Andover, Ma. – No one has to be told about Micky Ward or Aruto Gatti's character, their blood and guts, or their hearts in the boxing ring. Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward battled in three of the most grueling, dramatic and electrifying bouts in pugilistic history. Their epic trilogy will link these two great warriors forever … reminiscent of boxing's golden era with the Zale/Graziano and Basilio/DeMarco wars.
This past Tuesday, at the Andover Country Club, Ward and Gatti—once fierce rivals and now close friends—both showed their true character and heart outside the squared circle.
Ward, scheduled for reconstructive surgery on both his eyes next week (due to damage incurred during Gatti/Ward lll) and Gatti, traveling from New Jersey at his own expense, teamed up to show their support for the Retired Boxers Foundation and highlighted the “RBF's Inaugural Celebrity Golf Tournament.”
Ward, crowned the “RBF's 1st Undisputed Champion of Dignity” shortly after his retirement in 2003, served as the event's honorary chairman.
Upon his being informed of the RBF event and Ward's involvement, Gatti made it clear, “I'll be there for Micky, and for the RBF—I respect what you guys are all about and what you are doing,” stated boxing's pound-for-pound most exciting fighter.
The Retired Boxers Foundation is a non-profit organization (Tax ID # 77-0492319) founded by Alex Ramos, a former USBA Champion and middleweight contender, who personally struggled—as most boxers do in what proves to be the toughest fight of all—life outside the ring after boxing. The RBF is struggling to help the many fighters in need. “My phone never stops ringing” states Ramos, who added, “I'll never stop being there for the fighters. They are my brothers. I'm a fighter and I'm going to die a fighter.”
It's becoming evident of the good work the RBF has done, by the support of the many boxing dignitaries who participated. Ma. State Boxing Commissioner Ben Doherty emceed the event, and along with ex-fighter and current Ma. State Auditor, Joe DeNucci, played golf in the foursome which featured Gatti. Legendary fight announcer Colonel Bob Sheridan (soon to be inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame), Norman Stone (manager of current and two-time World Heavyweight Champion John Ruiz), 1960 Olympic gold medalist Skeeter McClure and recent Olympian, Jason Estrada also were on hand, as were ex-Boston Red Sox, Bruins and Patriots stars.
RBF board member Gary Litchfield, in association with Hank Tuohy of Touhy Sports Entertainment, put on this superb golf outing which also featured a pre-event lunch, as well as an awards presentation, silent auction and a fabulous dinner for the 100+ golfers. A beautiful golf course, fabulous weather, great people and a well run event for a sincere and (unfortunately) much needed cause made this inaugural outing for the RBF a success.
Arturo Gatti is at the top of his game, boxing's most exciting fighter and is in constant demand. Micky Ward's heart is as big as his killer left hook, a local hero and never says no to a worthy cause—both guys took the time to show they cared, and showed what the Retired Boxers Foundation is all about, “fighters helping fighters.”
Hopefully these two boxing legends, and two truly good people, realize the tremendous impact their actions of caring, friendship and respect had on a small, legitimate, non-profit organization which is 100% dedicated to doing whatever it has to do to help fighters.
Thank you Arturo, thank you Micky!