Sunday, July 15, 2007

Gomez Knocks Gatti Into Retirement

Welterweight Alfonso Gomez, my favorite fighter from the first season of The Contender, notched by far the biggest win by any Contender alumnus last night when he knocked out legendary warrior and two-time world champion Arturo "Thunder" Gatti in the seventh round of a fight seen on HBO. Huge, huge win for Gomez. In a crowded welterweight field, winning on HBO puts Gomez squarely in the welterweight title picture. Even though I thought Gatti was thoroughly washed-up coming into the fight, I still felt that his experience going deep into fights would be enough to get him past Gomez, who (until last night, anyway) wasn't known for having a big punch. Well, he had an arsenal of them last night. Alfonso landed lead overhand lefts and rights to the head all night and buried his signature right-hook to Gatti's body almost at will. And let me tell you, fighting Arturo Gatti on the boardwalk in Atlantic City is about as massive a home-field advantage as a fighter can get in boxing. But even the thousands of Gatti "paisans" couldn't will him to a win last night. It was brutal...and, thankfully, it was enough to convince Gatti that it's time to hang up the gloves. Good on him. [Gomez/Gatti pic courtesy of AP]

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