SEPTEMBER 1, 2013

PONCA-OTOE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMP TOMMY MORRISON DIED

Born on January 2, 1969, in Gravette, Arkansas, and raised in Oklahoma, Morrison’s mother was Native American.  Graduating high school, Morrison advanced to the National golden Gloves and lost in the semifinals.  He later lost a 1988 US Olympic team box-off to eventual heavyweight gold medallist, Ray Mercer.  However, Morrison was spotted by Sylvester Stallone and cast as “Tommy Gunn,” in “Rocky V” (1990).  In the ring, he lost again to Mercer for the WBO title in 1991.  In 1993, Morrison won the title from George Foreman, but only 4 months later was knocked out inside a round by Michael Bentt.  In 1996, while a bout with Mike Tyson was being discussed, he tested HIV positive and suspended from boxing.  Without boxing, he got into trouble and, in 2000, was imprisoned for two years.  Morrison later successfully challenged the HIV-test results and got 2 low-profile wins, in 2007-8.  His final record: 48 wins (42 knockouts), 3 losses, 1 draw.  In August 2013, Morrison died of AIDS in Omaha, Nebraska.

Source:  “Tommy Morrison,” The Guardian, 9/11/2013.  Retrieved 6/20/2020, https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2013/sep/11/tommy-morrison
Clip Art:  Courtesy of Public Domain Vectors, https://publicdomainvectors.org/en/free-clipart/Boxers-vector-illustration/28027.html

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