It was a horrific time for boxing and its fans. Last July, the sport lost three champions -- Alexis Arguello, Arturo Gatti and Vernon Forrest.
HBO will investigate those three deats with a special edition of 'Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.'
Here's a bit about each segment from a release sent out by HBO:
Arturo Gatti. Few fighters rivaled Arturo “Thunder” Gatti for heart, determination or sheer toughness. A beloved brawler who called northern New Jersey home, Gatti became a star by displaying a willingness to literally die in the ring rather than give up. Given his reputation for refusing to quit, news of the 37-year-old’s death last July was particularly shocking. Brazilian authorities initially suspected that Gatti had been murdered and charged his wife Amanda with the crime – but after investigating concluded that Gatti killed himself. While the authorities claim to be sure of their suicide theory, many questions still remain, and those closest to the famed slugger refuse to believe he was capable of taking his own life. Correspondent Jon Frankel travels to Brazil to shed light on what actually happened the night Arturo Gatti died.
Producer: Chapman Downes.
Vernon Forrest. On a hot summer night last July, boxing champion Vernon Forrest, 38, and his 11-year-old godson, Shamar Guillory, pulled into a downtown Atlanta gas station for a quick stop. Moments later, a senseless act of violence left a beloved fighter dead and a child witness traumatized. Bryant Gumbel visits Atlanta to follow the trail of the murder investigation that brought together the police and the bereft community where Forrest had become such a prominent figure through his charitable work. Gumbel also talks with Shamar Guillory, the young eyewitness to the tragic shooting, who provides a detailed account of what happened the night boxing lost one of its “good guys.”
Producer: David Scott.
Alexis Arguello. When former three-time boxing champion Alexis Arguello took the stage in 2008 to celebrate his election as mayor of Managua, Nicaragua’s capitol, it was a most unlikely sight. For more than two decades, the greatest Nicaraguan athlete of all time had been in a downward spiral that included exile from his homeland and serious issues with drug addiction. Now, Arguello was seemingly back on top, but it wouldn’t last long. Less than a year later, amidst a maelstrom of political pressure, and embarrassment over the powerless nature of his position and his relationship with President Daniel Ortega, he took his own life. As Arguello’s family and friends continue to grieve his passing, correspondent Frank Deford, in a gripping REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustrated report, heads to Nicaragua in search of answers about why Arguello may have felt compelled to take his own life.
Producer: Josh Fine.