By Jerry Fitch
Many fans, perhaps even those not avid boxing fans are probably familiar with the name Micky Ward if for no other reason than because they saw the movie “The Fighter”, starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale.
I was asked to review this new book on the boxing trilogy of Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti titled “Intimate Warfare”, written by Dennis Taylor and John Raspanti. As a boxing historian and author myself when warranted I tend to be as critical of others writings as I do my own. However I cannot offer up any negative comments about this outstanding effort by Dennis and John. You learn about Micky and you get to know Arturo Gatti and their troubled lives both in and out of the ring.
This book captured my attention in so many ways. Once I started it I found it hard to put down. I felt like I was sitting ringside watching these two gallant warriors. As mentioned in the book these two fighters are not considered great by many and between them had twenty-two losses dotting their records. But it can be said that they were champions far beyond the titles won in the ring or their records when it came to their three head -to -head meetings during 2002-2003.
The two authors obviously did their homework when writing about this trilogy. But far beyond facts and figures they captured the personal intimate relationship these two men had. They respected each other in and out of the ring. Ward and Gatti were unique in that way, far beyond what most athletes ever feel for each other.
The book flows easily and I could actually feel the pain being inflected as the fights were being described. These two men knew nothing about quitting, offering up a give and take assault for three historic battles. Even when they tried to box they eventually fell back into their blue collar all out ways that left them both battered and scarred for life. Perhaps not since the days of Tony Zale-Rocky Graziano in the late 40s have two fighters left such a lasting legacy in ring combat due to the violent nature of their three bouts.
After their ring days were over the two men remained friends.The tragic death of Arturo Gatti in 2009 left a lasting impact on Micky Ward and also a lot of unanswered questions for those who knew and loved Gatti.
Any boxing fan will love reading this book. It is a gem!
Jerry Fitch is the author of Johnny Risko: The Cleveland Rubber Man, Cleveland’s Greatest Fighters of All Time (Images of Sports) and James Louis Bivins: The Man Who Would Be Champion.
To purchase a signed copy of any of Jerry’s books, please email him