Boxer Jake LaMotta, inspiration for 'Raging Bull,' dies at 95


Jake LaMotta nicknamed "The Raging Bull" could have been up there for perhaps one of the toughest ever men to lace up a pair of gloves.

Robert de Niro played the role Jake LaMotta under the direction of Martin Scorsese in the 1980 film adaptation entitled "Raging Bull".

LaMotta racked up a record of 83 victories (30 of which knockouts), 19 defeats and four ties, in career spanning from 1941 to 1954.

He also admitted in testimony before a U.S. Senate committee that he threw a fight against Billy Fox, saying he was promised a shot at a title if he did.

LaMotta had some wonderful battles, including six fights with fellow legend Sugar Ray Robinson.

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 LaMotta had taken nearly constant punishment.

Jake LaMotta's family announced on Wednesday that the legendary boxer had passed away at a Miami-area hospital, after suffering from complications of pneumonia.

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He would go on to fight for much bigger purses.

LaMotta had Robinson pinned in a corner and almost finished the match in the 11th round, but Robinson escaped and turned the tables.

After his loss, LaMotta made a decision to move up to the Light Heavyweight Division. "The referee stopped the fight in the 13th round while I was still on my feet, with Robinson pounding me up against the ropes". He fought Robinson five more times.

"They called it the St. Valentine's Day Massacre", he said.

"I ran out of gas", LaMotta later told The Associated Press.

He received praise from sports commentators throughout his boxing career for taking severe beatings in order to get close enough to land his best punches on his opponents. Robinson's response? He "looked at me like I was insane". "I sparred with people with gear on, but we were careful", De Niro told Time magazine. His two sons both died in 1998, one from cancer and one in a plane crash.