Died: September 19, 2017 (at age 95)
Died: September 19, 2017 (at age 95)
Giacobbe "Jake" LaMotta (July 10, 1922 - September 19, 2017) was an American professional boxer, former world middleweight champion, and stand-up comedian. Nicknamed "The Bronx Bull" or "Raging Bull", LaMotta was a rough fighter who was not a particularly big puncher, but he would subject his opponents to vicious beatings in the ring. With use of constant stalking, brawling and inside fighting, he developed the reputation for being a 'bully'; he was what is often referred to today as a swarmer and a slugger.
Due to his hard style of fighting, LaMotta often got as much as he was giving in an era of great middleweights. With a thick skull and jaw muscles, LaMotta was able to absorb incredible amounts of punishment over the course of his career, and is thought to have one of the greatest chins in boxing history. LaMotta's six-fight rivalry with Sugar Ray Robinson was one of the most notable in the sport, but LaMotta won only one of the bouts. Although each fight was close, LaMotta dropped Robinson to the canvas multiple times. LaMotta, who lived a turbulent life in and out of the ring, was portrayed by Robert De Niro in the 1980 film Raging Bull. He was managed by his brother Joey LaMotta.LaMotta was born on the Lower East Side of New York City on July 10, 1922, to Italian parents. Many sources had reported his year of birth as 1921, but his daughter Christi said in a Facebook post immediately following his death that it was in fact 1922. His mother was born in the United States to Italian immigrants, while his father was an immigrant from Messina, Sicily, who came with family including his brother Joseph. The family lived briefly in Philadelphia before returning to New York and settling in the Bronx.
Jake's father forced the boy to fight other boys in order to entertain neighborhood adults, who threw pocket change into the ring. LaMotta's father collected the money and used it to help pay the rent. One of Jake's much younger cousins on his father's side was Richard LaMotta, who became an entrepreneur and creator of the Chipwich ice cream treat.
LaMotta learned to box while in a reformatory in upstate New York, where he'd been sent for attempted robbery. Afterward he fought undefeated in amateur bouts, turning professional at age 19 in 1941. During World War II, he was rejected for military service because of having had a mastoid operation as a child on one of his ears and it affected his hearing.
As a middleweight in his first fifteen bouts, LaMotta went 14-0-1 (3 KOs) before losing a highly controversial split decision to Jimmy Reeves in Reeves' hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Chaos erupted after the decision was announced. Fights broke out around the ring and the crowd continued to boo for 20 minutes. The arena's organist tried (but failed) to calm down the crowd by playing the "Star Spangled Banner".
One month later, LaMotta and Reeves fought again in the same arena. Reeves won a much less controversial decision. A third match between the two took place on March 19, 1943 in Detroit, Michigan. The first five rounds were close, though Reeves was struggling in the fourth. In the sixth round, LaMotta floored Reeves, who was only down only for a second. Once the fight resumed, LaMotta landed a left on Reeves' chin, sending him down face-first. Reeves was blinking his eyes and shaking his head as the referee counted him out.
LaMotta vs. Robinson I-V
LaMotta fought Sugar Ray Robinson in Robinson's middleweight debut at Madison Square Garden, New York, October 2, 1942. LaMotta knocked Robinson down in the first round of the fight. Robinson got up and took control over much of the fight, winning via a unanimous 10-round decision.
A 10-round rematch took place February 5, 1943, at Olympia Stadium in Detroit, Michigan. The eighth round was historic. LaMotta landed a right to Robinson's head and a left to his body, sending him through the ropes. Robinson was saved by the bell at the count of nine. LaMotta, who was already leading on the scorecards before knocking Robinson out of the ring, pummeled and outpointed him for the rest of the fight. Robinson had trouble keeping LaMotta at bay. LaMotta won via unanimous decision, giving Robinson the first defeat of his career.
The victory was short-lived, as the two met on February 26, 1943, in what was another 10-round fight, once again at Olympia Stadium in Robinson's former home of Detroit. Robinson was knocked down for a nine-count in Round 7. Robinson later stated, "He really hurt me with a left in the seventh round. I was a little dazed and decided to stay on the deck." Robinson won the close fight by unanimous decision, using a dazzling left jab and jarring uppercuts. LaMotta said the fight was given to Robinson because he would be inducted into the army the next day.
A fourth fight, the duo's final 10 rounder, took place nearly two years after the third, on February 23, 1945, at Madison Square Garden, New York. Robinson won again by a unanimous decision.
