30.01.06 – By Tim Neilson: As soon as the opening bell sounded, it was immediately apparent that Damgaard was no where near as good as his 37-0 record would seemingly indicate, as he was methodically taken apart by Arturo Gatti in stopping him in the 11th round TKO in a work-man like fashion on Saturday night at the Boardwalk Hall at Atlantic City. For all the talk about Gatti (40-7, 31 KOs) being an over-the-hill fighter based on his humbling destruction by Floyd Mayweather on June 25, 2005, this proved that he is still a major player in the boxing world, perhaps even still champion quality material if matched carefully against the right fighter. Along the way, Gatti injured his right hand, although it hardly slowed him down enough to matter, considering even with only one good hand, he had the slow punching Damgaard badly outmatched and looking like an amateur.
I honestly believe if this fight had occurred 5 or 6 years ago, Damgaard would have stood an excellent chance at defeating Gatti, perhaps even knocking him out in the process. However, his reflexes looked shot, leaving him with the hand speed of a much older man than his 34 years would indicate.
Time and time again in this bout, Gatti was able to dig to the body and shoot uppercuts to the head, all before the slow moving Damgaard even seemed to physiclly register what was even happening to him. It looked, at least to me, like Damgaard had no business taking the fight in the first place and perhaps would have been better off if had continued fighting in the relative safety of his native Denmark, where the opposition is a little more tamer.
For the most part, I liked what I saw of Gatti tonight, yet his performance was a little misleading due to the poor showing from Damgaard, who I personally do not consider to be in the top 15 of the best welterweights. It was a good victory for Gatti, but I don’t like his chances if he were to meet up with one of the better welterweights, who I feel would slice and dice him to pieces, much like Mayweather did.
Despite injuring his hand in the 4th round, Gatti had little trouble dominating Damgaard for most of the rounds, leading up to the point where he finally took him out in the 11th round.
With this victory, Gatti can move forward to a possible future match with Ricky Hatton from the UK, one that would be an action pack crowd pleaser for however long it lasts.