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Intimate Warfare: The True Story of the Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward Boxing Trilogy Hardcover – December 8, 2016
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Boxing writers Taylor and Raspanti track the careers of Arturo 'Thunder' Gatti and 'Irish' Mickey Ward, whose three-fight saga brought them pugilistic glory and million-dollar paydays at terrible physical and psychic cost. Gatti’s natural ability and movie-star good looks earned him titles that his recklessness, in and out of the ring, quickly overshadowed. Ward, less talented, won acclaim for a relentless attacking style that made him a crowd favorite. Both men’s careers were in decline when their first encounter riveted the fight world. Only six years after their final battle, Gatti was found dead in a Brazilian motel room, apparently a suicide. Ward, on the other hand, became a national celebrity with the film The Fighter, which was based on his tumultuous life in hardscrabble Lowell, Mass., and received seven Oscar nominations. However, no amount of financial compensation could make up for his shattered hand, blurred vision, and damaged brain. The book covers familiar terrain, and the authors eagerly embrace venerable sports clichés of manly fortitude and undaunted heroism. Despite these shortcomings, their diligent research and insider feel for the sport result in an engaging overview of two very different paths toward three of boxing’s best-known fights. Raspanti and Taylor’s most impressive accomplishment is to humanize the shirtless icons of pay-perview, making the bloody drama of the ring even more difficult to watch and the fighters even more admirable. (Publishers Weekly)
Intimate Warfare by Dennis Taylor and John J. Raspanti chronicles one of boxing’s historic trilogies, the three-fight drama that starred Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward. In a short thirteen-month period, between May 2002 and June 2003, two professional fighters displayed everything that’s brutal and beautiful about boxing, the core of a sport that’s more than sport. The book’s title not only frames the narrative but provides its thematic foundation: Intimate because after thirty rounds Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward knew each other so well they could identify each other’s breath and sweat and spit; Warfare because after three violent acts Ward and Gatti could recognize each other’s brave hearts. Writers Taylor and Raspanti tell the true story of the Gatti/Ward trilogy with the insight of witnesses who know boxing.... Taylor and Raspanti’s collaboration seems seamless because the voice of this book, itself intimate, is unified and entertaining and honest. While the two writers detail the most glorious moments in each fighter’s career, Taylor and Raspanti are at their best when riffing on boxing’s harder truths.... If, by some sleight of time, I’d been able to read Intimate Warfare before I saw my own personal trilogy of Gatti fights, my appreciation of a rising Gatti, and of the epic third installment of the Gatti/Ward war, would have been more layered, more complete, and so more fulfilling. That marks Intimate Warfare as the real deal. (Boxing.com)
Intimate Warfare: The True Story of the Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward Boxing Trilogy by Dennis Taylor and John Raspanti is a cracking good read and brought back some great memories of watching these epic bouts with my father. Boxing just doesn’t get any better in terms of courage, heart and non-stop action than the three epic contests between these two great warriors and the authors provide the backdrop and details in a manner that makes this book hard to put down.... Taylor and Raspanti provide a look into the makeup of two men who were ultimate warriors, fighters who were willing to ignore the risk, pain, and suffering and gave absolutely everything they had when the faced one another in one of boxing’s greatest trilogies of all time. I thoroughly enjoyed their story and highly recommend it. (International Boxing Research Organization)
Intimate Warfare consists of alternating chapters on Gatti and Ward until they meet in the ring and their lives are joined. Like its subjects, the book is a solid workmanlike effort. (The Sweet Science)
For those of you who ... somehow missed it in 2016 when it was released, there is a great new book out on the simply unforgettable three-fight rivalry warriors Aturo Gatti and Micky Ward engaged in back in 2002/2003, that just has to be read. If you didn’t get a copy – released as it was just before Christmas – and you care anything for the Gatti-Ward fights, then Intimate Warfare: The true story of the Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward Trilogy is a must. The reviews have all been excellent and the book – written by Dennis Taylor and John J. Raspanti – covers the fascinating careers of both sluggers, while the scintillating action contained within the three super-fights is given fitting tribute. Indeed, with this kind of subject matter, the book simply could not fail. Of course, Ward was given the Silver Screen treatment in the fabulous film, 'The Fighter,' and now both gladiators get the star treatment in this new book.... [A]s special as Gatti-Ward was/is, Intimate Warfare just might be the essential boxing read of 2016 (or 2017 if you have yet to get hold of a copy). (Boxing247.com)
This is a stirring, engrossing story, a paean to the 'Sweet Science'; a thrilling glimpse into the world of prize fighting.... The authors, Dennis Taylor of Monterey and John A. Raspanti of San Francisco obviously have a deep knowledge and love of the sport.... This is a terrific read for any sports fan. (The Californian (US Today Network))
[An] 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.... 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 [you can] actually feel the pain being inflected as the fights were being described.... Any boxing fan will love reading this book. It is a gem! (MaxBoxing)
This book was a great read. I remember the Gatti and Ward fights very well. Dennis Taylor and John J. Raspanti have captured the grit, passion, and determination of both fighters in their enthralling new book, Intimate Warfare, which has a powerful message about the true art and science of boxing. (Virgil Hunter, trainer of two-time world champion boxer Andre Ward)
This book is a vivid portrayal of Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti, two of my favorite fighters, who fought three of the most enjoyable fights of all time. They will never be forgotten and will always be remembered in the history books of boxing. (Joe Cortez, International Boxing Hall of Fame referee)
One of the greatest trilogies in the history of boxing. This book captures all the thrilling moments that Micky Ward and the late Arturo Gatti provided to those of us who were at ringside. It is a must read. (Harold Lederman, HBO Sports)
About the Author
Dennis Taylor is a professional journalist of more than 40 years. He is the editor/publisher of www.ringsideboxingshow.com and host of The Ringside Boxing Show, a worldwide Internet radio program. He has also written for www.boxing.com and www.ringtv.com. Taylor is the author of A Puncher's Chance: Amazing Tales from the Ringside Boxing Show, a nonfiction boxing book, and The Miracle Myth, a novel.
