In 2002, I can vividly remember returning home and my father telling me he had something to show me. My father brought me into the living room, and pressed play on our family TV. At the time, I had no idea what I was about to witness, nor could my mind have prepared me for it. The tape’s credits began to fade in, it was a HBO television broadcast. My mind anxiously awaiting what I was about to see, was it a recorded stand-up comedy sketch, news segment; curiosity was certainly getting the better of me. He began to fast forward the pre-recorded VHS tape to get to the right timestamp. As my dad pressed play, he simply uttered the word “WATCH” with a snarky grin on his face. The onscreen graphics said Artur Gatti vs Micky Ward with the time clock in the lower right hand corner. This was indeed the first fight between Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward on HBO. From the opening bell, I was mesmerized by what I witnessed on that tape, such brutality and carnage, yet it was artful and poetic. We had watched other boxing matches together before some easy 1st round KO’s from Mike Tyson, lopsided victories, and other great fights. This particular fight seemed eerily similar to a train wreck, you know it’s wrong but you can’t help but to keep watching. Gatti vs. Ward is still to this date a legendary fight with two-warriors, who displayed top sportsmanship and class. Now, I had always been a huge fan of boxing prior to this, watching classic fighters like Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Julio César Chavez Sr, Sugar Ray Leonard, Alexis Argüello, Mike Tyson, Roy Jones Jr, Prince Naseem, and many others. Although, this is one of the defining fights that made me realized there is truly no turning back. I related to the struggles of the fighters, battling some early life-threatening situations, social injustices, poverty, racism, and that warrior’s spirit. Boxing to me symbolizes life, the ups and downs, the struggles, setbacks, and the rewarding victories. Boxing unlike other sports is not a “team sport”, and is one, if not the most challenging sport both mentally and physically. One minor error in timing or miscalculation can result in a fighter being laid out cold on that canvas. After devastating losses, some fighters are never again the same, making this the most devastating sport in the world. In the NFL, if you lose a game, the whole team loses, you don’t just blame the quarterback, you included the defensive coordinators, the offensive line–Not in Boxing. In boxing there is a also sense of patriotism, the hard-work, dedication, and raw human needs that is relatable to me on all levels. Boxing is life, sometimes the underdog comes out top, sometimes they take a loss to come back stronger. My goal and mission statement is to continue growing the sport of boxing, so new fans and old fans alike can have that same feeling I had when I first watched Gatti vs Ward I, there is no better rush, this is truly the rawest, most passionate sport out there.

-EGO