Monday, July 13, 2009
Allegedly strangled by his wife, who was using her purse strap as the weapon, boxer Arturo Gatti was murdered last week while vacationing in Brazil. The Canadian-born fighter moved to Jersey City, NJ as a teenager to begin a pro career rather than participate in the 1992 Olympics in Maple Leaf-adorned shorts. He fought, and won, his first fight. It was in Secaucus, NJ in June 1991. From those humble beginnings he would go on to win the super featherweight title just a few years later. He would later go up in weight class, even fighting Oscar de la Hoya, who beat him soundly.
A battler, who had four of his fights named "Fight of the Year" by Ring Magazine, Gatti is perhaps best known for his trilogy of fights with "Irish" Mickey Ward. These two guys throttled each other for our enjoyment. In the third installment, Gatti re-broke his right hand on an uppercut in the fourth round. He kept fighting, finishing the fight, and outpointing his rival to take the series.
And, then several years later, his 23-year-old wife apparently murdered him. Strangling him with her purse after hitting him over the head with a blunt object. Which makes Gatti the second retired athlete to die at the hands of a younger woman recently. If bad things come in threes, as superstition dictates, then some other athletic luminary is about to have his life cut short by an attractive woman several years his junior. Right?
I was talking about this last night with a Yankees fan and his first concern was whether or not the Yankee's would have to pay out the remainder of A-Rod's contract if it was him. I'm not sure.