Micky Ward Outlasts Arturo Gatti In ‘One Of The Greatest Nights’ In Boxing History – May 18, 2002 (This Day In Boxing History)
Twenty years ago today, one of the greatest, most brutal fights hit the center of the boxing ring.
Gatti and Micky Ward fought the first of their three fights with Ward. Ward walked away with the majority decision win after outlasting Gatti and knocking him down in the ninth round.
Gatti went on to win the next two fights, which both resulted in a unanimous decision victory.
In their first fight, Gatti, of Jersey City, landed more punches than Ward. He seemed to be more in control and mobile than Ward, of Massachusetts.
But as the bout went on, Ward seemed to catch on. It wasn’t until the memorable ninth round that things significantly turned around.
Gatti had lost gas, and was now eating punches from Ward. Ward took advantage of the adrenaline and threw a straight right hand sent Gatti down on one knee.
Gatti was able to get up – as blood continued to drip down Ward’s face — and rally back to finish the 10-round bout, but Ward did enough to be the victor of that fight.
“It was one of the greatest nights I’ve ever been a part of, a night that changed people’s lives,” Ward’s promoter at the time, Lou DiBella, told Boxing Scene.
“I mean, strangely, in defeat it cemented Gatti as a superstar even more and gave Micky the glory he deserved and created history for Micky and created a whole career.