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Intimate Warfare

The True Story of the Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward Boxing Trilogy

Dennis Taylor and John J. Raspanti

Intimate Warfare: The True Story of the Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward Boxing Trilogy traces the lives and careers of two legendary fighters—Micky Ward, a humble, hardscrabble, blue-collar Irishman from Lowell, Massachusetts, and Arturo Gatti, a handsome, flashy, charismatic Italian-born star who was raised in Montreal. Dennis Taylor and John J. Raspanti paint a vivid portrait of these two fighters who ushered each other into boxing lore and formed an unlikely friendship despite their brutal battles in the ring. Gatti’s life would end tragically and mysteriously just a few years later, but his name and Ward’s remain tied together in boxing history.

In Intimate Warfare, each of the three spectacular fights between Gatti and Ward, two of which were named The Ring magazine’s “Fight of the Year,” are described in detail. Multiple photographs from the trilogy highlight the intensity and power of these epic collisions. With a foreword by former world champion and International Boxing Hall of Famer Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, this book will be of interest to all fans of boxing.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 204Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-7305-4 • Hardback • December 2016 • $36.00 • (£24.95)
978-1-4422-7306-1 • eBook • December 2016 • $34.00 • (£23.95)
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).
Foreword, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini

Chapter 1: “I Always Wondered What It Would Be Like to Fight My Twin”
Chapter 2: Micky
Chapter 3: Arturo
Chapter 4: Brother’s Keeper
Chapter 5: Roller Coaster
Chapter 6: Blood Is Not Always Thicker
Chapter 7: Crossroads
Chapter 8: Rebirth
Chapter 9: “It’s Going to Be a Great Fight”

Chapter 10: Beautiful, Ugly, and Dangerous
Chapter 11: “Let’s Do It Again”
Chapter 12: Blood and Guts

Chapter 13: Friends
Chapter 14: Reunion
Chapter 15: An Enduring Mystery

Afterword: Arturo Gatti and the Hall of Fame
Appendix A: Memories of Gatti, Ward, and the Trilogy
Appendix B: Boxing Records
About the Authors
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.

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).

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)

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

• Winner, 2017 West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame Book of the Year