Former middleweight champion Jake LaMotta, the gritty boxer portrayed by Robert De Niro in the 1980 film “Raging Bull,” died Tuesday at the age of 95.
Denise Baker, the wife of LaMotta, confirmed his death to multiple outlets following complications from pneumonia in a Miami nursing home.
“He was a great man, sensitive and had eyes that danced right up to the end,” Baker told ABC News. “I love him, God rest his soul.
“He never went down!”
Born Giacobbe LaMotta on July 10, 1922 in Bronx, New York, “The Raging Bull” was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. Throughout a 13-year career that began in 1941, LaMotta recorded a record of 83-19-4 and held the middleweight championship from 1949 to 1951.
LaMotta was best known for his six-fight rivalry against “Sugar” Ray Robinson, who is considered by most the pound-for-pound greatest boxer in history. LaMotta only defeated him once, during their second meeting in 1943 at Detroit’s Olympia Stadium, when Robinson was forced into a brawl during a unanimous decision defeat.