Gatti - Baldomir: Arturo Runs into a Hungry Tank Named “Tata”

22.07.06 - By Izyaslav “Slava” Koza: At one time Arturo “Thunder” Gatti was the trump card, and the highlight reel that proved the pedigree of HBO championship boxing. Time and time again he overcame impossible odds to land a devastating pure prizefighter punch to make a Rocky like comeback. Tonight, against the Argentine fortress, named Carlos Baldomir, even though those hail mary shots landed, they had no effect on a fighter who was much more hungrier then the signature HBO legend..

Baldomir looked even more confident in this bout then he did in his winning effort against Zab Judah. If there was some confident apprehension early on against Judah, there was all out self assurance starting as early as round 1. Baldomir routinely landed what he dubbed “the Hand of God,” after the Judah fight, and routinely mocked Gatti’s solid scoring attempts on his chin and chest. Baldomir smiled, smacked his chest, and boloed his vaunted right after scoring on the powerless Gatti.

In one of the intermediate rounds a shot to the body by Baldomir made Gatti wince in pain and grab his wrist, a constant source of injury in previous fights. While Baldomir continued attacking, and with good reason, seeing as he had his opponent hurt, the referee due to inexperience stepped in to give Gatti an unnecessary rest. I say unnecessary because if Gatti was ready to quit he would tell the referee so and if he wasn’t there was no point to give him a breather.

Surprisingly, though, he was still losing Gatti seemed a bit better off once trying to box Baldomir and not try to match him blow for blow. However that success did not last long as Gatti went back to being the “Thunder” of old once hurt and on the ropes. Unfortunately for him the titanium jawed Baldomir was hoping for just that, and attacked with assured abandon, knowing this was his big break. Though Gatti landed enough to stop it from being over Baldomir took it and came back with a left hook that put Thunder Gatti down face first and effectively out on his feet. Since this was Arturo Gatti it was necessary for him to try, much like Vargas to fight on, but it was all academic as nothing short of a Helicopter gunship would stand in Baldomir’s way. As Gatti took another barrage on the ropes the ref wised up and stepped in as Arturo fell over once more. Carlos Baldomir, the man with only twelve knockouts to his 40+ record, had just knocked out one of the most resilient fighters in all of boxing.

If Baldomir can retain this sort of hunger and attitude in his game he can present problems to almost any fighter. Think Jose Castillo only bigger and remember that it was precisely the crowding style of Castillo that caused Mayweather so many problems. Of course Mayweather was able to break Castillo in 24 rounds, but Baldomir is bigger, much bigger and that could be a factor. Another point is while Baldomir is slow he deceptively uses that to his advantage by pretending to be even slower and measuring his opponent with those shots. It creates a very tricky allusion which I think played a role in fooling Arturo Gatti at points during the bout, when he slipped punches he thought were Baldomir’s Sunday fastest.

Congratulations to Carlos Baldomir on a fight well fought and luck in the future.

Article posted on 23.07.2006

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