"This has been a time-capsule round." —Jim Lampley
Gatti tossed all recollection of proper boxing technique aside as he came after Rodriguez at the start of round three, and Rodriguez chipped in by missing some wild roundhouse punches of his own. "It's going to take some drama to rescue Arturo Gatti's star status here," Lampley declared. Gatti did his best to oblige when he countered Rodriguez's right with his best left hook of the fight, but aside from momentarily pitching forward, the challenger took it well.
The first chants of "Gat-ti! Gat-ti!" rang out midway through the round, but Rodriguez was unfazed. He speared a clean right hand into Gatti's jaw, prompting further pessimism from Lampley: "It's going to take a near-miracle against a tough guy to knock out." Again, Gatti responded on cue, pinning Rodriguez along the ropes and initiating an exchange that brought much of the crowd—and even press row—to its feet. Rodriguez went ahead and played Gatti's game, standing at close range and slugging, and the young titlist drilled him with a counter left that set his head at a 45-degree angle.
"This has been a time-capsule round," Lampley declared as the third stanza neared its conclusion. But seeing Gatti's eyes up close, he followed with the caution, "Hard to imagine that Gatti can last much longer."