Round Nine. The single greatest round in boxing. The action-filled three minutes had heart, guts, more heart and drama. In honour of the 15-year anniversary, SPORTbible pay tribute to Mickey Ward and Arturo Gatti.
The fighting pride of Lowell, Massachusetts, finished his career with not one but THREE fights with Gatti which defined his legacy in boxing.
But it was the first meeting which produced an instant classic, not to mention an almighty slug-fest in the ninth round.
Ward and Gatti traded brutal amounts of damage. Ward dropped Gatti with a deadly body punch leaving the Italian in serious discomfort.
He then unleashed a barrage of punches in attempt to finish his opponent. Body, head, body left Gatti reeling though he continued to press forward in typical fashion before landing his own series of punches.
(Watch Ward and Gatti wage war in their first fight, producing a epic round nine:)
WHAT A ROUND.
Following Ward's victory, the pair re matched six months later before completing the trilogy in June 2003 with Gatti going 2-1.
Thank you Ward and Gatti for the incredible fights and memories. Unfortunately Gatti is no longer with us following his tragic passing in 2009.
Rest in peace, Arturo.