Boxer LaMotta, immortalized in 'Raging Bull,' dies at 95

Kelly Massey
September 21, 2017

Robert De Niro won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of LaMotta in "Raging Bull", which was based on LaMotta's autobiography Raging Bull: My Story.

LaMotta was married six times, most famously to Beverly "Vikki" Thailer.

"LaMotta says he was born angry", NPR's Tom Goldman reported in 1997.

LaMotta, left, and Sugar Ray Robinson Jr. pose for photographers at Madison Square Garden in NY on April 7, 2006, in a ceremony commemorating boxing great Sugar Ray Robinson Sr. "He started fighting when he was eight years old, fighting for pennies and nickels and dimes the old Italian men in the neighborhood would give to the victor".

LaMotta took a beating in the later rounds of the fight, but he refused to go down until the referee stepped in to save him from further punishment.

The former middleweight champion has a record of 106 fights, 83 wins, 30 knockouts, 19 losses and 4 draws.

His career was highlighted by a rivalry with Sugar Ray Robinson, which led to a six-fight series, of which LaMotta won only one.

In his fight previous, LaMotta had retained the championship in a fight that had the look of a film script against Laurent Dauthuille.

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Their last fight on February 14, 1951 became known as the sport's version of the Valentine's Day Massacre, and Robinson earned a technical knockout in 13 rounds while LaMotta was clinging to the ropes.

On November 14, 1947 at Madison Square Garden, LaMotta was knocked out in four rounds by Billy Fox.

During an FBI investigation into the influence of organized crime on boxing 13 years later, LaMotta admitted to throwing the fight in exchange for the mafia arranging a middleweight title bout. He lost the middleweight title to him in what became known as the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre". The fight was stopped in the 13th round. LaMotta said he trained the actor until the boxing champion felt he was ready to compete professionally.

LaMotta was a raging bull of a hoodlum as a child. Robinson's response? He "looked at me like I was insane".

An icon of sports, not just boxing, LaMotta was a world-renowned fighter and (later in life a) stand-up comedian. It worked for me because it made me a vicious animal.

"From the sublime to the ridiculous".

"I can't be mad at Bobby De Niro and Marty Scorsese", he told the Washington Post. I have had a love for boxing ever since.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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