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Legendary boxer Jake LaMotta dies, aged 96

Legendary boxer Jake LaMotta, famously portrayed by Robert De Niro in the Martin Scorsese film Raging Bull, has died at the age of 96 according to his family.

The former world middleweight champion died in a nursing home from complications arising from pneumonia, according to US news site TMZ.

LaMotta was famed for having one of the toughest chins in the history of boxing and for his six-fight series against Sugar Ray Robinson, who he was the first person to beat.

Raging Bull earned De Niro an Oscar for his portrayal of the boxer, a role for which he gained 60 pounds to portray LaMotta in his post-fight career.

The film depicts LaMotta's turbulent life inside and outside of the ring.

During the 1940s and 1950s LaMotta became a major star for his aggressive style that involved a willingness to take punches to allow him to get close enough to his opponents to land his own shots.

Speaking to TMZ, his wife said: "I just want people to know, he was a great, sweet, sensitive, strong, compelling man with a great sense of humor, with eyes that danced."

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