…though he’s dished out no shortage of punishment, himself.

We’re about an hour away from Baldomir/Gatti, live from Atlantic City, and knowing that everytime the latter steps into the ring it could well be his last, here’s a word or two on behalf of Jersey City’s finest (boxer).

From the Sweet Science’s Patrick Kehoe.

Boxing or slugging, Gatti never ceased finding ways to entertain by defying the laws of entropy. Still, as his 14 minutes of torture against De La Hoya in 2001 was followed by the Ward trilogy and the June 2005 debacle against Floyd Mayweather, Gatti reentered boxing™s big time as a situational nemesis of ordinary men with alphabet title belts, THE classic example being Denmark™s Thomas Damgaard, who defied reason in coming to face Gatti with an unblemished record, 37-0 with 27 stoppages, having never fought in Iowa. Yet in being totally outclassed by Mayweather, the victory over Damgaard moved Gatti and his platinum plated popularity right into the line of site of Carlos Baldomir, unlikely successor to Zab Judah. After his being handled so easily by Mayweather, who would have believed that a year later he™d be on the threshold of the universal welterweight championship?

Well, we understand that logic has little to do with boxing, certainly at the championship level. The fault lines of destiny are regularly shaken by the tectonic forces of chance. It matters not how Gatti arrived at a fight for the welterweight championship “ be that defined as the WBC version or the universal crown, implied “ he™s right there, one decent outing away from yet more glory. Hard won glory, for it always comes at a price does glory, for men like Arturo Gatti. If he™s able to handle Baldomir™s energized assertions, if his fragile 4th metacarpal holds up, if the skin around his eyes neither swell up or cut, if he™s as motivated as we expect and if age does not present him with the tolling bell bill for all that™s transpired during his career to date, Gatti might win.