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HBO revives their Legendary Nights series with ‘The Tale of Gatti-Ward’

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HBO picked the perfect two fighters to revive their Legendary Nights series when they chose Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward. Their three fights were truly legendary and will echo in the hearts of boxing fans for years. What they did inside of the ring for thirty rounds was something that only happens a few times during one’s life. Their story is about more than just the fights, it is also about the friendship that grew out of their battles. One of the great lines from Gatti after their first fight was, “I always wondered what would happen if I fought my twin. Now I know.” They seemed to be different on the outside but inside of them both beat the same fighter’s heart. Their fights were the kind that left a feeling inside of you that resonated back to a more ancient time. It was one that you understood and yet did not at the same time. Somehow, HBO does a great job of capturing that elusive essence in their Legendary Nights: The Tale of Gatti-Ward documentary.

It is a great way to relive their fights and story, and if you didn’t see them it is a great introduction to them. You have Larry Merchant, Roy Jones Jr., and Jim Lampley who worked their fights for HBO lending their words and memories. There is of course Micky Ward, his wife Charlene, his brother Dickey Eklund, his promoter Lou Dibella and his dog Gatti Girl or GG. The sad part is that there is no Gatti who’s life ended too soon and tragically. There is his trainer Buddy McGirt, his promoter Kathy Duva and his manager Pat Lynch who were there to talk about him and their fights.

Their first and third fights were Ring magazine’s fight of the year. For many fans the ninth round of their first fight is the greatest round in boxing history. As much as the various rounds of combat and the damage they endured and inflicted upon each other create the lasting images, it is their hugs that also linger in our heart’s memories. Their hug at the end of the first fight, their one to start the tenth round of their second fight and the final lingering one at the end of the third fight are some the better images of their rivalry. Later Micky would end up training Arturo at the end of his career. Their friendship transcended it’s violent beginning and touched many people.

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It is a brilliant documentary that accurately captures the essence of what made these two fighters so special. They were two warriors who had moments of brilliance before but when they came together they raised each other to a level few ever attain. HBO balances the tragic early end of Arturo’s life with the joy he and Micky brought to fight fans with their epic thirty rounds of battle. It will be re-airing on HBO and available on-demand or through HBO GO and it’s something every fight fan should see.

An avid lifetime fight fan who loves to write about it. So kick back, get comfortable and let's have some fun! "Wants me to tell him something pretty." Al Sweargen "Going wrong is not the end of fucking things, Johnny. Fuck no! I have comeback from plenty of shit that looked like it was going wrong." Dan Dority "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it." Bill Munny

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