The 10 greatest middleweights of all time

Tony Connolly, with his weekly column, this week asks Birmingham Mail boxing journalistic legend Mike Lockley to name the 10 greatest middleweights of all time

10. Jake LaMotta

Forget the hype, the Bronx Bull was far from the murderous punching. middleweight monster portrayed by Robert De Niro.

He was, in truth, not noted for knockout power, but possessed underrated defensive skills and one of the best chins in boxing.

Anyone capable of handing Sugar Ray Robinson his first loss, snapping a 40-fight unbeaten run, then pushing him to the limit in five other encounters, must have been good. In Marcel Cerdan, he also stopped a fine fighter for the world title, but a damaged shoulder played a large part in the Frenchman’s 1949 defeat – much larger than the film would have you believe. LaMotta lost his title in his second defence , stopped in 13 rounds by Sugar Ray.

And, yes, he really did totter over to the new champ and slur: “You couldn’t put me down, Ray.”

Jake LaMotta

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