Tommy Morrison, ex-boxer and ‘Rocky V’ star, dies at 44

By Daniel S Levine,

Tommy Morrison, a former boxer who appeared in Rocky V, has died. He was 44 years old.

The Associated Press reports that his friend and promoter, Tony Holden, confirmed that Morrison died at a Nebraska hospital Sunday night. The family would not disclose the cause of death.

Morrison was briefly the WBO heavyweight champion, beating George Foreman for the title in 1993. But he then lost it in a fight with the unknown Michael Bentt before he could fight Lennox Lewis. He did eventually fight Lewis, but lost after being knocked out.

While he didn’t become a household name like his contemporaries, including Mike Tyson, he did have a long career, winning 28 professional fights. But the story of his career was high moments followed quickly by disappointments, including run-ins with the law.

According to CNN, in February 1996, Morrison told Larry King that he had tested positive for HIV, but he later said the results were wrong.

In 1990, he appeared in Rocky V, playing Tommy "Machine" Gunn in the Sylvester Stallone film.

“Tommy's a very stubborn person and he views things the way he wants to view things. That's his right and privilege,” Holden told the AP. "All through his career, him and I would come not to physical blows but disagreements on certain things. We always ended up friends. That was Tommy.”

Holden would not give any details on Morrison’s health, but did say that he died with his wife by his side.



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