On Sept. 1, the world lost a champion when world-renowned boxer Tommy Morrison, also known as “The Duke,” died of unknown causes at the young age of 44.
Out of 52 professional fights, Tommy Morrison only lost three. Going head-to-head against icons like Lennox Lewis and George Foreman, and starring in Rocky V alongside Sylvester Stallone, Tommy had a successful career, despite testing positive for HIV.
Tommy Morrison Dies At 44
Tony Holden, close friend and promoter of Tommy confirmed that the boxing champion had passed away at an hospital in Omaha, Neb. at 11:50 PM with his wife Trisha Morrison by his side. At this time, the family is not releasing his cause of death.
While Tommy was well-known for his fighting ability, he entered the news in 1996 when the Nevada Athletic Commission released that he had tested positive for HIV. He followed the announcement with a press conference, where he announced he would “absolutely” never box again.
After ten years of treatment, Tommy claimed that the tests were “false positives” in 2006 and was back in the ring twice — once in 2007 and once in 2008. He created the KnockOut AIDS Foundation, and became a spokesperson for safe sex.
Tony Holden: ‘There’s No One With That Talent Today’
Tony confirmed the sad news to ESPN, but was not disclosing any details.
“I don’t know what the official cause of death at the hospital will be,” he said. “You prepare for things like this, and still you feel like you got hit by a truck when you hear the news.”
“If Tommy was fighting today, he no doubt would be a world champion,” his longtime friend continued. “You have to look at who he was fighting in the ’90s, the guys in that division were Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Riddick Bowe, Ray Mercer, George Foreman. There’s no one with that talent today. Tommy would absolutely dominate if he were in his prime boxing today.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tommy’s family and friends at this time.
— Emily Longeretta