Boxing legend Jake LaMotta, inspiration for 'Raging Bull,' dies at 95

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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.

The Bronx fighter had an incredible career, spanning 106 pro fights and winning a world middleweight championship, after he was rejected from serving in the military due to a medical issue in 1941. It added a six-fight series with Sugar Ray Robinson defined his career.

His boxing career was most notable for LaMotta's rivalry with "Sugar" Ray Robinson. LaMotta threw a fight against Billy Fox, which he admitted in testimony before the Kefauver Committee, a U.S. Senate committee investigating organized crime in 1960.

LaMotta's daughter, Christi, confirmed the news in a Facebook post.

On June 16, 1949, he became middleweight champion when Marcel Cerdan couldn't continue after the 10th round. In a fight that became known as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, LaMotta gave as good as he got in the early rounds, then took tremendous punishment.

Robert De Niro won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of LaMotta in "Raging Bull", which was based on LaMotta's autobiography Raging Bull: My Story.

LaMotta's two sons died in separate, tragic circumstances in 1998.

The International Boxing of Fame, who inducted LaMotta in 1990, revealed he began boxing at a young age when his father made him fight other neighborhood kids in The Bronx to entertain adults.

The family is in the planning stages of his memorial and funeral and will celebrate his life in Miami and New York, Baker said.

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