The great, the all-action every time, the simply unmatchable Arturo Gatti, should be celebrating his 49th birthday today. Instead, as we all lament, the most exciting fighter of, not only his era, but perhaps any era, lost his life at the far too young age of 37, this back in July of 2009.
Today, Gatti’s most famous and most celebrated dance partner, Micky Ward, posted the short message he posts on social media every day on April 15:
“Happy birthday Arturo! Miss you every day buddy.”
Ward, who went to war over the course of those 30 incredible rounds with Gatti, is really speaking for us all. All fight fans who saw Gatti, either live or on TV, will never forget him. Gatti gave his all in so many fights, plenty of them deserving to be called astonishing:
Ward X3, Wilson Rodriguez, Tracy Harris Patterson X2, Gabriel Ruelas, Angel Manfredy, Ivan Robinson X2.
Gatti should still be here, living the life of a hero, the life of a man who, as the saying goes, would never have to buy a drink for the rest of his life. Who of us wouldn’t be more than willing to buy the champ a drink if we only had the chance here in 2021? When it comes to missing Gatti, Ward isn’t the only one. Far from it.
We will never know what kind of a life Gatti would be experiencing today, had he lived. Would Gatti have been in good shape, mentally as well as physically, as he approached the age of 50? Would Gatti have been a happy and contented soul? Would Gatti have been able to look back on his career with no regrets?
As it is, Gatti is a genuine, once-in-a-lifetime legend. It’s an overused word, but Gatti is best described as nothing else. It’s possible Gatti, before his unimaginably tragic death, knew and appreciated his status of boxing legend. Today, we think of Gatti as nothing else.
And we never will.