No, fight-fans -- There's no Arturo Gatti in 'The Fighter'

Boxers-Arturo-Micky-WardImage Credit: Al Bello/Getty ImagesWhen Mark Wahlberg first told people he was making a movie about Micky Ward, one of the most common reactions was, “Cool, who’s playing Arturo Gatti?” To many boxing fans, Ward and Gatti are inseparable because of their three historic brawls that secured their legacies as two of the toughest pound-for-pound warriors in the sport. In 2002 and 2003, the two men squared off three consecutive times within a span of 13 months. Their fights were videogame slugfasts, the kind of brawls that if they happened in the movies, you’d say, “That’s so unrealistic, because no one can give and take that kind of punishment.” Check out Round 9 of their jaw-rattling first fight, which may just as well have taken place in some dark alley.

Gatti and Ward eventually became friends and ultimately partners, à la Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed. Sadly, he died in 2009 under mysterious circumstances. Though Gatti doesn’t appear in The Fighter, which opens today in a few cities, he’s mentioned briefly as the imposing boxer awaiting the winner of Ward’s climactic title fight against Shea Neary, and he’s referenced in the post-film epilogue. It’s a credit to the filmmakers that the movie works even without the most celebrated chapters of Ward’s professional life, though they would’ve had a difficult time creating something more dramatic than those three epic confrontations. Plus, Wahlberg, tough as he is, should be relieved that he never had to re-enact those punishing fights against Ward’s greatest rival.

Have you ever seen two boxers take so much punishment? Will you be seeing The Fighter this weekend?

Read more:
‘The Fighter’ EW review
Can ‘The Fighter’ beat communism? PopWatch Rewind looks back at ‘Rocky IV’


Comments (22 total) Add your comment
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  • harry

    Arturoooooooooo!!! I miss that man, R.I.P. bro!

  • m

    WTF? Guess I’m not going to see that then.

    • Jake

      No, dude. I saw it at a preview screening. Go see it, man.

  • mike

    I’m still gonna see it. RIP Gatti

  • BossGalaga

    Incredible fight.

  • JoeFromNC

    Saved him for the sequel?

  • Rajah

    For all you fight fans out there, when you’re done watching this clip do yourself a favor and click on the far right option youtube gives you. Diego Corrales and Luis Castillo Round 10. It’s pure magic, I promise you.

  • Tony Davis

    This movie should have been called The Frowner, because that’s all Wahlberg’s acting consists of. And they left out Arturo because he gave old Mickey some tough fights. And Wahlberg didn’t want to get that real. This is a fraud.

    • Skip182

      Wahlberg has been working on this project for over a decade, which means BEFORE those fights took place. Clearly he started the project then so that he wouldn’t have to have a tough fake fight a decade later…right…

    • Danielita

      I leave that for God to decide where Mark Wahlberg sadtns in regards to the fornication of his past.If I remember correctly did not many of the Saints also suffer from fornication of their pasts as well? Should we reject St. Augustine for his sinful past of debauchery and fornication? Should we reject St. Jerome for his lustful desires he had in his heart even when he was scribing the Latin Bible? Maybe Mark Wahlberg sinned and still sins. But his desire may lead him closer to being Christlike. I say we pray for him not to stumble, as we all do and to let his pat remain between him and Christ.

  • Bruno Charest

    Shame on you Wahlberg, this movie sucks and it is a criome to have forgotten Artu the warrior Gatti. How in the hell could they have forgotten Gatti. Sorry Mickey Ward, but you do not exist if it would not of been for Arturo.

  • Michael

    Andiamo Arturo! Respect and admiration R.I.P. Champ..Your story should be told….

  • jonathon

    Man, how are you going to leave out Gatti? He’s one of the reasons why Micky was even notice in the first place! RIP gatti!

    • lisa

      awsum movie..i agree they shudnt left out gatti..he was my favorite boxer

  • oscar

    The Fighter is a great movie and very surprised Gatti was left off but hopefully they will make a sequel with Gatti included. Hopefully some film maker will look at the fighter and maybe make a movie about Gatti. He deserves to have his story told,i would pay to go see that, the man was a real life Rocky in the ring. RIP champ we miss u!!

    • Swapna

      And how do you know that everyone who mmnceoted here doesn’t, Wade? Special insight into our souls? An all-seeing eye on our actions? I can tell you that, aside from myself, every person that you singled out in your comments is a first time commenter on the blog here. That includes you. So here is a suggestion for all of us, courtesy of the Holy Spirit inspired words of St. John,If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say . , from a few days back. So let’s relax a little bit, mind the planks in our own eyes, and rejoice that one of our brothers joyfully and simply, and without a trace of shame, witnessed to the faith. The unearned graces he, and we all, receive through and prayers (like the ones St. John speaks of above), is the Good News.

  • Giovanni

    Wow, talk about bias…how the hell do you make a movie about Mickey Ward without ever including Arturo Gatti. Nobody would have known who the hell Ward was if it wasn’t for Gatti, that not only fought him , but put him on the boxing map.

    Just another case of bias against Italian American’s who don’t have the all American name or culture.

    • rusty

      I enjoyed the movie but feel the same way as my peers, it was a travesty to leave Gatti out. Maybe in the future they can a movie about this true champion’s life. Thunder had a great heart and was an awesome worker.

    • M.L.

      Arturo Gatti wasn’t American. He was born in Italy and then became a Canadian citizen. He looked like a Latin-American mestizo (Amerindian type slanted eyes) so I doubt he was actually a full blooded Italian. His mother looks like a Latin-American also.

  • Drew Wieber

    The producers explain fully in the ‘making of the fighter’ dvd why they did not include the Gatti/Ward fights. Lets not forget Micky lost those last two fights by unanimus decision. It made sense to have the Neary fight for the 3rd act of the film. Anyway, RIP Arturo Gatti.. a true champion.

    • Ricardo

      Great comment Charles. Unfortunately, many plpoee don’t realize how merciful God is. One of my favorite gospels is Jesus’ parable regarding the laborers in the vineyard. We are never too old or too sinful to accept and be forgiven by Christ. As you stated, many of the saints were non-believers in their early life, but later found God. As a priest once told me, the difference between a sinner and saint is that the saint knows his/her sins.

  • Ron McNutt

    Hello, I’m looking for information concerning the posibilitie of the making of a Gatti movie. I heard Caramel Films bought the productiion rights. Has anyone heard anything about it?
    The reason I ask, I’ve been told by fans and peoples who personally knew him, that I looked just like Thunder. Sounds like a golden opportunity for auditions.

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