WBN’s exclusive three-part interview with promoter Kathy Duva marking what would have been the 48th birthday of Arturo Gatti rounds off with events surrounding his death.
Gatti was found dead in a Brazilian hotel room eleven years ago at the tender age of 37.
A first autopsy labeled Gatti’s passing as ‘unexplained. A second ruled Gatti suffered a violent ending via hanging. No formal charges were ever brought despite homicide not being ruled out.
Brazilian authorities eventually stated Gatti had taken his own life. This was never accepted by anyone close to the former world champion.
The mother of Gatti’s only son, Arturo Jr, Amanda Rodrigues was present in the room – but was never considered a serious suspect after a full investigation.
Duva, who was a constant by Gatti’s side and witnessed his greatest moments, says the whole episode annoys her to this day.
“I’m still angry and I still grieve for him, especially whenever we are involved in a big fight,” Duva exclusively told World Boxing News. “I take a moment to think about how he would have been there.
“There is no closure when someone dies that way. I do not believe for one moment that he took his own life.
“I hope that whoever is responsible for what happened to Arturo pays for it someday. Whether in this life or the next,” she added.
Clearly, Duva believes something untoward went down on July 11th of 2009 when boxing lost one of its favorite sons.
Much-loved in the pugilistic community, Gatti’s efforts in the ring have been raised to another level since ‘Thunder’ was taken way too early.
Earning a Hall of Fame place at the first time of asking in 2012, Gatti achieved so much on what talent he was given. Elevated considerably by his sheer tenacity and heart.
Three wars with Micky Ward are what everybody remembers, and rightly so. Looking deeper, there’s much more to Gatti’s career than just that.
An HBO career lasting more than a decade included Fight of the Year, Knockout of the Year honors and multiple world championships.
Yes, he went a bridge too far against Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, Carlos Baldomir and even Alfonso Gomez at the end. But the truth is, Gatti was never a welterweight.
That’s where four of his nine losses came from and why some of Gatti’s harsher critics believe a place in the IBHOF was slightly premature and maybe a little sentimental.
The Italian-American fully earned his place on fan entertainment alone. Arturo will forever be remembered as the Gatti we all loved to cheer.