Fact Or Fiction: Gatti-Ward the best trilogy of the last decade?

Jonathan YaghoubiContributor IJanuary 13, 2010

Fact or fiction?

1. Gatti/Ward was the best trilogy of the decade.

Fact—With all due respect to the Vazquez-Marquez trilogy, there was no series of fights this decade that even came close to the amount of drama that Gatti/Ward brought us. It was not just the best trilogy of the decade, it might have been the best in the history of this great sport. These guys were true warriors and represented what boxing is about. No showboating, just fighting.

The first fight of the trilogy was the best, and it deserves a place among the handful of greatest boxing matches in the history of the sport. Round Nine of Fight One is perhaps the greatest display of toughness and guts you will ever see in boxing. Who could ever forget Jim Lamply yelling at referee Frank Cappuccino to stop the fight for Gatti as he was being battered? But Gatti stayed on his feet and fought back to go the full 10 rounds.

The second and third fights were no different as these guys continued to give it everything they had and more. The second fight was great because Ward wouldn't quit, even though Gatti was obviously getting the best of him. In the third fight, Arturo Gatti broke his right hand in the fourth on a punch to Ward’s hip early in the fight which forced him to change his whole style. After the round, Gatti told his corner that he had broken his hand, but when his trainer asked what he wanted to do, he didn't hesitate: "I'm gonna keep fighting".

Marquez and Vazquez was great but two of those fights didn’t even go the distance. Ward and Gatti did not even think about giving up or letting the ref stop the fight. We may never see another trilogy like this ever again.

2. Despite major successes and new world champions, you still consider Gary Shaw Promotions second banana to Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions.

Fact—Gary Shaw is starting to get up there but isn’t quite on the Top Rank or Golden Boy class just yet. Shaw knows his boxing very well and has got some great talent in his stable with the likes of Chad Dawson and Rafael Marquez.

However, they just aren’t the star boxers that Rank and GB have. Shaw can put together the exciting fight but does not have the guys to put on a big PPV fight. He may have some champions but what does it all mean if people don’t know who they are?

When I see one of Shaw’s boxers take part in a 24/7 show, then we will know that he is finally one of the top promoters in the business.

3. With the bloodwork controversy in the press, you think this is a legitimate stumbling block, and not just "hype."

Fact—It's no shocker to me that this fight is still not signed. But I never thought it wasn't going to be about the money. Mayweather and his father are convinced that Pacquiao has done steroids in the past. Floyd has said that the Philippines is known for being one of the biggest steroid providers in the world. He knows this is going to probably be the toughest fight of his career and will do whatever it takes to slow Manny down before the actual fight.

I don’t think this is hype at all; people are going to buy and watch this fight no matter what. The hype has been there for months and Pacquiao and Mayweather should know that. These guys are the top two stars in the sport and just want to make sure that one is not getting over on the other. At the end of the day, this fight will get it done because they just “have” to.


4. Pacquiao's slander lawsuit against Mayweather's team has merit and should be seen through in court.

Fact—You can’t really blame Manny on this one. Wouldn’t anyone else in the sports world be upset if it happened to them? Manny Pacquiao is a very proud and respected warrior in the boxing realm. He does not want anything or anyone to take away from the wonderful performances he has provided for boxing fans over his career.

The Mayweather camp is trying to throw Pacquiao off with these false allegations. Manny should pursue the lawsuit regardless of what happens with this fight. The possibility of seeing Mayweather and Golden Boy pay up to Manny would be pretty sweet for him. If Manny is not hiding anything, he should not hesitate to sue and really stick it in Mayweather's and his father’s faces.


5. OK, let's try to get back on to other boxing...You think Steven Luevano can pull off the upset over Juan Manuel Lopez in their January 23rd bout.

Fact—If you asked me this before Lopez’s fight with Mtagwa, I would have said fiction for sure. Despite the decision victory, his win was far from his most impressive. Lopez came within seconds of being knocked out at the end of the 11th round and nearly again in the 12th. Despite all that, he gained a great deal of experience in the fight and will come into his match against Luevano as a smarter fighter. He needs to if he is going to win this fight.

Luevano is a very skilled fighter who I feel will give Lopez a real run for his money. Luevano has been dominant in the Featherweight division with a record of 37-1-1. He's in a position where the most competition he can get is by facing an explosive smaller fighter who's willing to move up and try his luck in the Featherweight division. It should be very interesting to see not only how Luevano deals with Lopez’s aggression, but also how Lopez deals with Luevano’s smart, tactically sound boxing.

As mentioned, Luevano is a skilled boxer and will not put himself in any position to be knocked out. He'll make Lopez look unimpressive the first half of the fight. I do think Lopez will figure out a way to get the victory, but Luevano has the goods to pull off the upset.


6. OK, last question about Testing gate...due to the drug test roadblock, Pacquiao/Malignaggi is being discussed. If this Plan B is signed, it would drop your interest in Manny's next bout from MASSIVE to ZERO in no time flat.

Fiction—My interest would be right in the middle, but leaning more toward massive. Anytime Manny Pacquiao fights, I am always going to be very interested when he steps into the ring. A fight with Malignaggi would be a very interesting and intriguing matchup. Paulie is on a real high right now coming off his impressive victory over Juan Diaz. The guy talks a big game and a fight with the biggest star in the sport could bring us another side of Malignaggi we have not seen. He has also accused Manny of taking PED’s and you know Pacquaio will not forget that. I think the contrast of both these guys' styles is fascinating, and while I won’t give Malignaggi a shot, I think he could make it very entertaining.