The stripper wife of slain former boxing champ Arturo Gatti strangled him with the strap of her purse as he slept in a posh seaside resort in Brazil, cops said.
Amanda Carine Barbosa Rodrigues, 23, a former stripper, appeared unaffected when she was escorted by cops outside of a police station in Recife, Brazil, after she was charged with the slaying of the junior welterweight champ, the New York Daily News reported.
The brunette beauty's purse was found in the rented apartment at the Dorisol Resort stained with blood, cops said.
The couple was vacationing in the swanky resort town on their second honeymoon after a brief split but pals of the former boxer said they weren't happy with the relationship, friends told the News.
Rodrigues was arrested Sunday morning because she made contradictions during her interview with police, who said she was "inconsistent and incoherent." She failed to explain how she spent 10 hours in a room with Gatti and didn't notice he was dead.
Pal Carl Moretti told the News he was worried 37-year-old Gatti picked up the wrong women when he went out at strip clubs.
"Among friend who knew him, no one felt that this was a good relationship," Moretti told the paper. "The relationship was not based on love. It could get violent at times."
The pair went drinking at a bar Friday night and began to fight, witnesses said. Rodrigues said her hubby got drunk, hit her then pushed her to the ground, the News said.
The two were still arguing when they left the bar Saturday morning, witnesses told cops.
Rodrigues told cops she woke up Saturday morning to take care of the couple's 1-year-old son while Gatti was still asleep. She checked on her husband three hours later and found him dead, she told cops.
"She murdered her husband and left her child an orphan," former HBO executive Lou DiBella, who organized some of Gatti's fights, told the News. "Now she's going to spend the rest of her life in prison. This is just too much a tragedy."
Brazilian boxer and four-time world champion Acelino "Popo" Freitas told the G1 Web site of Brazil's largest TV network Globo that he was a close friend of Gatti and his wife, and that he "knew they were having some sort of problem and were about to separate."
Known for his straightforward punching and granite-like chin, Gatti captured the junior welterweight title in 1995, when he defeated Tracy Harris Patterson in Atlantic City, New Jersey. His brawling style and natural charisma made him a fan favorite, and he became one of New Jersey's adopted sons while fighting some of his most memorable battles on the Boardwalk.
Gatti continued to keep a home in New Jersey after he retired in 2007, with a career record of 40-9 and 31 knockouts.
Gatti lost to big names like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Carlos Baldomir, but it was his three-fight series against Ward that left an indelible impression on fight fans.
The first time they met, in May 2002, they traded devastating blows for 10 rounds before leaving it up to the judges to decide a winner. Ward earned the mixed decision, by one point on one scorecard and two points on another, in what Ring Magazine called the "Fight of the Year."
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 clear unanimous decision.
Gatti and Ward had their rubber match at Boardwalk Hall in June 2003, and it was again called "Fight of the Year" by Ring Magazine. Ward knocked Gatti to the floor in the sixth round, but despite fighting with his right hand broken again, Gatti managed to win the decision.
"I was sitting with him at the post-fight press conference — I can't remember which one — and I looked at his hand and it was three times the normal size," Duva said. "He gave me this goofy grin and he said, 'Yeah, I know. We'll party tonight and I'll go to the hospital tomorrow.'"
Gatti attempted a comeback in July 2007, getting knocked out in seven rounds by Alfonso Gomez. Afterward, with his legion of fans cheering for him in the arena, Gatti announced his retirement in the dressing room at Boardwalk Hall.
He'd finally acknowledged the end of all his travails and triumphs.
"I remember walking away from his last fight, and somebody walked up to him in the casino late at night and congratulated him," Duva said. "And 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."