Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/08/terry-downes-obituary
World middleweight boxing champion who inspired Martin Scorsese’s film Raging Bull and fought Sugar Ray Robinson six times
Jake LaMotta, who has died aged 95, is generally acknowledged as one of the toughest men to have entered a professional boxing ring – a world middleweight champion best remembered for having fought the great Sugar Ray Robinson on six occasions. Brought up in poverty, a teenage hoodlum, married seven times, imprisoned for pimping, a confessed rapist and sometime actor and standup comedian, LaMotta led a life that reads like a film script and was the basis for the greatest boxing movie of all time, Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull (1980).
Robert De Niro won an Oscar for his portrayal of the violent, paranoid, wife-beating LaMotta, who had nevertheless endeared himself to the American public at a time when boxing was a hugely popular spectator sport, commanding enormous newspaper coverage, with his almost unbelievable feats of bravery within the ring. The film was based on LaMotta’s memoirs, Raging Bull: My Story (1970), co-written with Joseph Carter and Peter Savage, and republished on several occasions.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/20/jake-lamotta-obituary