Jake LaMotta, former middleweight champion, has died at the age of 95.
LaMotta fought in over 100 boxing matches, but is best know as being the subject of the 1980 Martin Scorsese film “Raging Bull”. Robert DeNiro portrayed Jake LaMotta in the movie and won an academy ward for his role in the film.
De Niro paid tribute to LaMotta by releasing the statement: “Rest in Peace, Champ”
The Bronx native comprised an 83-19 record over his pro career and was well known for his rivalry with Sugar Ray Robinson with the boxers squaring off 6 times.
On Oct. 2, 1942, at Madison Square Garden, LaMotta faced Robinson for the first of their six fights. Robinson, fighting as a welterweight, was 35-0 with 27 knockouts at the time. He bloodied LaMotta and won a 10-round unanimous decision.
After the fight, Robinson said, “I never fought a fighter as strong as he is.”
The following year, LaMotta and Robinson fought twice in the same month at Detroit’s Olympia Stadium. On February 5, 1943, LaMotta handed Robinson his first defeat, with a 10-round unanimous decision that included knocking Robinson through the ropes in the eighth round. Three weeks later, Robinson would take the rematch, winning a unanimous decision despite being floored in the seventh round.
Robinson would defeat LaMotta twice in 1945, including a 12-round split decision.
LaMotta held the middleweight title from 1949 to 1951 and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
LaMotta died due complications from pneumonia at a nursing home in Miami. His wife, Denise Baker, said the family is in the planning stages of his memorial and funeral.
RIP Jake LaMotta. You will be missed by a great number of fans and loved ones. God bless the family.
— Roy Jones Jr. (@RealRoyJonesJr) September 20, 2017
The Raging Bull is dead !!! RIP Jake Lamotta. I used to see him at the fights all the time, rocking his big cowboy hat. #BronxNYCLegend
— R.A. the Rugged Man (@RAtheRuggedMan) September 20, 2017