Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Biblical Mandible

At 92 years of age this man of many stories walks into a room filled with people. Most of them are only half his age and never even witnessed one of his glorious fights. The Children are only privy to the tales told by their fathers and uncles about "The Bronx Bull," but I get the feeling today he might be inspired to share a past experience of his days at the top of the middle-weight division or the time he spent with Hollywood's elite.

Jake LaMotta fought 106 professional fights in only 13 years (1941-1954). At the height of his boxing career in 1949 he won the National Boxing Association Middleweight Title. LaMotta fought Sugar Ray Robinson, who many consider as the "pound-for-pound" greatest fighter ever, 6 times. He only defeated Robinson once, but was never knocked down in their fights. In fact, LaMotta's lone suffered knock-down occurred against Danny Nardico in 1952. No one was able to take a punch like "The Raging Bull." Boxing Announcers described his chin as "the granite jaw" & "the biblical mandible."

He sits at the table, signs his John Hancock and shakes hands with every extended paw. The old man still commands the room and smiles at the faces of kids who don't know his name, but will someday. One patron brought a picture of The Champ with Paul Newman from the 1961 film, The Hustler. Jake smiled and said, "What a classy guy that Pauly."

Amazing this man is still going strong after all the years. He's got a website, a fiancee and plenty of Bronx-charm to go around. Jake LaMotta is best known
for fighting, but his stage and business careers have been just as successful. His name and face are recogizable by any sport-loving American. It was a pleasure meeting you Mr. LaMotta. Thank you Sir for being so Great.

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