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Boxing Legend Jake LaMotta Dead At 95

Boxing Legend Jake LaMotta Dead At 95 Promo Image

Boxing legend "Raging Bull" Jake LaMotta died at the age of 95 in his nursing home in Miami on Sept. 19.

The star passed away due to complications from pneumonia, the Daily Mail reports. He leaves behind four daughters and his seventh wife, 65-year-old Denise Baker.

"I just want people to know, he was a great, sweet, sensitive, strong, compelling man with a great sense of humor, with eyes that danced," said Baker.

LaMotta, known as "The Raging Bull" for his rough style, fought 106 pro fights in his career and also held the world middleweight championship from 1949-1951, ESPN reports. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

"When he was in the ring, it was like he was in a cage fighting for his life," Ray Arcel, one of boxing’s most renowned trainers, said of LaMotta, The New York Times reports.

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He is also renowned for his six-fight rivalry with Sugar Ray Robinson throughout the 1940s and 1950s.

"I never fought a fighter as strong as he is," Robinson once said after a fight.

"It hurt so much, I had tears in my eyes, like a little kid," he later added while describing one match. "I got the decision, but I learned that Jake LaMotta was some animal."

In 1954, the star retired and published his memoir, "Raging Bull: My Story" in 1970. It would later be turned into a 1980s movie featuring Robert De Niro.

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"I kind of look bad in it," LaMotta once commented after the film was released. "Then I realized it was true. That’s the way it was. I was a no-good bastard. It’s not the way I am now, but the way I was then."

De Niro won an Academy Award for best actor in the movie. The movie also won an Oscar for best film editing and had nominations in six other categories.

De Niro paid tribute to LaMotta shortly after hearing about his death.

"Rest in peace, champ," he said.

Fans worldwide praised the boxer and are took to the internet to express their grief.

"So very sad that the inspiration of so many boxers, successful or otherwise, has left us," wrote one person in the Daily Mail's comments section. "All successful fighters need heart to endure, but he was the epitome of heart and soul. R.I.P."

"So long champ," added another. "Your book inspired me to take up the sport as a 12 year old. I have had a love for boxing ever since. Thank you."

Sources: Daily Mail, The New York TimesESPN / Featured Image: Anma/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Kilnburn/Wikimedia CommonseBay item/Wikimedia Commons

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