JAKE LAMOTTA (1922-2017) - Sports Illustrated Vault | SI.com
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JAKE LAMOTTA (1922-2017)

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Indelibly portrayed by Robert De Niro in the 1980 biopic Raging Bull, Hall of Fame boxer Jake LaMotta was a beatdown brawler with a chin of steel: In 106 bouts he was knocked down only once. He earned the middleweight title in 1949 and defended it twice, retiring in '54 with a record of 83-19-4 that included Sugar Ray Robinson's first career loss. (Robinson won their five other fights.) A self-described "good-for-nothing bum kid" from the Bronx, LaMotta was accused of beating his first wife, Ida, and served six months in prison for abetting prostitution. After exiting the ring, he acted on stage and in movies. LaMotta, 95, died of pneumonia in Aventura, Fla., on Sept. 19.