They should hold this fight in the tough part of town, someplace where they work 40 hour weeks, wear hard hats, carry lunch buckets and punch time clocks.
The fight should be near a couple rundown bars where the guys gather after work each night and drink beer and wash down the dust and frustration that comes with making wages all your life.
Instead of a bell, they should use a factory whistle to stop and start the rounds. In place of a ring, they should rope off a little area between the fork lifts and the loading docks, give it the right kind of feel.
When Leonard Dorin and Arturo Gatti square off on July 24 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City (HBO) for Gatti's WBC junior-welterweight title, it will be a fight between two guys who, if they aren't blue-collar, they should be. Both have reputations for being tough in the ring, and both are known for putting on the kind of fight construction workers, truck drivers and pipe fitters like. There's no dancing allowed.
Gatti (36-6, 28 KOs) used to be the poster boy for the world's hard hats. He was the guy who was always getting cut over the eye early, forcing him to fight back in desperation before it was too late. With one eye swollen shut, he'd be peeking out of the other eye, praying he had enough time left to still land a punch and win it before the referee finally stepped in and stopped the bloodshed. Even when he won, Gatti would come out of most fights looking like he got blindsided across the nose by a guy swinging a Louisville Slugger.
Of course, that all changed when Buddy McGirt started working with him, telling him he didn't have to sacrifice a pint of blood to win a prize fight. McGirt taught Gatti the concept of boxing instead of brawling and now Gatti is twice the fighter he was two years ago.
Ask Micky Ward.
Despite the new look, Gatti is still fun to watch. You can change a fighter's style, but you can't change his disposition. He still likes to slap guys around.
Dorin (22-0-1, 8 KOs ), who is from Romania, is a former WBA lightweight champ looking to make a move in the crowded junior-welterweight division, maybe the toughest weight class in the fight game. His knockout ratio catches your eye because, well, it's not very high. But he's never lost a fight and his one draw was to former world champion Paul Spadafora.
At 5-foot-4, he's about four inches shorter than Gatti, but that just means he's built like a fire hydrant – close to the ground and tough to knock over. Like Gatti, he likes to brawl when he gets the chance, and at his size, he doesn't have the time or the inclination to be light on his feet.
“Leonard Dorin is from the Arturo Gatti school of boxing and you're going to see a hell of a fight,” said promoter Lou DiBella when the fight was first announced. “In fact, just prior to the first Gatti-(Micky) Ward fight, I said I would stake my reputation on that being a great match up. Now, I stake my reputation on Gatti-Dorin being a great fight as well.”
That's just like DiBella. The guy never goes out on a limb.