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Top Rank promoter Bob Arum recalls friendship with Jake LaMotta

Updated September 20, 2017 - 6:41 pm

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum became friendly with Jake LaMotta in the 1980s when the boxer helped promote Arum’s classic middleweight fights at Caesars Palace’s outdoor arena.

LaMotta, a former middleweight champion, died Tuesday at a Miami-area hospital from complications of pneumonia, according to his longtime fiancee, Denise Baker. He was 95.

One story Arum will never forget about LaMottta was the night he got married for “about the seventh time,” at the Barbary Coast, now The Cromwell. (LaMotta actually was married six times.)

It was the evening before Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns engaged in a thrilling three-round brawl in 1985. LaMotta’s best man was the boxer he fought six times, Sugar Ray Robinson, who won the series 5-1.

“I asked Jake, why Robinson, you guys had one of the best rivalries ever,” Arum said. “He says, ‘Yeah, but look at the results. It’s clear Robinson was the better man, so who better than to have as my best man.’”

LaMotta never fought in Las Vegas.

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GManzano24 on Twitter.

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