Gatti's widow speaks

MATHIEU TURBIDE, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 7:40 AM ET

MONTREAL – Arturo Gatti’s widow, Amanda Rodrigues, says she didn’t doubt for a moment that a second, Canadian, autopsy on her husband would prove he died from hanging.

Leaks from the Quebec coroner’s office published in Montreal paper La Presse this weekend confirmed that the boxer died as a result of hanging and not from strangulation. These results add weight to a similar conclusion from the initial Brazilian autopsy, carried out in July.

“I’ve always had confidence in the Canadian justice system,” said Rodrigues, a Brazilian citizen. “I believe that you can’t buy justice, and that the truth always comes out in the end.”

However, Rodrigues doesn’t think it’s possible her husband was drugged and then hanged. According to her, if doctors in Canada have found traces of a sedative, it’s most likely because the former champion fighter was in the habit of taking sleeping pills.

“Arturo always had a hard time falling asleep,” she explained. “He would sometimes buy light medication like Tylenol PM at the pharmacy, because it helped him to fall asleep. But I didn’t let him take strong sleeping pills since he had already had problems with addiction.”

The acetaminophen tablets Tylenol PM contain a small quantity of diphenhydramine, a substance used as an antihistamine and sedative. Tylenol PM is sold widely in the US and Brazil.

Even if the official autopsy report has yet to be made public, Rodrigues says she’s relieved by the information contained in the first leaks.

“I hope that this will allow Arturo to rest in peace. It won’t bring him back, but at least I hope it will convince those who still doubt the truth,” she said.

“For me, it’s the start of a renewal. I have to be able to look forward,” she said.

“People have to remember Arturo as a champion, as a warrior. There has to be an end to all of the gossip that sees his death as a soap opera.”

After Gatti’s death, Rodrigues spent 18 days in prison as a suspect in her husband’s death. She was released after the investigation concluded that Gatti killed himself.

Rodrigues is still living with her family in Brazil, along with her son Arturo Jr., who celebrated his birthday just over a week ago.

The memory of Arturo Gatti continued to be honoured over the weekend, as Atlantic City announced it will rename an avenue “Arturo Gatti Thunder Place”, and the fighter’s former manager said he is organizing a boxing tournament in honour of the two-time IBF and WBC featherweight world champion.


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