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Remembering Jake La Motta
The “Bronx Bull” died a month ago at the age of 95 on September 19th, 2017.
Jake La Motta was a ferocious fighter and former World Middleweight Champion who fought like there was no tomorrow. He let his opponents beat him to later learn his techniques and strike harder, deserving the Raging Bull nickname that would later result in a movie by the same name directed by Martin Scorsese, based on the his life in and outside the ring.
One of his most famous fights was against Sugar Ray Robinson, his eternal rival, whom he beat on 1943, making Ray’s first loss in his career. He fought with Ray six times “I fought Sugar Ray so often, I almost got diabetes” he said.
La Motta won the World Middleweight Title in 1949 against Marcel Cerdan defending his title twice before he lost it against his long-time rival, Sugar Ray, in a match known as the “Valentine’s Day Massacre” echoing the shooting involving Al Capone due to the bloody beating Jake received in the fight.
The Bull had 83 wins (30 knockouts), 19 losses and 4 draws. His personal life was far away from stable. He had a bad temper and a drinking problem, got married six times and admitted to beating his wives, he also served time in jail inciting a minor into prostitution. In his later days, he performed as an actor in several films and also toured as a standup comedian.
He’s remembered as the toughest of fighters, one who was not scared of taking a beating if that meant taking down his opponent and achieving victory. In spite of his deplorable behavior outside the ring, he’s still one of the bravest fighters the boxing world has ever seen.