Jake LaMotta was more famous in the movie business than in the boxing world, an amazing fact given that LaMotta was a world middleweight champion inducted into the boxing Hall of Fame and had a career record of 83-19 with 30 knockouts. LaMotta, who was portrayed on film by Robert De Niro in the 1980 Martin Scorsese masterpiece Raging Bull (see link below), died this week at age 95. LaMotta was a middleweight who was very hard to beat (unless you were Sugar Ray Robinson, who was 5-1 against LaMotta). LaMotta prided himself on a preternatural toughness that was fueled by his rage.
Raging Bull: My Story, LaMotta’s memoir, became the basis of the 1980 Scorsese film. De Niro, brooding and ballistic in black & white, won his first best actor Oscar for his menacing portrayal of LaMotta, who’s fight game went beyond the boxing ring and into the mean streets, as De Niro might say.