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Boxer Gatti found dead in hotel room BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

July 12, 2009|Wire Reports

Former boxing champion Arturo Gatti, whose epic trilogy with Micky Ward branded him one of the most exciting fighters of his generation, was found dead in a hotel room in the posh seaside resort of Porto de Galihnas, Brazil, early Saturday.

Police investigator Edilson Alves told the Associated Press that the body of the former junior-welterweight champ was discovered in his room at the tourist resort, where Gatti had arrived Friday with his Brazilian wife, Amanda, and 1-year-old son.

Alves said police were investigating and it was unclear how the 37-year-old Canadian died.

"It is still too early to say anything concrete, although it is all very strange," Alves said. He declined to provide any additional details.

A spokeswoman for the state public safety department said Gatti's wife and son were unhurt. The woman declined to give a name in keeping with department policy.

"There were no bullet or stab wounds on his body, but police did find bloodstains on the floor," she said.

"What a tragedy and awful loss for our sport," boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. said in a prepared statement.

"Arturo will always be remembered as an incredible competitor and true warrior in the ring. My heart and prayers goes out to his family at this time."

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TENNIS

Bryan brothers cut Cup deficit

Bob and Mike Bryan beat Roko Karanusic and Lovro Zovko to keep the United States alive in the Davis Cup, cutting Croatia's quarterfinal lead to 2-1 at Porec, Croatia.

The Bryan brothers cruised to a 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 doubles win on the indoor clay at Zatika Hall.

The U.S. is 1-34 when trailing 0-2 in a Davis Cup match. The team's only comeback was against Australia in 1934.

James Blake will try to tie the series when he meets Croatia's Marin Cilic in the first reverse singles today. Mardy Fish is to play the final singles match against Ivo Karlovic.

Sam Querrey used his big serve to upset two-time defending champion Fabrice Santoro, 6-3, 7-6 (2), to reach the finals of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships at Newport, R.I. The third-seeded Querrey will face lucky loser Rajeev Ram, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Oliver Rochus.

Before play, Monica Seles highlighted the 2009 class that was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The 35-year-old Seles was enshrined during a ceremony on Newport's grass courts. She was the world's No. 1 women's player for 178 weeks and won nine Grand Slam singles titles.

Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez beat top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, 7-5, 6-4, to win the Swedish Open at Bastad for her second WTA Tour title. The unseeded Spaniard rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the second set. . . . Top-seeded Patty Schnyder and No. 4 Agnes Szavay advanced to the final of the Budapest Grand Prix in Hungary. Schnyder beat Edina Gallovits, 6-2, 6-4 in one semifinal, and Szavay defeated sixth-seeded Alona Bondarenko, 6-1, 6-2, in the other.

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ETC.

Thousands mourn McNair

Thousands turned out in Tennessee to say goodbye to Steve McNair, and people in his native state were doing the same to give the former NFL quarterback one of the biggest funerals in recent Mississippi history.

"We're going to have church this morning, and we're going to praise God for Steve's life," said gospel singer Dottie Peoples, a close friend of McNair's mother, Lucille.

At least 4,500 turned out, though organizers anticipated a capacity crowd of 8,000 at Reed Green Coliseum on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi. Most of McNair's hometown of Mount Olive also arrived thanks to buses rented by the McNairs, and hundreds came out Friday night for a visitation. A private burial was to follow in Mount Olive.

Brett Favre, who had a home near McNair's in Hattiesburg, sat a few rows behind the McNair family. Titans Coach Jeff Fisher and quarterback Vince Young, Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis and Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler also attended. Doug Williams, the first black quarterback to win the Super Bowl, also was on hand.

McNair was shot and killed on July 4 by Sahel Kazemi, a 20-year-old girlfriend who then shot herself in the head.

Felix Sturm retained his World Boxing Assn. middleweight title, beating Khoren Gevor in a unanimous decision at the Ring Arena in Nuerburg, Germany.

Sturm relied on clean, strong shots that stunned Gevor several times throughout the 12-round fight. All three judges called the fight for Sturm, 115-113 on two cards and 117-111 on the other.

The Buffalo Sabres have signed free-agent defenseman Joe DiPenta, who won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007. DiPenta, 30, played in the Swedish Elite League last season. The Sabres signed him to a one-year deal.

Swedish soccer club Hammarby has agreed to sell American striker Charlie Davies to FC Sochaux of the French league. Davies, who played for the U.S. team that lost to Brazil in the Confederations Cup final in South Africa last month, signed with Hammarby at age 20 in 2007.

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