Quebec coroner rules that there is no hard evidence to suggest Arturo Gatti was murdered
By Kasim Aslam: With ‘hype week’ already in progress for Juan Manuel Marquez’s bout with Manny Pacquiao, fans are enjoying the positivity that boxing has to offer. However sad news broke today as Coroner Jean Brochu has ruled that there is no hard proof to suggest that Arturo “Thunder” Gatti (1972 – 2009) had been murdered.
Arturo Gatti was found dead in a hotel in Brazil in 2009 on the eve of his sister’s wedding. Circumstances surrounding Gatti’s death have remained unclear as there is a constant diversion between labelling it a homicide or a suicide. Quebec and Brazilian authorities had concluded that the cause of death was suicide with a handbag strap. However in August 2011 private investigators ran an 11 month investigation retrieving a vast amount of evidence. They concluded that the death was indeed by homicide and not suicide. Someone had definitely killed Arturo Gatti. 3 months on debate is still ravaging as to whether the private investigators analysis was correct yet the inquest by Coroner Jean Brochu has determined otherwise.
Brochu as quoted by ESPN said “”The conclusion of the Montreal pathologists to the effect that there is no clear evidence of foul play in Mr. Gatti’s death means I cannot dismiss the formal conclusions reached by the authorities of the country where it occurred.” And that “Evidence primarily suggests to hanging.”
The Brazilian private investigators, who ruled the death as homicide, were criticized by Brochu who feels that the investigation “does not meet the standards we have grown accustomed to here.” Brochu reveals that the evidence in the hotel room had been contaminated as photographs had showed the some investigators putting evidence into a bag without wearing any gloves. Therefore the Brazilian investigation remains plausible. The Coroner goes on to admit that Gatti died a violent death but there were no traces of foul play and officially labels the cause of death as asphyxiation by neck constriction.
The idea of suicide has been fiercely contested by Gatti’s manager Pat Lynch and American investigators who are adamant that Arturo Gatti would never have killed himself.
The impact of these investigations to determine Gatti’s death has been an injustice on his legacy. Gatti won 40 of his 49 fights, 31 coming by way of knockout. The trilogy against Micky Ward culminated in some of the finest boxing ever seen with the 3rd fight being named ‘Fight of the Year” by Ring magazine. One can also never forget the ferocious battles he had against Ivan Robinson that even though he lost, cemented Gatti as a warrior. In all Ring Magazine labelled 4 fights ‘Fight of the Year’ that Gatti was involved in (1997, 1998, 2002 and 2003) showing his passion commitment and skill in the ring.
Let’s hope that Arturo “Thunder” Gatti legacy would be remembered for his achievements in winning the WBC Light Welterweight title, IBA Welterweight title, IBF Super Featherweight title. As well as the fact that he gave us some of the most memorable fights to date, rather than the controversies that surrounds his death. R.I.P Arturo Gatti.