‘Raging Bull’ Jake LaMotta dies

Jake LaMotta

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.

Jake LaMotta

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.