Putting Gatti’s Win in Perspective

30.01.06 – By Benjy Swan: Following Arturo Gatti’s impressive destruction of Thomas Damgaard on Saturday night at Atlantic city, there’s been a great deal of praise pouring out from the media about how great Gatti looked, saying things about his courage to continue fighting with an injured right hand and so on. However, is it me or am I the only one who saw the victory as being hallow and without any substance? Come on, this was Damgaard, a fighter who is not even in my personal top 10 of the best welterweights in the division. I mean, to me, it’s like Gatti essentially fought a club fighter, a journeyman, and now we’re all supposed to come to the conclusion that his loss against Mayweather was a mere aberration and not indicative of his real skill level? No, the Gatti we saw against Mayweather was the real one, one with a ton of flaws that were out front for everyone to see.

I don’t know about you people, but what I saw out there on Saturday night from Gatti was a limited fighter, a slow moving blown up welterweight with little stamina, average power and a non existent defense. In my opinion, he was ready to be taken out as early as the 4th round, when he caught a few arm punches from Damgaard, who will never be mistaken for having the power of a Shane Mosley or an Oscar De La Hoya, yet he was still able to stun Gatti on numerous occasions during the fight. If Damgaard had just a little more punch, and I’m talking very little, Gatti would have come out on the losing end of this one because he was clearly bothered by the punches.

To be fair to Gatti, he did what he had to do to take out Damgaard, using his speed advantage over the Dane to dominate the action. Gatti appeared to fight through a great deal of pain from his right hand injury, even going so far as to use the hand for his final knockout punch. Yet, to bootlick at Gatti’s feet over his supposed injury and then attach courage to it, goes a bit too far for my tastes. If you want to assign courage in this fight, you were looking at the wrong fighter, as Damgaard was the one that was getting hit with an avalanche of punches during the entire fight, not Gatti. Damgaard was tagged countless times, all through the fight, reddening his white skin and causing his nose to swell up like a Potato, yet he never complained in his corner or waved his hand in the air for sympathy. To me, Damgaard was the class act of the night and should be praised, if only for his bravery under fire.

Another thing that really sickened me about the fight was the enormous crowd cheering for Gatti. I realize that Atlantic city is Gatti’s home town, but to hear them screaming their bloody lungs out, in fight that was for the most part one-sided, really pissed me off to no end. Listening to the crowd roar with every punch, you would think that Gatti was beating the stuffing out of someone like Mayweather, not the relatively unknown Damgaard.

Well, now that Damgaard is out of the way, Gatti is turning his sights in the direction of Carlos Baldomir (42-9-6, 12 knockouts), the current WBC Welterweight champion, and the recent conqueror of Zab Judah. Of all the welterweights that Gatti could be potentially matched up with, I think Baldomir is one of the most beatable of the bunch, due to his slow hand speed, poor ring movement, lack of punching power and advanced age (34-years-old). To be honest, I think Baldomir got lucky in beating Judah, catching him on an off night, where he was not at his best, perhaps looking past him towards a fight with Mayweather. Nevertheless, Baldomir is a lot better than Damgaard, from what I see of him, and I think he’ll present big problems for Gatti and will likely stop him, probably in the late rounds, if this fight goes through.