Jake LaMotta, the former world middleweight boxing champion who was portrayed in the film “Raging Bull” has died.
Miami – Jake LaMotta, the former middleweight champion whose life in and out of the ring was depicted in the film “Raging Bull,” for which Robert DeNiro won an Academy Award, has died.
He was 95.
LaMotta died on Tuesday at a Miami-area hospital from complications of pneumonia, according to his fiancee Denise Baker.
The Bronx Bull, as he was known in his fighting days, compiled an 83-19-4 record with 30 knockouts, in a career that began in 1941 and ended in 1954.
LaMotta fought the great Sugar Ray Robinson six times, handing Robinson the first defeat of his career and losing the middleweight title to him in a storied match.
In the fight before he lost the title, LaMotta saved the championship in movie-script fashion against Laurent Dauthuille.
Trailing badly on all three scorecards, LaMotta knocked out the challenger with 13 seconds left in the fight.
LaMotta threw a fight against Billy Fox, which he admitted in testimony before the Kefauver Committee, a US Senate committee investigating organised crime in 1960.
“I purposely lost a fight to Billy Fox because they promised me that I would get a shot to fight for the title if I did,” LaMotta said in 1970 interview printed in Peter Heller’s 1973 book “In This Corner: 40 World Champions Tell Their Stories.”
LaMotta was “stopped” by Fox in the fourth round on November 14,1947, in Madison Square Garden. He didn’t get a title shot until 10 fights later.
On June 16,1949, in Detroit, he became middleweight champion when the Frenchman Marcel Cerdan couldn’t continue after the 10th round.
Renowned for his strong chin, and the punishment he could take, and dish out, LaMotta was knocked down only once – in a 1952 loss to light-heavyweight Danny Nardico – in his 106 fights.