gatti.

Gatti finally lands a telling blow, rocking Floyd slightly, but when Gatti tries to follow through, he realizes that Floyd was faking it and gets rocked with combinations that silence the suddenly cheering crowd.

Floyd goes to work and begins to reshape Gatti’s face into something that Picasso would be proud of. Gatti’s corner throws in the towel as Gatti howls in protest through a steady stream of blood.

Version Two: Floyd gets too cocky and Gatti “Freight Trains” him into a corner, beating him for all of the times that he attempted to humiliate him in public, making the crowd cheer, shout and jump out of their seats.

Floyd crumbles in the corner while Gatti, too overwhelmed with rage, continues to beat on Floyd until the ref steps in between, awakening Gatti from the bloodlust.

Moments later, as the crowd is filling up the ring and Gatti is being congratulated by all of the well-wishers, Floyd awakens and, realizing that he is no longer undefeated, attacks Gatti through the crowd, causing total pandemonium in the ring.

I feel more comfortable with Version One. Version Two may well be Gatti’s fantasy. The truth be told, no one can foretell the outcome of a match-up like this one, because:

“Everybody has a plan until they get hit.”

Article posted on 23.06.2005

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