Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal
Boxing champion Arturo Gatti did not commit suicide, investigators said at a news conference today in North Bergen.
Boxing world champion Arturo Gatti was murdered and did not commit suicide, a panel of experts said today at a news conference in North Bergen.
A large-screen television paying Gatti bouts in the background at the Global Boxing Gym on Tonnelle Avenue, private investigators Paul J. Ciolino and Joseph M. Moura presented statements from seven experts, including doctors and engineers, outlining the results of a 10-month investigation they say conclusively shows Gatti did not commit suicide.
The two-time champion Gatti, 37, was raised in Montreal, Canada, but lived in Hudson County and called Jersey City his hometown after becoming close friends with Ringside Lounge owner Mario Costa. Four times — 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2003 — his bouts were named “Fight of the Year” by Ring Magazine.
Gatti is most remembered for his epic trilogy of bouts against Mickey Ward. He retired in 2007 with a record of 40 wins and 9 losses.
He was found dead in a vacation villa in Brazil on July 11, 2009, and his wife, Amanda Rodrigues was charged. The charges were later dropped.
Pat Lynch, Gatti’s manager, and John Lynch, one of his attorneys, as well as family members attended the news conference today.
“In my opinion he was attacked by another person and that resulted in a blunt force injury to the back of the head and then he was strangled,” said Brent Turvey, with a firm called Forensics Solutions.
Expert after expert used Powerpoint demonstrations to show the results of their probes.
At the news conference, a statement was read on behalf of Gatti’s family:
“Arturo Gatti’s friends and family would like to express their gratitude to Paul Ciolino and Joe Moura for the exhaustive efforts they expended to determine the truth concerning Arturo’s death.
As you know there has been wild speculation about how he died, some of it completely baseless. To our dismay, some people, who claimed to be friends or intimate associates, professed to have “so-called” insight into Arturo’s psyche and engaged in amateur psychology, stating with some imagined authority that he took his own life.
This investigation debunks this myth, and validates what we believed – Arturo Gatti would never commit suicide.
In initiating the inquiry, we simply wish to learn the truth about what happened in Brazil that terrible night. Paul and Joe have shown what truly occurred. The forensic evidence they have accumulated conclusively proves that Arturo was a homicide victim. He did not run from life.
But this saga should not end here. While the tarnish has been removed from Arturo’s name, it is time to bring the person or persons responsible for this crime to justice. The fight must continue. He would never quit, and we cannot quit on him. His memory deserves no less.”
Ciolino said that Brazilian authorities are still investigating Gatti’s death, even though the medical examiner there ruled his death a suicide.
“(Amanda Rodrigues) is an extreme person of interest in this case,” Ciolino said. “The Brazilians, to my knowledge, are not looking at any other person. Amanda makes Anna Nicole Smith look like June Cleaver.”
The Gatti family has sued Rodrigues over Arturo’s $7 million estate. The trial started this week and hinges on what will is considered valid, one from 2007 that leaves everything to his family; or a will that was changed three weeks before Gatti’s death that leaves everything to Rodrigues.