UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) -- Micky Ward, blood streaming down his face for most of the fight, won a majority decision over Arturo Gatti in a 10-round junior lightweight bout Saturday night.
Ward, who floored Gatti in the ninth round, was cut above the right eye in the first round of the slugfest that drew three standing ovations from the crowd of 6,254 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
That knockdown made the difference for Ward (38-11), with judges Steve Weisfeld and Frank Lombardi giving Ward a 10-8 round and judge Richard Flaherty scoring it 10-7.
If Flaherty had not scored the round 10-7, he would have had it a draw instead of 94-93 in favor of Ward. Weisfeld also had it 94-93 for the Lowell, Mass., fighter. Lombardi scored it 94-94.
Gatti (34-6) appeared the quicker fighter in the early rounds, and had no trouble getting off combinations against the slower Ward.
Gatti had a point taken away in the fourth round for a low blow. That seemed to motivate Ward, who won the round and then nearly ended the fight in the fifth round.
The ninth round was an all-out brawl, with the two exchanging violent blows before Gatti took a knee near the end of the round. Ward nearly stopped Gatti with a left hook followed by a right uppercut, but the Jersey City, N.J., fighter was saved by the bell.
Gatti once held the International Boxing Federation junior lightweight title. He gained the title in December of 1995 with a decision over Tracy Patterson.
Gatti made two successful title defenses, then suffered through the most trying period of his career when he lost three consecutive fights. He was stopped on cuts by Angel Manfredy in the seventh round in January of 1998.
Gatti then lost back-to-back decisions to Ivan Robinson in August and December of 1998.
Ward has never held one of the major world titles, though he did win the World Boxing Union light welterweight championship in March of 2000 when he went to England and stopped previously unbeaten Shea Neary.
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