Death is the great equalizer. One man who lived the dream of millions was Jake LaMotte. The former world middleweight boxing champion passed away peacefully at the age of 95 in a Miami hospital two days back. Jake was a great boxer but his name is known to millions thanks to Robert De Niro, who played him in “Raging Bull.” The film was based on the autobiography of the boxer, which the actor had read.

Raging Bull

De Niro won the Oscar for the best actor for his role in the film, and in the bargain immortalized the boxer. Perhaps if he had not portrayed the role of the boxer in "Raging Bull," LaMotte would not have had the adulation that he got later.

LaMotte had a checkered career and fought 106 bouts with 30 knockouts spread over decades. He had the distinction of stopping legendary boxer Sugar Ray Robinson in 1943. The two met six times and Sugar Ray was always the winner, but to the credit of Le Motte, he was never knocked down by the boxer. In one of the most punishing matches, he stood up to Sugar Ray in a title bout, refusing to go down despite receiving severe punishment at the hands of Sugar Ray. It came to be known as the “Valentine Day massacre”.

A household name

Credit for the name of Jake Le Motte becoming a household name must go to Robert De Niro, who was inspired by the life of the boxer and essayed the role of the pugilist.

Le Motte had a checkered career and even spent time in jail. He also had the dubious distinction of throwing a fight against Billy Fox, which he admitted in a testimony before a U.S. Senate committee.

The death of the boxer has brought forth many tributes. Many of the tributes attest to the fact that he was one of the most acclaimed boxers of his generation.

Fans of Jake LaMotte along with the rest of the sports world have been remembering the iconic man and held a candlelight march in his memory. He was also inducted into the Boxing Hall Of Fame. The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced its flags will fly at half-staff in memory of the middleweight champion.Though a week has passed since the death of the boxer, the sporting world continues to remember the boxer.

Last words

Boxing is a sport that has fascinated man since time immemorial and the game flourished in the USA in the 20th century producing a string of world-class boxers like Muhammed Ali, Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, Joe Louis, and Jake LaMotta. Their names will forever be etched in the history of the sport. Robert De Niro, in a personal tribute, hailed the legendary boxer with the words "rest in peace champ."