Boxer in 'Raging Bull,' Jake LaMotta, dies at 95

Boxer in 'Raging Bull,' Jake LaMotta, dies at 95

Boxer in 'Raging Bull,' Jake LaMotta, dies at 95

LaMotta, who was portrayed on film by Robert De Niro in the 1980 Martin Scorsese masterpiece Raging Bull (see link below), died this week at age 95.

LaMotta passed away in a Miami-area hospital from complications of pneumonia. Active from 1941 to 1954, LaMotta (pictured on the left in his bout with Marcel Cerdan) finished his career with a record of 83-19-4 with 30 KOs.

LaMotta was born in the Bronx, New York and fought his way up the ranks to become a boxing world champion.

Scorsese based 1980's Raging Bull on LaMotta, and the gritty, black-and-white film is widely considered to be one of the greatest sports movies of all time. Actor Robert De Niro won an Academy Award for it. "I fought Sugar so many times I'm surprised I'm not diabetic", he once said, according to the Financial Times.

LaMotta held the title nearly two years before losing it to Robinson in their sixth fight on February 14, 1951, a bout so fierce it became known as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

In his later years, LaMotta made many personal appearances, mostly in NY.

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The death of the "Bronx Bull", Jake LaMotta, leaves behind an indellible mark on boxing history. After his retirement from boxing, he owned and managed bars and tried his hand at acting.

LaMotta was known for an explosive temper on the streets of NY, but turned the street brawls into a profession.

Robinson would say of his compeer: "He's the toughest guy I ever fought". With a solid chin and limited regard for his well-being, LaMotta soaked up his fair share of punishment in the squared circle, none more than against fellow Hall-of-Famer "Sugar" Ray Robinson.

LaMotta was a world middleweight championship in the late 1940s, but was a well-known brawler before winning the title.

His two sons died within a seven-month span in 1998. LaMotta turned pro as a teenager at age 19.

His daughter, Christi LaMotta, posted about his passing on Facebook Tuesday.

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