By David Martinez / dmboxing.com
On September 20, 2017 Jake La Motta, middleweight champion whose epic fights with Sugar Ray Robinson are legendary, passed away at the age of 95.
LaMotta was known as the Raging Bull and he fought in 106 bouts in a 14 year colorful brawling career. His Fame led to Martin Scorsese’s 1980 movie Raging Bull, that was nominated for eight Academy Awards and in which Robert DeNiro won best actor for his portrayal of LaMotta.
He fought, who I and top boxing historians consider the greatest fighter of all time, Sugar Ray Robinson six times – twice in a three week span in 1943. LaMotta won only once, in their second fight which was a 10 round decision, giving Robinson his first loss after 40 straight wins. This would be Robinson’s only loss in his first 132 professional fights. Their final fight was a grueling intriguing slugfest known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, in Chicago on February 14, 1951, in which LaMotta lost his middleweight title. Robinson won when the referee stopped the fight in the 13th round while LaMotta was hanging on the ropes, helpless and beaten. As the bout ended, LaMotta would say to Robinson “You didn’t put me down Ray, you didn’t put me down Ray!”
Although foes in the ring, he and Robinson were friends outside it. Robinson served as his best man in LaMotta’s sixth wedding.