Ex-Heavyweight Boxing Champion Tommy Morrison Dies at 44


Tommy Morrison, the former heavyweight champion, and who played the role of Tommy Gunn in “Rocky V” alongside Sylvester Stallone, has died at the age of 44. Morrison died in an Omaha, Nebraska hospital late Sunday night.  Morrison died at approximately 11:50 p.m. with his wife, Trisha, beside him. No cause of death was provided. In 1993, Morrison beat Foreman to win the WBO heavyweight title, but by February of 1996, Morrison had tested positive for HIV and his boxing career was over. He had denied he had the disease but was unable to attain a boxing license.  His wife also denied the allegations. Morrison finished with a record of 48-3-1 with 42 knockouts.

Trisha Morrison, who married Morrison in 2011, picked up that fight, and in a recent interview with ESPN.com insisted that Morrison had Guillain-Barre Syndrome, not HIV.

Holden declined to comment Monday on the cause of Morrison’s death.

“I don’t know what the official cause of death at the hospital will be,” he said.

As reported in USA Today, Morrison’s license was quickly suspended by Nevada, and the ban was, in effect, upheld by every other sanctioning body. Morrison said at a news conference he’d never fight again, blaming his plight on a “permissive, fast and reckless lifestyle.” Sadly, it would appear that his lifestyle never changed.

Tommy Morrison, the former heavyweight champion who stood toe-to-toe with Lennox Lewis and George Foreman and later tested positive for HIV, died Monday. He was 44.

Morrison died Sunday night at a Nebraska hospital, said Tony Holden, his longtime promoter and close friend. The family would not disclose the cause of death.

In 1993, Morrison beat Foreman to win the WBO heavyweight title, only to lose it to unheralded Michael Bentt in a defeat that scuttled a showdown with Lewis. Morrison would fight Lewis a couple of years later, getting knocked out in the sixth round in Atlantic City, N.J.

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