By Douglas Ward, Marketing Director at TITLE Boxing
Who was The Raging Bull?
The complexities that made Jake LaMotta such an interesting character, so much so that Martin Scorsese made the infamous film about his tumultuous life entitled, "Raging Bull," also made him one of the most dangerous fighters of his era.
LaMotta learned how to fight at an early age, while his father threw him into street fights for the entertainment of neighbors, passed the hat, took side bets, Jake began formulating his fearless fighting style. His natural transition into the professional ring saw him winning his first 14 fights in a row and it was the epitome of on the job training. Amidst a tough middleweight division and stiff competition, LaMotta developed a difficult style for any fighter to face. His chin was unquestionably unbreakable. His ability to roll with punches as easily as he absorbed them was uncanny. His instinct for infighting and drawing his opponent into a brawl was a strong suite. And his unrelenting bullying, stalking and willingness to trade earned him a showdown with Sugar Ray Robinson in 1942.
This confrontation with the great Sugar Ray Robinson would be the first of SIX meetings the two would have over the next nine years. Even though he only won one of their multiple outings, “The Bronx Bull” became Robinson's greatest nemesis. He became Robinson's defining adversary who brought out the best in Robinson every time they squared-off. Their fights were highly anticipated and are, still today, a perfect example of the Bull versus the Matador ring scenario.
LaMotta spent over 65 rounds and 169 minutes with possibly the greatest fighter of all time, and was still able to boast that "No son-of-a-bitch ever knocked me off my feet." Although that claim ended in December of 1952, when Danny Nardico dropped “The Bronx Bull” in the seventh round. LaMotta fell into the ropes and went down for the first time, it was clearly toward the end of LaMotta’s career and well beyond his prime.
There’s no question that, in an era of tough fighters and the stiffest competition, Jake LaMotta came up the hard way. In a career spanning two weight divisions and 13 years, he fought the great Sugar Ray, the mafia, all comers and walked away in 1954 with an astounding 106 bouts on his ledger. “The Raging Bull” lived a life worthy of recognition and would ultimately be immortalized on the big screen by Oscar-winning actor, Robert De Niro. He is a legendary fighter who has created a Legacy worthy of a champion.
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