Arturo Gatti’s sister, Anna-Maria Gatti, and the rest of the Gatti family, should have been celebrating right now – Anna-Maria was to wed the love of her life on Saturday (July 11), instead, they received the tragic news that Arturo was dead.
“She’s the one who called Anna-Maria to tell her she found her brother dead in the hotel. Can you imagine? On her wedding day, it’s unbelievable,” said Arturo and Anna-Maria’s stepfather, Gerardo Di Francesco, who’s been with their mother Ida for 20 years.
Anna-Maria was getting ready to wed the new love of her life in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The entire family was expected for the occasion.
The only person missing was Arturo, who had gone to meet his wife Amanda Carine Barbosa Rodrigues in Brazil where she was staying with their 10-month-old son, Arturo Jr. The couple had rented an apartment by the ocean, trying to give their relationship a “second chance.”
The former junior welterweight champion still planned on making it back to Florida in time for his sister’s big day.
Meanwhile, Brazilian authorities said Rodrigues was taken into custody yesterday after contradictions in her interrogation and presented a formal accusation against her. Prosecutors will later decide whether she’ll be charged.
The news of Gatti’s death has devastated the family, who had been looking forward to the joy of celebrating Anna-Maria’s marriage.
According to Di Francesco, the news came as a terrible blow to Ida, Gatti’s mother. “I talk to her on the phone but she’s not really able to, she cries a lot,” he said in an interview with the Journal de Montreal. “Oh, and wait until she sees her son. It’s truly terrible.
“At the moment, everyone is in shock. It’s hard to accept this news. How could something like this happen?”
Di Francesco wondered whether he could have somehow stopped this nightmare from happening if he’d taken Arturo’s offer of going to Brazil.
“I had decided to stay in Montreal to keep an eye on the house. But Arturo told me, ‘If you aren’t going to the wedding, come with me after to Brazil.’ I don’t know what would have happened if I’d gone with him to Brazil.”
Di Francesco confirmed that things had been rocky between Gatti and his wife. The couple had been living in a Montreal condo penthouse and had a falling out not long after Arturo Jr.’s birth last September 9. Gatti had been sleeping at his mother’s house for some time.
“At the beginning, he had his condominium, the penthouse up top on Jarry (Street). But then, the fighting started. They were separated. He was coming here to sleep. And she would come here to yell at him, ‘Why don’t you come back to the house?’ It was quite the drama …”, Di Francesco explained.
Still, as far as he’s concerned, the former champion, known for his party lifestyle, had calmed down and was living a more stable life.
“Early on he was going out a lot. His friends always wanted to go out with him. They would drink and get in late. But he had calmed down recently.”
He added that Gatti was especially enjoying playing with his son. “He was proud of his son. He loved him a lot. You couldn’t go near him when he was with him.”
Amanda Rodrigues has been charged with murder, and a baby boy is fatherless and could grow up with a mother behind bars. Tragic.