'Raging Bull' boxer Jake LaMotta dies in South Florida

Daughter announces former middleweight champion's death on Facebook

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor , Associated Press
Headline Goes Here Theo Wargo / Getty Images & Keystone

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. - Jake LaMotta, the former middleweight champion boxer who was portrayed by Robert DeNiro in the 1980 movie "Raging Bull," has died, according to his daughter. He was 95.

Christi LaMotta announced her father's death on Facebook

"Rest in Peace Pop," she wrote.

LaMotta's wife told TMZ that he died in a nursing home due to complications from pneumonia.

According to the Miami Herald, LaMotta was recently living at Palm Garden of Aventura.

ABC News has confirmed that he died in South Florida.

The boxer achieved plenty of accolades in the ring, but he's perhaps best known for his rivalry with Sugar Ray Robinson.

LaMotta fought Robinson six times, handing Robinson his first defeat. He lost the middleweight title to him in what became known as the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre."

In his previous fight, LaMotta saved the championship in movie-script fashion against Laurent Dauthuille. Trailing badly, LaMotta knocked out the challenger with 13 seconds left.

LaMotta threw a fight against Billy Fox, which he admitted in testimony before a U.S. Senate committee. He said he was promised a shot at a title.

On June 16, 1949, he became middleweight champion when Marcel Cerdan couldn't continue after the 10th round.

"The Bronx Bull," as he was known in his fighting days, compiled an 83-19-4 record with 30 knockouts.

DeNiro won an Oscar for his role as the brute LaMotta in "Raging Bull," which was based on LaMotta's 1970 memoir. LaMotta said he trained the actor until the boxing champion felt he was ready to compete professionally.

LaMotta spent his latter years on the lounge scene, managing bars and performing stand-up routines at his clubs.

After opening a nightclub in Miami Beach, LaMotta went to jail for enabling prostitution of a minor when a 14-year-old girl was arrested at his establishment. He was convicted and served six months on a chain gang.

LaMotta's wife, Denise Baker, said the family is in the planning stages of his memorial and funeral and will celebrate his life in Miami and New York.

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