Jake LaMotta, boxer profiled in 'Raging Bull,' dies at 95

Allan Goodman
September 21, 2017

Jake LaMotta, the former champion of the weight means, whose life was described in the film Raging Bull, has died at the age of 95 years.

His death was announced on Facebook by his daughter Christi, who posted a short message reading: "Jake LaMotta July 10 1922-September 19 2017 - Rest in Peace Pop". Appearing at a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing years after his career ended, he admitted that, in exchange for a promised title shot, he took a dive in a 1947 bout against Billy Fox, a fighter who he said "couldn't dent a bowl of yogurt".

LaMotta handed the legendary Sugar Ray Robinson the first defeat of his career in 1943.

LaMotta, a Bronx native, earned the nickname "Raging Bull" and the film bearing that name was nominated for eight Academy Awards.

After his boxing career was over, LaMotta turned to comedy.

Indeed, he was soundly outboxed when they collided for the first time in October 1942 but in the rematch five months later, LaMotta was outstanding.

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

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Trailer of Raging Bull (1980) Martin Scorsese, with Robert de Niro in the role of Jake LaMotta. Instead, at the age of 19, Jake went the professional boxing route. He won that title in 1949 and kept it until February 14, 1951, his final fight with Sugar Ray Robinson. The New York State Athletic Commission suspended LaMotta and withheld purses for the fight after Fox knocked him out in four rounds.

Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, LaMotta was regarded as one of the toughest fighters of his generation, and with a brawling come-forward fighting style, LaMotta gained fans wherever he fought as you were always guaranteed a toe-to-toe slugfest.

He apologized: "I thought I was right then".

Robert De Niro released a touching short tribute to LaMotta.

LaMotta had six children from his seven marriages.

In 1949, he became middleweight champion when Marcel Cerdan could not continue after the 10th round.

He had four daughters and two sons, both deceased, and continued to live in NY, where he owned restaurants and even enjoyed a brief career as a stand-up comedian.

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