The boxing world lost an unforgettable member Tuesday.
Former professional boxer and one-time world middleweight champion Jake LaMotta died Tuesday in Miami due to complications from pneumonia. He was 95.
“He was a great man, sensitive, and had eyes that danced right up to the end. I love him, God rest his soul,” LaMotta’s wife, Denise Baker, told ABC. “And he never went down!”
LaMotta, a New York native, was an incredibly tough fighter who earned the nickname “the Bronx Bull” for his brawling style of fighting and ability to sustain incredible punishment. Famous for his six-bout back-and-forth with Sugar Ray Robinson, LaMotta held the middleweight title from 1949 to 1951 and compiled a career record of 83-19-4 that included 30 knockouts. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
LaMotta, who also led an eventful life outside the ring, was portrayed by Robert De Niro in the classic 1980 boxing film “Raging Bull.”
De Niro paid his respects to LaMotta in a statement Wednesday, via TMZ Sports.
“Rest in Peace, Champ,” the statement read.
Several other notables chimed in after LaMotta’s death, including boxer Roy Jones Jr., who hailed the gritty boxer as one of the 10 best fighters of all time.
Thumbnail photo via YouTube/ESPN
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