Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thunder only happens when it rains

Arturo "Thunder" Gatti, age 37, has been found dead in his rented apartment in Brazil. Apparently on a honeymoon with second wife, former exotic dancer, Amanda Gatti and their 10 month-old son.

Police reports indicate foul play, though there were no bullet wounds or stab wounds. Speculative reports indicate Gatti was bludgeoned to the back of the head, which caused his death. His wife and child were unharmed.

Arturo Gatti was never known for his 'clean-living'. Issues with drugs and women have always embattled this Boxing sensation. In April of this year, he was arrested at a Montreal strip-club after failing to appear in court for charges of assault against an ex-girlfriend (possibly Amanda). Several drunk-driving charges, assault charges (one against a police officer in Miami), have spelled a troubled life for a beloved Boxer. It comes as no surprise to some that Arturo Gatti has met an early demise. Unfortunately, it just comes with the territory when you're a total bad-ass.

Perhaps best known for his trilogy of fights against Irish Micky Ward, whom I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing earlier this year, Gatti was all heart when he was in the ring. He was most certainly in his best light when he was under stage lights. Though he will never be thought of as one of Boxing's most skilled or talented fighters by most, it may be universally agreed to that his importance to the Sweet Science surpasses a lot of more technically-skilled and celebrated fighers. He exemplified what we all wanted to see in our Pugilist heroes - he had heart. And he would do anything to win. He even won his third bout against Micky Ward one-handed after breaking the other in an early round. This is what we pay to see. We want to see bravery, courage and self-sacrifice. A far cry from many of the fighters who whine about toothaches or fall in the shower or cry for larger percentages, Arturo Gatti was a fan's fighter and in a different league than his coddled counter-parts. He will be missed.

R.I.P. Thunder.

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