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Jake LaMotta’s most memorable boxing matches

Jake La Motta, left, knocks Sugar Ray Robinson

Jake La Motta, left, knocks Sugar Ray Robinson through the ropes for a count of nine in the eighth round of their bout in Detroit on Feb. 5, 1943. Credit: AP

JAKE LAMOTTA VS. SUGAR RAY ROBINSON

They fought six times, with Robinson winning five, including his debut as a middleweight on Oct. 2, 1942 at Madison Square Garden. LaMotta knocked him down in the first round, but Robinson recovered to win a unanimous 10-round decision. In the rematch Feb. 5, 1943 in Detroit, Robinson was saved by the bell at the count of nine after being knocked through the ropes in the eighth round. LaMotta won that unanimous decision — Robinson’s first career defeat. Just 21 days later they met again in Detroit. Robinson took another nine-count in the seventh round, but won a close 12-round decision. On Feb. 23, 1945 at MSG, LaMotta lost a 10-round unanimous decision. On Sept. 26, 1945 at Chicago’s Comiskey Park, LaMotta lost a controversial 12-round split decision that Robinson said afterward was the toughest fight he ever had with LaMotta. Their final bout was for the middleweight title on Feb. 14, 1951 at Chicago Stadium and is known as boxing’s Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre as LaMotta was pummeled throughout until it was stopped with him lying on the ropes in the 13th round.

LAMOTTA VS. BILLY FOX, NOV. 14, 1947

LaMotta was knocked out in four rounds by “Blackjack’’ Fox at MSG. Suspecting a fix, New York State suspended LaMotta, and in testimony in 1960 before the U.S. Senate Kefauver Committee, he admitted to throwing the fight.

LAMOTTA VS. MARCEL CERDAN, JUNE 16, 1949

LaMotta defeated Cerdan of France to win the middleweight title in Detroit. The bout was even after three rounds, but Cerdan had separated his shoulder and quit before the start of the 10th round. Flying to the U.S. on Oct. 27, 1949 for a rematch, Cerdan was killed in a plane crash in the Azores.

LAMOTTA VS. LAURENT DAUTHUILLE, SEPT. 13, 1950

In a rematch against Dauthuille in Detroit for the middleweight title, LaMotta was badly beaten and well behind on all scorecards going into the 15th and final round. But halfway through the round LaMotta unloaded a barrage of punches, eventually knocking Dauthuille into the ropes where he was counted out with 13 seconds remaining.

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