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70 years ago

Jake LaMotta vs Ray Robinson

Jake LaMotta vs Ray Robinson

Date: 14th February 1951

Venue: Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Title: World Middleweight Title

Tv: ESPN Classic

Jake LaMotta
( 78 - 14 - 3 )
Weight: 160 lbs

Ray Robinson
( 121 - 1 - 2 )
Weight: 155 1/2 lbs

Jake 'The Bronx Bull' LaMotta made the third defence of his World Middleweight Title against old foe 'Sugar' Ray Robinson at the Chicago Stadium in front of 14,802 fans. LaMotta and Robinson didn't disappoint them, the ensuing bloody battle became known as the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre."

This was the sixth and final meeting in a rivalry that would never be bettered in terms of significance and ferocity.

LaMotta had won the World Title from France's Marcel Cerdan at Briggs Stadium in Detroit on the 16th June 1949 and made two successful defences against Italian Tiberio Mitri and France's Laurent Dauthuille in what Ring Magazine named its 1950 Fight of the Year. LaMotta was due to face Cerdan in a rematch, but sadly the Frenchman was killed in an aeroplane crash while travelling to New York for training camp.

Robinson came into the fight as the reigning World Welterweight champion and looking to become middleweight champ. He hadn't lost to any fighter other than LaMotta in their second meeting in February 1943.

In what most boxing historians consider one of the greatest boxing matches of all time, LaMotta and Robinson produced a brutal match that highlighted LaMotta's roughhouse, brawling tactics and Robinson's fleet-footed, slick skills coupled with sharp, accurate punching.

Unlike other great boxing matches, LaMotta vs Robinson VI became a one-sided beating after the 10th round. Referee Frank Sikora allowed LaMotta to take too much punishment before calling a halt to the slaughter at 2:04 of the 13th round.

LaMotta boxed on another ten occasions before he retired in 1954, winning five, losing four and drawing one. He was never the same fighter after that brutal Valentine's Day battle.

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