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In Boxing, "heart" is used to describe the ability of a Boxer to overcome great adversity. To a large degree, heart is the most compelling aspect of the sport. A Boxing match is able to transcend many other sporting events when one (or both) of the fighters is pushed to their limits and continues to fight on. Heart is what makes a Boxer pick himself up after a devastating punch, continue fighting when they are being beaten and throw punches even when they keep getting hit by counters.

There are many great examples of fights that display heart. An excellent one is the recent match between Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti. In fact, the 9th round of that fight is probably best 3-minute display of heart you can find. Both fighters were completely exhausted going into the round. Early on Micky Ward landed his patented left hook to the body sending Gatti to the floor. A body blow like that is extremely painful and the pain lingers for a long time. Gatti managed to get to his feet. Ward then threw everything he could at Gatti. Gatti absorbed tremendous damage but refused to go down again. If this wasn't enough Gatti then showed tremendous heart and actually came back to win the middle of the round against the completely exhausted Ward. With still a minute left Micky Ward, well known as a "true warrior", again changed the direction of the round beating Arturo Gatti into the corner. This has to be one of the most amazing displays of skill and will power that I've ever witnessed in sports.

Heart is a very important factor in any fighter. Some fighters, like Micky Ward, have many fights where it was a major factor. Others, like Roy Jones, Jr., dominate their opponents so greatly that it never becomes a factor. Boxing fans always want to see their fighters get into tougher and tougher competitions. Many feel that you really can't judge a fighter completely until his heart has been tested. How will Roy Jones react when he finally gets knocked to the ground? That was certainly a question on people's minds about Mike Tyson when he fought Buster Douglas (of course, no one thought that Douglas would be Tyson's test).

There is a dark side to the concept of heart. A fighter with great heart will continue to fight on even when it is hopeless and they are getting injured. A perfect example of this is Evander Holyfield. He continues to fight even though it is dangerous at his age. If Holyfield were to fight someone like Lennox Lewis there is a good chance he would be dominated. Because of his great heart the fight would not end in a 6-round knockout. It would probably go the distance with Holyfield absorbing a great deal of damage. A fight like that would guarantee Holyfield being this generation's Mohammad Ali.

Heart is very often the most compelling aspect of Boxing. Even though the "fight choreography" in Rocky is ridiculous it is still a great Boxing movie. Rocky capture's the very important concept of heart by Balboa's drive and refusal to quit in his brutal match. Even though he loses the fight, the audience is moved by Rocky's tremendous heart. Fights that display this are rare and happen somewhat randomly. But when you can manage to witness a great display of heart you will rembember it forever.