New York:Arturo Gatti believes with trainer Micky Ward in his corner he'll box not brawl against Alfonso Gomez of "The Contender."
Gatti enlisted his former rival, looking to forsake his street-brawling style and outsmart the 26-year-old Gomez in the welterweight fight in Atlantic City on Saturday.
"He brought out the best in me," said Gatti, who broke his right hand winning the last of three epic slugfests with Ward in 2003. "He's the toughest guy I ever fought in my life."
The 35-year-old Gatti (40-8, 31 KOs) is looking to regain his confidence after hitting the canvas twice in a ninth-round knockout at the hands of Carlos Baldomir, who defended his WBC welterweight title in July last year.
"He makes me believe in myself," Gatti said. "I always did, but after the hard loss against Baldomir, it breaks my heart to know that I worked so hard, but I just didn't have it that night. I had a lot of issues going on - you can't have your personal life mess you up in the ring."
Gomez (16-3-2, 7 KOs) won in the first season of "The Contender" by defeating Peter Manfredo. Trained by his ex-boxer father, Gomez has won four of his last five bouts.
"The Contender gave me the exposure to be known around the world among boxing fans and non-boxing fans," Gomez said. "That's probably why I'm standing here.
"I've always looked for the opportunity to showcase my talent. I have the privilege to do it against someone who I looked up to since I was a kid. It's definitely an honor and a privilege."
Also on the card was IBF welterweight champion Kermit Cintron against Walter Matthysse.