Arturo Gatti vs Micky Ward II – Highlights (Gatti Gets REVENGE)


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November 23rd, 2002. In a highly anticipated rematch after their unforgettable first encounter, Arturo “Thunder” Gatti looked to even up the score against Micky Ward who triumphed over him 6 months earlier via a close MD10.

Prefight records; Gatti 34(28)-6, Ward 38(27)-11.

Entering the rematch, Gatti who was the former IBF World Super Featherweight Champion had beaten top oppositions in Tracy Harris Patterson, Terron Milett, Calvin Grove, Joey Gamache, Wilson Rodriguez & Gabriel Ruelas.

On the other hand, Ward had commendable wins over Emanuel Augustus, Reggie Green & Arturo Gatti.

From the opening round, Gatti employed a stick and move strategy to great effect as he tagged Ward to the body and head. Although Ward still managed to land a number of good shots, but this time Gatti did not make the same mistake of being lured into a dogfight.

In the 3rd round, Gatti connected with a thunderous right hand to the left ear of Ward who was moving towards him which sent his head crashing into the turnbuckle.

Ward rose to his feet unsteadily and Arturo wasted no time in following up with an onslaught but the hard-as-nails Irishman from Lowell, Massachusetts was not only able to absorb the ridiculous punishment but retaliated with a number of good shots as well.

However, he had troubles keeping his equilibrium through the rest of the fight due to the effects of that devastating knockdown.

Round 3 of this rematch mirrors the 9th of their previous encounter but only this time the roles were exchanged; Ward was knocked down early in the round and survived an insane barrage of shots by Gatti, then came back to return fire.

And just as Round 9 of their first fight, Ward survived a near knockout situation and retaliated after that.

“I am not sure if they could fight any other way for 10 dollars rather than a million and half”.
– Jim Lampley

From the 4th to 9th rounds, the pace was competitive but Gatti clearly won most if not all of the rounds as he boxed and moved beautifully while displaying improved defense and ring generalship. Additionally, Gatti’s efficient body work aignificantly slowed down the pressure of the relentless hard-as-nails Irishman.

Ward to his credit remained determined all the way and managed to land some good shots from time to time. However, it was not nearly enough to offset Gatti’s beautiful boxing.

“The first fight was like a head on collision, this is more of a one car accident”.
– Larry Merchant

In the final frame, both fighters left nothing on the table; giving everything they could just as they did in the last 3 minutes of their first encounter.

After 10 rounds, Gatti earned a UD10 with scores of 98-90 & 98-91(2x) to avenged his previous loss.

With both fighters having 1 win apiece, an inevitable rubber match aptly billed as “The Final Chapter” was set to take place on June 7th, 2003 to close the chapter of their classic rivalry.

Enjoy this video while I work on finishing highlights of their rubber match!

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