Mayweather Pummels Gatti

By Francis Walker
Updated: June 27, 2005

Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather

NEW YORK — Floyd Mayweather won his third division title and remained undefeated following what was suppose to have been the toughest test of his career. Mayweather (34-0, 23 KOs) rose to the occasion behind his dazzling hand speed, flashy movements, and two-fisted power, as he ceased the WBC junior welterweight championship with a sixth-round TKO of Arturo Gatti (39-7, 29 KOs) at the Atlantic City Convention Center in New Jersey.

Gatti, once a Jersey City resident, had made a career out of being a huge sellout draw on the East Coast. That’s because Gatti, win or lose provides fans with action-packed drama and high anticipated intrigue. Gatti’s career is a human highlight reel – blood, guts, last minute, come from behind knockouts is the reason why Gatti is an HBO favorite and celebrity amongst boxing fans. Gatti’s fights are spectacular like none other, which is why more than 12,600 fans packed the Atlantic City Convention Center and many more paid $44.95 on HBO Pay-Per View to witness what would happen when “Thunder” met “Lightning.”

Of course, Mayweather’s lighting-fast boxing skills was too much for Gatti’s heart of thunder.

Mayweather’s destruction of Gatti was reminiscent of when Mayweather won his first world title at age 21. In October 1998, Mayweather was so fast, Genaro Hernandez did not even in a single round on the three judges scorecards. As a result, Hernandez was forced into surrendering his WBC 130-pound crown by quitting on his stool following the eighth round.

Unlike Hernandez, Gatti is no quitter. He will fight to the finish in a heated toe-to-toe battle.

Gatti had literally “zero” chance at defeating Mayweather. Although Gatti has fought and defeated many fighters such as Micky Ward three times, Ivan Robinson (twice), Terron Millett, Leonard Dorin, Gabe Ruelas, Wilson Rodriguez, and Tracy Harris Patterson throughout his legendary career, many of those fighters were never considered among the very best in boxing. Many of Gatti’s memorable slugfests were against opponents moving up in weight to fight Gatti, who always had a distinct size advantage.

Gatti simply cannot beat a boxer with supreme boxing skills. That point was proven in March 2001 when Oscar De La Hoya “hand-picked” Gatti to be his comeback foe after an eight-month layoff. De La Hoya wipes the mat with Gatti’s blood, as Gatti could not handle De La Hoya fast hands, foot-movement, and combination flurries.

Against Mayweather, Gatti simply could not escape his opponent’s left jabs. Once Mayweather realized he could land his left jabs at will, he quickly followed with straight-rights that caught Gatti flush. It was as though Gatti was a stationary target for Mayweather while he hit the heavy bag. Gatti ate leather and Mayweather was no where to be found to get hit in return.

“What else can I say?,” Floyd Mayweather said after the bout. “I think it was a good fight and I was the better man tonight.”

Mayweather was warned twice for hitting and holding during the referee’s break. While Gatti complained to the referee about Mayweather’s antics, the challenger dropped the champion while he was not looking with a left hook in front of his stunned supporters during the first round.

Gatti kept trying to lure Mayweather into a war by trying to land one big punch. Mayweather, as skilled as he is, kept Gatti off-key behind solid left-right hook combinations that were sound and crisp. Gatti was simply a target, as blood and welling that has plagued his career, rapidly surfaced around his eyes.

“He was just a quicker fighter than I thought he was,” Gatti said. “I fought my best. He’s a great champion and he deserves that title.”

Overall, Mayweather was spectacular on offense landing 168 of 295 punches thrown (57%). Defensively, Mayweather kept Gatti off rhythm. Gatti missed 204 of the 245 punches thrown. Gatti connected on just 17% of his punches.

Mayweather, with an undefeated record and another world championship in his third separate weight class, could very well be the best fighter in boxing “Pound-For-Pound.” Fighters rated above Mayweather during the last decade that include Roy Jones, Jr., Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson, Kostya Tszyu, Felix Trinidad, Sugar Shane Mosley, and Oscar De La Hoya either lost, retired, or are at the very end of their boxing careers. Mayweather continues to improve as a fighter and dominate.

Both Mayweather and Gatti each earned at least $3 million.

Harris Loses WBA 140-pound crown

With Newly crowned IBF junior welterweight champion Rickey Hatton and rising superstar Migel Cotto at ringside to observe Mayweather’s dominant performance against Gatti, it was very important that Vivian Harris successfully retained his WBA junior welterweight championship. Harris, a native of Guyana, who won the WBA title in Dec. 2002, never really had an opportunity to fight the best boxers in his weight division.

Harris (25-2-1, 17KOs) trailing on two of the three judges scorecards, was knocked out by unknown Carlos Maussa (19-2, 17 KOs) of Columbia. Maussa landed a left hook to Harris’ chin that sent him sprawling on the mat with 43 seconds remaining in the seventh-round. Maussa took some heavy blows from Harris, who began to tire in the middle rounds. Maussa, looking for the one-punch kayo, was relentless and pressed Harris until he finally caught the now-champion flush on the chin.

Harris had as rematch clause in his contract and wants to regain his title, but by that time Hatton, Cotto, and Mayweather may no longer be interested in fighting Harris.