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Jerry Ferrara to play Arturo Gatti in biopic

Jerry FerraraActor Jerry Ferrara of “Entourage” fame will play boxer Arturo Gatti in a biopic film, Variety reports.

According to Variety, the film will be produced by Michael Strahan. Mark Wahlberg, who played Gatti’s adversary Micky Ward in “The Fighter,” will be an executive producer.

Gatti is remembered for being one of the most entertaining and exciting boxers in recent memory. He went 40-9 with 31 knockouts in his career and was part of Ring Magazine’s Fight of the Year on four occasions. His epic trilogy with Ward were among the best fights in history and showcased both fighters’ toughness and determination.

Gatti’s death in 2009 was the subject of controversy. The beloved Italian-Canadian fighter was found dead in his hotel room in Brazil, where he was on vacation with his wife and baby son. Gatti’s wife was initially charged with murder, and the belief was that she strangled her drunk/passed out husband with her purse strap. She was later released after they ruled it was a homicide.

The Gatti family was dissatisfied with what the Brazilian police and hired their own investigation, which concluded that Gatti’s death was a homicide.

Ferrara is a huge sports fan and says Gatti is his favorite fighter of all time.

“One of the proudest moments of my life, is to have this chance to play my favorite fighter of all time. #thunder,” Ferrara wrote on Instagram.

He also hinted at the role with this tweet, which he sent prior to Variety’s report.

Being such a huge fan of Gatti is great, because that means Ferrara will put a lot of passion into the project. But I do have to say it will be hard for me to envision the guy who played Turtle also playing such a ferocious fighter. However, I felt the same way about Jonah Hill playing a character based on stat nerd Paul DePodesta, and he killed that role. Hopefully Ferrara will do the same.

Photo: Twitter/Jerry Ferrara

Edwin Valero Adds to Disturbing Trend in Recent Boxing Deaths

Within the last three years at least five prominent boxers have died. One was an accident, three were suicides, and one was a murder crime. Most recently, Venezuelan lightweight champion Edwin Valero committed suicide by hanging himself in his jail cell early Monday morning after being suspected of killing his wife on Sunday. Valero had a reputation as quite the mauler given his 27-0 record by 27 knockouts. He had several problems with his wife over the past year and their deaths was the end result.

Back in July of 2009, Alexis Arguello was found dead at his home in Nicaragua, the victim of a gunshot to the chest that was ruled a suicide. Arguello was a champ in three different weight classes and had recently been elected mayor of Managua prior to his death. His son does not believe his father committed suicide. Arguello was 82-8 with 65 knockouts in his career.

Two weeks later, also in July 2009, Arturo Gatti was found dead at a hotel room in Brazil, the apparent victim of strangulation. His wife was initially suspected of strangling him with a purse strap but by late July she had been released from jail and the death had been ruled a suicide. Gatti was 40-9 in his career, a world champ in two weight classes, and part of a classic trilogy of bouts with Micky Ward.

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Arturo Gatti’s Wife Strangled Him to Death Using Her Purse Strap!

OK, I know it’s sad and all that we’ve had nothing but unexpected deaths in the sports world lately, and ones caused by women, but I have questions. Namely, how is it that one of the toughest boxers in the history of the sport can possibly be strangled to death by his wife — a female who likely is much smaller and weaker than him? Now some details are starting to come clear that make a little more sense. For instance, Arturo Gatti, who was on his honeymoon with his wife Amanda Rodrigues, was passed out drunk apparently. He and his wife were at odds according to Brazilian boxer Popo Freitas and Arturo planned to divorce her. I guess that was enough reason for the wife to try and kill him, first by taking a kitchen knife to the back of his head and next by strangling him with a purse strap when the knife didn’t do enough damage.

The wife seems pretty stupid and sloppy in this case and really didn’t seem like she cared much about covering her tracks. She’s been charged with first degree murder after there were inconsistencies during the interrogation. She’s trying to claim that someone else came into the room and committed the murder, but the room was on the second floor of the hotel and a magnetic key card was needed to open the room, making it highly unlikely someone else came in. Boxing Scene says the two were out to dinner the night before the murder and had gotten into a fight on the street where Gatti pushed his wife to the ground. Between McNair and Arturo, it’s pretty clear that guys need to be extremely careful about what they’re doing and with whom they’re cavorting. Better yet, never pass out drunk around your lady — you never know if you’ll wake up!