Boxer Tommy Morrison dies — supposedly not from AIDS

The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Tommy Morrison was quite the physical specimen in his day. Credit: Getty Images
The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Tommy Morrison was quite the physical specimen in his day.
Credit: Getty Images

If you followed the saga of boxer Tommy Morrison, you might not be surprised to hear that the former heavyweight champion died Sunday night at just 44 years old.

Morrison beat the legendary George Foreman on June 7, 1993 to win the vacant WBO Heavyweight title. Foreman was well past his prime at that point, attempting one of his many comebacks, at age 44.

Morrison lost the title just four months later to Michael Bentt, who knocked him down three times — and out — in the first round.

But Morrison’s fame was also established in 1989 when he starred in “Rocky V” as the main character’s protege, Tommy “The Machine” Gunn (what a fortuitous last name!) The two eventually end up in a street brawl and (24-YEAR-OLD SPOILER ALERT!) Rocky beats the crap out of him. Please, enjoy:

Morrison’s life got a lot more complicated when he failed an HIV test in 1996 before fighting Arthur Weathers. He admitted to living a “reckless” lifestyle. The fight was canceled and Morrison never fought a noteworthy bout again. (He fought two more in 2007 and 2008, though both are questionable in legitimacy; one was in Mexico.)

But Morrison claimed, right up until his death, that the result was a false positive. He even took multiple HIV tests in 2007, all of which were negative. It’s a whole lot more complicated though, with reports the blood wasn’t actually his and that he failed not just one test in 1996, but multiple tests after that. The New York Times did an in-depth story on Morrison when he tried to make a comeback in 2007, and ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” did as well.

His wife said he had Guillain-Barre Syndrome, not AIDS. Like I said, complicated. All we know now is that Morrison was bed-ridden for months and died of major organ failure. An autopsy will reportedly be done.

Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports. Rocky throws quite the uppercut, doesn’t he? He can knock someone out just by whiffing by a foot.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sister of accused Boston Marathon bombers arrested for…

The sister of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was arrested in New York City for threatening a woman over the phone, saying she could "put a bomb on you," police…

Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…