Brazilian authorities essentially did a shoddy job of examining former boxing champ Arturo “Thunder” Gatti, whose death may have been incorrectly ruled a suicide, said famed coroner Dr. Michael Baden.
Baden oversaw a second autopsy conducted by Quebec coroners after Gatti’s family was allowed to exhume the New Jersey fan favorite’s body.
“There were definite injuries that had not been seen by the Brazilian authorities, but one needs a lot of additional information, including a toxicology which isn’t available yet, to come to a conclusion as to whether it’s homicide or suicide,” said Baden, who was an expert witness in the O.J. Simpson, Kobe Bryant and Phil Spector trials.
Authorities originally deemed Gatti’s death a homicide at the hands of his Brazilian wife, Amanda Rodrigues. Their stance changed Thursday, when they said Gatti, 37, hanged himself with a handbag strap from a staircase column more than seven feet off the ground. His body hung there for three hours before falling to the floor, they said. The former junior welterweight champ had argued publicly with his wife at a Brazilian resort the night of July 10 before she summoned them there the next day.
Both have a 1-year-old son, who police said was in the apartment at the time.
Gatti’s family doesn’t believe he killed himself.
Ellen Haley, a spokeswoman for Main Events, the longtime promoter of Gatti’s bouts, said members of the Gatti family, along with his boxing manager Pat Lynch, will carry out their own investigation.
“We do not believe that he took his own life,” Haley said. “We believe that once the results of that investigation are revealed, the truth will come to light and justice will be done.”
BADEN: HBO PHOTO
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