Former Jersey City boxer Arturo Gatti found dead in Brazil!
Photo: Rafael Martel, Atlantic City, June 14 2007
SAO PAULO (AP) — Former boxing champion Arturo Gatti, whose epic trilogy with Micky Ward branded him one of the most exciting fighters of his generation, was found dead in a hotel room in the posh seaside resort of Porto de Galihnas early Saturday.
Police investigator Edilson Alves told The Associated Press that the body of the former junior welterweight champ was discovered in his room at the tourist resort, where Gatti had arrived on
Friday with his Brazilian wife Amanda and 1-year-old son.
Alves said police were investigating and it was unclear how the 37-year-old Canadian died.
“It is still too early to say anything concrete, although it is all very strange,” Alves said. He declined to provide any additional details.
A spokeswoman for the state public safety department said Gatti’s wife and son were unhurt. The woman declined to give a name in keeping with department policy.
“There were no bullet or stab wounds on his body, but police did find blood stains on the floor,” she said.
Brazilian boxer and four-time world champion Acelino “Popo” Freitas told the G1 Web site of Brazil’s largest TV network Globo that he was a close friend of Gatti and his wife, and that he “knew they were having some sort of problem and were about to separate.”
Known for his straightforward punching and granite-like chin, Gatti captured the junior welterweight title in 1995, when he defeated Tracy Harris Patterson in Atlantic City, N.J. His brawling style and natural charisma made him a fan favorite, and he became one of New Jersey’s adopted sons while fighting some of his most memorable battles on the Boardwalk.
“I never saw a crowd show so much love for someone like the way that the crowds flocked to Arturo’s fights in Atlantic City,” said referee Randy Neumann, who officiated Gatti’s last fight against Alfonso Gomez two years ago. “I mean, they were so into him and the crowds were electric. He just fought his heart out every fight.”
Rafaelmartel.com file photo/Frances Martel, New York, June 11, 2007.