John J. Raspanti is Chief Lead Writer for both www.maxboxing.com and www.doghouseboxing.com. A well-known boxing writer, Raspanti has also contributed to The Ring online (www.ringtv.com).
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Both men were unique fighters. Gotti was certainly the better fighter, the more well-known, and the more skilled of the two men. Micky Ward was unique in that he had more than a few losses on his record, and probably possessed the best left hook to the body I have ever seen. Their courage and heart, their guts if you want to use that term, were equally unique in that they both were in the all-time elite category for that quality. I have not seen the fights in some years and found myself newly amazed upon re-watching them. The 9th and 10th rounds of the first fight are comparable with Hagler/Hearns , which is considered to be the best round or two in boxing history . The ebb and flow in thee three fights was truly unparalleled, even by Arguello versus Pryor in my opinion.
So intertwining my re-experiencing of the actual fights with my reading and rereading of this great boxing book by Dennis Taylor and John Raspanti was a very rich experience, each lending to the other in an appreciation of this great boxing story, and the telling of the tale, as it were. I understand that for the most part the biographical and scene setting parts of the book were written by Dennis, (who I believe also came up with the magnificent title) and the fights themselves were described by John. Their allocation of duties and their partnership produced a finished product that has many subtle literary virtues that might pass one by on first look. From reading the book I learned a great deal of new information that I had never been aware of, and this alone would make this book a success. I also watched the fights through John’s eyes and pen, he would point out some occurrence in the ring, perhaps a combination of punches or note a transition point from one fighter’s dominance to the other boxer making a resurgence and mounting an attack of his own, things that might have gone so quickly that in watching the fights one would not have noticed exactly what had occurred. So between the two of them they set this boxing trilogy in the real world in which it occurred and gave us a window into that.
I have read many of John’s articles as he is the chief boxing writer for Maxboxing and other boxing periodicals. What makes the reading of these articles so enjoyable for me is that John has genuine writing ability, another way to put it is he is a superb writer. I have chatted with him over the last couple of years about various fights and fighters, and always read his stories of the major fights before those written by others. That enjoyment was magnified in reading this book, and his genuine partnership with Dennis Taylor worked wonderfully, and also introduced me to the latter and his own excellent boxing writing.
I really cannot recommend this book enough. I simply can’t imagine any boxing fan not enjoying this book immensely and thoroughly. But I also think that a casual boxing fan, or just a person who is interested in perhaps the human art of the sport, would find this an avenue to understanding what great fights are, and how the sport reflects human aspirations and struggles, and the depths that some people are able to reach within themselves to give them the strength to rise and fight back when most people would have given up and given in. Those are really some of the things that these fights and this book about these fights can give. These two men were truly inspirational beyond the boxing ring. The friendship that they built from their 30 rounds in the ring together was more inspirational than the bravery that they showed within the ring. Intimate Warfare indeed.
By Dave Wilcox
Intimate Warfare: The True Story of the Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward Boxing Trilogy
In 2002 and 2003, Arturo Gatti and Mickey Ward fought three times and created one of the greatest rivalries in Boxing’s rich history. The two warriors showed us blood and guts and thrilled the boxing world with the truest form of will that our beloved sport can muster.
The authors, Dennis Taylor and John J. Raspanti dive deep into the tale of Gatti vs Ward and capture all of the emotion that the three bouts provided in their fascinating new book, “Intimate Warfare: The True Story of the Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward Boxing Trilogy”
Within the first 50 pages of reading, I was brought to tears twice. As I continued through the pages, the memories of this great rivalry flashed through my head and I couldn’t put the book down.
Taylor and Raspanti hit it out of the park with this effort. They dig into the personal lives of each fighter and chronicle the bouts with pinpoint perfection.
I anticipate this won’t be the last time I open this book. It’s a perfect read for a rainy day and is a “can’t miss” for all Boxing fans.
The book comes in a very sharp and old school hard cover that will fit nicely on everyone’s book shelf.
Do yourself a favor and get a copy today.