Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Former boxing champion LaMotta dies

TAMPA OUT CITRUS COUNTY OUT PORT CHARLOTTE OUT BROOKSVILLE HERNANDO TODAY OUT MANDATORY CREDIT Jake La Motta in 2015
Earnest Maxwell | 21 September, 2017, 00:34

Legendary boxer Jake "The Raging Bull" LaMotta dies at the age of 95.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday night, Christi LaMotta stated her famous "pop" was no longer with us.

LaMotta was born in 1922 to Italian parents in the Bronx area of NY and he took up boxing after the United States military rejected him on medical grounds. He was the only man in Sugar Ray Robinson's first 132 bouts to defeat the fighter often considered the greatest pound-for-pound who ever lived.

Though merely a minor box office success to begin with, Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull biopic would go on to garner global critical acclaim.

LaMotta was suspended for several months after the bout and admitted throwing the fight when he testified to a Senate subcommittee investigating boxing corruption in 1960. LaMotto won only one of them, the first rematch in 1943 when he sent Robinson through the ropes in the eighth round.

"I'm no angel", he said in a 2005 interview with The Associated Press.

His life and career were then immortalised in the 1980 film Raging Bull, starring Robert De Niro, whose performance earned him a best actor award at the 1981 Oscars.

LaMotta and Robinson met again three weeks later with Robinson scoring another unanimous decision.

The referee stopped the fight in the fourth round as Fox pounded LaMotta, who was not defending himself. The pair's rivalry culminated in the notorious Saint Valentine's Day Massacre in 1951, where LaMotta took a brutal beating but refused to go down.

Robinson won when the referee stopped the fight in the 13th round of that February 14, 1951, bout at the old Chicago Stadium, pounding a helpless LaMotta as he hung on the ropes. LaMotta turned pro as a teenager at age 19.

So, in an effort to curry favor with the underworld figures who controlled boxing at the time, LaMotta agreed to take a dive against Billy Fox, who was being groomed for bigger things.

"I kind of look bad in it", Le Motta once commented after the film was released. I was a no-good bastard ...

He paid tribute to LeMotta shortly after hearing about his death.

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