Page last updated at 08:47 GMT, Monday, 13 July 2009 09:47 UK

Police arrest wife of boxer Gatti


Police have been questioning Gatti's wife

Brazilian police have arrested the wife of a former world boxing champion, Arturo Gatti, who was found dead in a hotel in north-eastern Brazil.

Police say Amanda Rodrigues had not explained how she stayed in the room for 10 hours after he was apparently strangled with a handbag strap.

Ms Rodrigues has not been charged and she denies any wrong-doing.

Mr Gatti, a Canadian, arrived in Porto de Galinhas on Friday with Ms Rodrigues and their one-year-old son.

Police say the boxer's body was discovered on Saturday.

He was IBF super-featherweight champion in 1995 and WBC light-welterweight champion in 2004, and retired in 2007.

Arturo Gatti
Gatti retired from boxing in 2007 with an exciting reputation

His three-fight series with Micky Ward in 2002 and 2003 established him as one of the world's most exciting fighters.

Police said there were inconsistencies in the statement given by Ms Rodrigues, who is Brazilian.

Detectives are also investigating reports that the couple had been arguing before returning to their room on Friday evening and that Gatti had been drunk.

The couple are said to have rented the apartment for a month in order to have a "second honeymoon" but only arrived on Friday, reports the BBC's Gary Duffy, in Sao Paulo.

Glittering career

Gatti's career spanned 49 fights and he won 40 of them, 31 by knockout.

He first fought Micky Ward in May 2002 and the pair traded devastating blows for 10 rounds before Ward earned the split decision from the judges.

The rematch was just as brutal, with Gatti knocking Ward down in the third round with a big right. Ward not only recovered from the blow, which broke Gatti's hand, but managed to go the distance. This time, Gatti earned a unanimous decision.

Gatti and Ward had their decider at Boardwalk Hall in June 2003, Ward knocked Mr Gatti to the floor in the sixth round, but despite fighting with his right hand broken again, Gatti managed to win the decision.

Ward and Gatti became close friends toward the end of their careers.

Hearing what happened to Arturo is like a piece of you is gone
Micky Ward

Ward told The Ring: "I'm walking around in a daze. I'm just dazed by it all. You fight a guy, you go to war with them, and there is a respect there. But with me and Arturo, it was greater.

"There was a real bond between us. It's why hearing this, hearing what happened to Arturo is like a piece of you is gone, because we shared so much of everything in the ring. We were friends, close friends."

Gatti eventually retired two years ago following a seventh-round knockout defeat by Alfonso Gomez.

Kathy Duva, of Gatti's promoters Main Events, described his death as an "unspeakable tragedy".

She said: "His entire boxing career he fought with us, we've known him since he was 17. He just captured the imagination of so many people."

Duva added: "I remember walking away from his last fight and somebody walked up to him in the casino late at night and congratulated him.

"He said 'Why did he congratulate me?' and I said 'He was excited to meet you' and he kind of looked very surprised by that. He had no idea what an icon he was or how much he meant to people."

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