It’s a sad day for boxing. Multiple news sources have reported that the “Raging Bill” Jake LaMotta passed away at the age of 95.
There will be a lot of obituaries for LaMotta by writers and pundits who knew him better than I, but I did want to share one story I had of LaMotta. I met him once, back in July of 2001, at a ESPN televised show I was covering for Fightnews. LaMotta was brought in to do some standup comedy, and, well let’s just say he was a better fighter than a comedian. After a series of jokes of the “take my wife, please!” varient, LaMotta returned to his seat where another writer decided to grab a quick interview with the former champ. LaMotta was personable and engaging…until the writer decided to try his hand at comedy at Jake’s expense. Quoting a line from the film “Raging Bull” (the famous scene where DeNiro confronts Joe Pesci about having an affair with his wife), LaMotta glared at the writer with a look that probably was identical to the scowl he bestowed on Sugar Ray Robinson. The writer joked afterwards that he was going to “leave the comedy to the professionals” and even wrote about the experience.
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