Tommy Morrison Dead: Rocky V Star Dies at 44

Celebrity News Sep. 2, 2013 AT 2:30PM
Tommy Morrison attends the Chiller Theatre Spring Expo 2011 Rock V star and former heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison died at the age of 44 on Sunday, Sept. 1 Credit: Bobby Bank/WireImage.com

Tommy Morrison has died at the age of 44. The Rocky V star and heavyweight champion died on Sunday, Sept. 1, in a Nebraska hospital, TMZ reports. 

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Morrison's promoter, Tony Holden, confirmed the news that he had been in and out of the hospital for several months. He died with his wife by his side.

Morrison, nicknamed "The Duke," won his first heavyweight fight in 1989, by knocking out Alan Jamison in the first round. He then went on to play Tommy 'Machine' Gunn in 1990's Rocky V, alongside Sylvester Stallone. Three years later, he defeated George Foreman for the heavyweight championship in 1993.

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The Oklahoma native was later tested positive for HIV in 1996, but declared that the test was false. He also endured some tough times after his boxing career. In 1998, he was sentenced to six months in jail after being convicted of a DUI, and was later arrested in 1999 for drug and weapon possession. He was sentenced to 10 years in 2000, but only served one.

"I think about boxing more now. I'm better," Morrison told The Kansas City Star in 2011. "They're not used to that. A white guy that has hand speed, power, charisma, and can talk in complete sentences? Sounds like a gold mine to me."

 

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