|Sportswire||Jul 12 2009|
Former boxing champ Arturo Gatti was found dead yesterday in a hotel room in the Brazilian seaside town Porto de Galinhas. Gatti, who was Italian born but a Canadian citizen, was married to a Brazilian woman and spent a lot of time in the country. As yet it is unclear how the 37-year-old died, because his body had no obvious stab or gunshot wounds, but police did say there was blood on his head and neck, and bloodstains on the floor. Brazilian police investigator Edilson Alves added, “It is still too early to say anything concrete, although it is all very strange.”
Gatti was one of the most popular boxers of his day because of his fearless, brawling style and charisma. He became a ring legend after his trilogy of fights with Mickey Ward. Gatti lost the first battle, but took the next two, though he broke his hand in the third round of the second fight, and the sixth round of the third fight. During his career he won the IBF super-featherweight championship and the WBC light-welterweight championship. He retired for good in 2007 with a career record of 40-9 with 31 knockouts.
Update: Sunday night Brazilian police announced that Gatti's wife, 23-year-old Amanda Rodrigues, may have strangled Gatti using the strap of her purse. Police speculate that she struck Gatti on the head first to immobilize him, or perhaps got him very drunk so she would be able to overpower him. Witnesses had seen Gatti and Rodrigues have an altercation Saturday evening, but Rodrigues had told police a third party likely killed her husband. But the timeline tripped her up. The only way her story could be true is if she spent ten hours in the hotel suite with her husband without noticing he was dead. Rodrigues was formally charged with murder.