Boxing legend Jake LaMotta, the fighter who inspired the movie Raging Bull, has died at the age of 95.
LaMotta passed away on Tuesday in a Miami-area nursing home after suffering complications from a bout of pneumonia, according to his fiancee Denise.
The New York-born fighter had 106 professional bouts and earned his ‘Bronx Bull’ nickname for the rough-house style which took him to the world middleweight title.
LaMotta compiled an 83-19-4 record with 30 knockouts in 13 years, but is best known for a six-fight series against the great Sugar Ray Robinson.
Although Robinson won that series 5-1, LaMotta was able to inflict a first career defeat on him in February 1943 before losing to the same man a matter of three weeks later.
Robinson also took the world middleweight title from him in 1950 – in a fight known as the St Valentine’s Day Massacre – after he had defended the belt in incredible fashion when knocking out Laurent Dauthuille 13 seconds from the end of a 15-round bout in which the ‘Raging Bull’ had taken almost constant punishment.
That bout came three years after a fight LaMotta admitted to throwing, when stopped by Billy Fox in a match he later revealed he purposely lost when questioned by a US Senate committee investigating organised crime.
LaMotta retired from boxing in 1954 and afterwards dabbled in the entertainment industry as a nightclub owner, working in show business and making commercials.
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.