Boxer Arturo Gatti's death has now been ruled a suicide, authorities in Brazil say, and his wife has been released from custody after being accused of murdering the 37-year-old former fighter.
Gatti was found dead in a hotel room on July 11, in a seaside resort during a vacation with his wife Amanda and son Arturo Jr.
Cops arrested the wife, theorizing that she strangled an intoxicated Arturo with a purse strap. That theory was met with initial skepticism in some quarters; some wondered how Gatti, even if weakened with alcohol, was not able to stave off the attack.
A Brazilian judge, according to the AP, ruled that, “The victim….committed suicide by hanging.” The two-time titlist, who retired in 2007 with a 40-9 mark, is the second top caliber boxer to kill himself this summer. Hall of Famer Alexis Arguello took his own life in Nicaragua on July 1st.
The double shock to fight fans shines a light on the difficulty some athletes have after they hang up the gloves. The applause, the revenue, the reason for being–all are removed from the table, and replacing them, or accepting a radically different life can be overwhelming for some.
Gatti fans are left pondering if the ruling of suicide is in some ways more of a tragedy than the determination that he'd been murdered. For someone with children–Gatti leaves behind three-year old Sofia from a previous relationship–to choose to take their own life is perhaps more poignant, more distressing than them being murdered.