‘Raging Bull’ Former Middleweight Champ Jake LaMotta Dies, 95
NEW YORK — Jake LaMotta, the former middleweight champion of the world, has died. He was 95.
LaMotta, who had a hardscrabble upbringing and a tumultuous life, was known for never letting up in his fights.
He was immortalized in filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s 1980 Oscar-winning movie about his life, “Raging Bull” — also his nickname, thanks to his aggressive style.
Actor Robert De Niro won the Best Actor award for his portrayal of LaMotta in the film, which chronicled the fighter’s turbulent life away from the ring.
Born in New York in 1922, LaMotta was also known as the “Bronx Bull” and held the middleweight title from 1949-51. He left the sport with 106 fights, boasting a 83-19-4 record, including 30 knockouts.
LaMotta “fought with an anger that seemed as if it would spring forth from the top of his head like a volcanic eruption,” according to author Bert Sugar in his 2006 book, “Boxing’s Greatest Fighters.”
He was best known for his long-running rivalry with Sugar Ray Robinson. The two fighters met in the ring six times; LaMotta beat his old rival only once.
The boxer’s agent, Nick Cordasco, confirmed to CNN Sports that LaMotta had passed away.
In a statement, Cordasco said that “working for the champ for almost 20 years was an honor. Jake was funny and very sweet. Heaven now has a BULL!”
Cordasco was unable to confirm the cause of death. LaMotta’s widow told TMZ Sports that he died in a nursing home of complications arising from pneumonia.