Boxing

Gatti's brother: Widow stands to inherent ex-boxer's fortune

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The Canadian Press
8/2/2009 6:43:51 PM
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MONTREAL -- Arturo Gatti's will was changed just three weeks before the ex-boxing champ died, his brother Fabrizio confirmed Sunday.

"It's the truth," he said when asked during a brief phone call for confirmation of reports the former fighter had bequeathed everything to his wife, Amanda Rodrigues.

Family friend and sports journalist Jeremy Filosa told The Canadian Press that on June 17, Gatti and Rodrigues changed the ex-boxer's will, leaving his full inheritance in her name.

"Everything that Arturo Gatti owns -- past, present and future -- goes to his wife. Nothing goes to his children or mother or brothers or sisters," said Filosa.

Gatti's widow was also named executor of his will and stands to receive $1 million from a life insurance policy, Filosa said, adding the family was made aware of the changes on Friday.

Brazilian police said Friday that Gatti's death was being ruled a suicide -- a conclusion rejected by Gatti's friends and family, who asked a Quebec coroner to re-examine the body, buried July 20 in Montreal.

Rodrigues was released Friday after having been held for nearly three weeks in a Brazilian jail on suspicion of murder.

On Saturday, a celebrity pathologist hired by the ex-boxing champ's family said Brazilian authorities overlooked bruises on Gatti's body in the initial autopsy.

"There were some surprises," Dr. Michael Baden said in an interview with The Canadian Press after a seven-hour forensic follow-up in Montreal.

"The first surprise was that it was a partial autopsy, and not a full autopsy; the second was that there were some important findings, like the injuries that had not been identified."

Partial autopsies are unusual in suspected homicides, said Baden, noting that in this case, the body's organs had not been examined.

Montreal medical examiners will perform further toxicology tests in Canada and are also awaiting more information on the scene of death from investigators in Brazil.

"There were definite injuries that had not been seen by Brazilian authorities," Baden said.

"But one needs all of the information -- including the toxicology, which is not available yet -- to be able to come to the conclusion as to whether it's homicide or suicide."

Second autopsies often take longer than the first but have the advantage of fresh information, he added. "We had a better idea of what to look for because of the issues that have been raised."

Baden will continue to share information with the Montreal medical examiners overseeing the latest investigation into Gatti'sdeath.

The two Canadian pathologists, described by Baden as "first-rate," will evaluate the additional information before releasing a report on the ex-boxer's death in the coming weeks.

Baden, a U.S. pathologist, is no stranger to high-profile cases. He's the host of the HBO cable TV show "Autopsy," a popular documentary series investigating mysterious and controversial deaths.

Baden has also testified for the defence or prosecution in a number of celebrity cases, including the criminal trials of O.J. Simpson and Phil Spector. He recently performed the second autopsy on the late Hollywood actor David Carradine.

Arturo Gatti (Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)
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