Jake LaMotta

Jake LaMotta, Boxer, NYC


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Giacobbe La Motta (born July 10, 1921), better known as Jake LaMotta, nicknamed "The Bronx Bull" and "The Raging Bull", is a former boxer who was world middleweight champion and whose life has been as controversial outside the ring as it was inside it. He was portrayed in the film Raging Bull as the main character by Robert De Niro.

Boxing career

LaMotta won the world title in 1949 in Detroit against Frenchman Marcel Cerdan, who was the world champion. Cerdan, called by many boxing critics the greatest champion ever from France, dislocated his arm in the first round and gave up before the start of the tenth, the official scoring being LaMotta winner by a knockout in ten because the bell had already rung to begin that round when Cerdan announced he was quitting. A rematch was arranged, but while Cerdan was flying back to the United States to fight the rematch, his Air France Lockheed Constellation crashed at the Azores, killing everyone on board. LaMotta met two challengers (Tiberio Mitri and Laurent Dauthuille) and beat them, and then he was challenged by Robinson on their rivalry's sixth fight. Held on February 14, 1951, the fight became known as boxing's version of The St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Robinson won by a technical knockout in the thirteenth round, when the fight was stopped with LaMotta lying on the ropes. In 1960, LaMotta shocked the sports world when he was called to testify before a U.S. Senate sub-committee that was looking at underworld influence on the boxing game. LaMotta said that he had thrown his 1947 fight with Billy Fox in exchange for a later title shot against Cerdan. While this admission affected his reputation, LaMotta still believed that it was worthwhile.

In the mid 1940's Jake suffered from a boxing injury and took time off to recover. He was always interested in baseball and decided to form the Jake LaMotta All-Star team. They played in Sterling Oval which was located between 165th and 164th Street between Clay and Teller Avenue in the Bronx. All of his bronx friends came to the game. He also held professional fights at that field and his brother Joey often fought there. His wife Vicki was a very successful ticket seller because she was so young and pretty.



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