11.04.05 - By Jim Amato: Arturo is probably my favorite boxer active today. What tremendous fights he has given boxing fans. The trilogy with Mickey Ward. His wars with Wilson Rodriguez and Gabe Ruelas. He is a warrior in every sense of the word. As much as I like Arturo I feel he has bitten off more then he can chew by taking on Floyd Mayweather Jr..
To me Floyd is the most naturally talented boxer since a young Roy Jones Jr. and Sugar Ray Leonard. He is that good ! Whatever Gatti can do, Floyd can do better. Every match up, jab, hand speed , power, defense and ring generalship all favor Floyd. This is not a knock against Arturo who can be quite a clever boxer when he chooses to. Gatti also has some sting to his punches and is better defensively then he is given credit for. He just does not do these things as well as Floyd. I have to give Gatti the edge in heart because of his proven track record against world class opposition. Floyd has been in with some good hitters like Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castiilo but he has yet to be tested like Arturo.
How do I see the fight coming out ? I'm sad to say it but I see Mayweather winning it and winning it big. I see him busting Gatti up early with his jab and sharp counterpunches. He may even knock Arturo down but I doubt if he'll be able to keep the gutsy Gatti on the canvas. Midway through the fight there will be some wild exchanges as Floyd may get careless in his eagerness to put Arturo away. Finally Floyd will settle down and get back to his game plan. He'll go back to chopping Arturo up with stinging, rapid fire combinations forcing the referee to intervene and save Gatti from himself. I look for this to happen between rounds seven and nine.
It will be a nice payday and swan song for the most exciting boxer of this era, Arturo Gatti.