LaMotta and Robinson had their fifth bout at Comiskey Park, Chicago, Illinois on September 26, 1945. Robinson won by a very controversial split decision, contested over 12 rounds. The decision was severely booed by the 14,755 people in attendance. LaMotta later said in his autobiography that the decision was widely criticized by several newspapers and boxing publishers. Robinson said afterward, "This was the toughest fight I've ever had with LaMotta."
LaMotta vs. Fox
On November 14, 1947, LaMotta was knocked out in the fourth round by Billy Fox. Suspecting the fight was fixed, the New York State Athletic Commission withheld purses for the fight and suspended LaMotta. The fight with Fox would come back to haunt him later in life, during a case with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In his testimony and in his later book, LaMotta admitted to throwing the fight to gain favor with the Mafia. All involved agreed the fix was obvious and their staging inept.
As LaMotta wrote,
The first round, a couple of belts to his head, and I see a glassy look coming over his eyes. Jesus Christ, a couple of jabs and he's going to fall down? I began to panic a little. I was supposed to be throwing a fight to this guy, and it looked like I was going to end up holding him on his feet... By, if there was anybody in the Garden who didn't know what was happening, he must have been dead drunk."
The thrown fight and a payment of $20,000 to the Mafia got LaMotta his title bout against World Middleweight Champion Marcel Cerdan.
LaMotta vs. Cerdan
LaMotta won the World Middleweight title on June 16, 1949 in Detroit, Michigan, defeating Frenchman Marcel Cerdan. LaMotta won the first round (in which he knocked Cerdan down), Cerdan the second, and the third was even. At that point it became clear something was wrong. Cerdan dislocated his arm in the first round, apparently damaged in the knockdown, and gave up before the start of the 10th round. LaMotta damaged his left hand in the fifth round, but still landed 104 punches in the ninth round, whereas Cerdan hardly threw a punch. The official score had LaMotta as winner by a knockout in 10 rounds because the bell had already rung to begin that round when Cerdan announced he was quitting. A rematch was arranged, but while Cerdan was flying back to the United States to fight the rematch, his Air France Lockheed Constellation crashed in the Azores, killing everyone on board.
World Middleweight Champion
LaMotta made his first title defense against Tiberio Mitri on July 7, 1950, at Madison Square Garden, New York. LaMotta retained his title via unanimous decision. LaMotta's next defense came on September 13, 1950, against Laurent Dauthuille. Dauthuille had previously beaten LaMotta by decision before LaMotta became world champion. By the fifteenth round, Dauthuille was ahead on all scorecards (72-68, 74-66, 71-69) and seemed to be about to repeat a victory against LaMotta. LaMotta hit Dauthuille with a barrage of punches that sent him down against the ropes toward the end of the round. Dauthuille was counted out with 13 seconds left in the fight. This fight was named Fight of the Year for 1950 by The Ring Magazine.
Saint Valentine's Day Massacre of boxing
The sixth and final fight between LaMotta and Robinson took place at Chicago Stadium. This fight was scheduled for 15 rounds and was for the middleweight title. Held on February 14, 1951, Saint Valentine's Day, the fight became known as boxing's version of the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre. In the last few rounds, LaMotta began to take a horrible beating and was soon unable to defend himself from Robinson's powerful blows. But LaMotta refused to go down. Robinson won by a technical knockout in the 13th round, when the fight was stopped with LaMotta lying on the ropes. However, Robinson was never able to knock LaMotta down.
LaMotta moved up to light heavyweight after losing his world middleweight title. He had poor results at first. He lost his debut against Bob Murphy, lost a split decision to Norman Hayes, and drew with Gene Hairston in his first three bouts. In his next three fights, LaMotta had rematches with Hayes, Hairston, and Murphy, and defeated all of them by unanimous decision.
On December 31, 1952, LaMotta had his next fight against Danny Nardico. He knocked LaMotta down for the only time in his career (not counting his thrown 1947 fight) by a right hand in the seventh round. LaMotta got up and was beaten against a corner by Nardico until the bell rang. LaMotta's corner stopped the bout before the eighth round began.
Following that fight, LaMotta took time off; when he returned, in early 1954, he knocked out his first two opponents, Johnny Pretzie (TKO 4) and Al McCoy (KO 1), but a controversial split decision loss to Billy Kilgore on April 14, 1954 convinced him to retire.
After retiring from the ring, LaMotta owned and managed bars. He also became a stage actor and stand-up comedian. In 1958 he was arrested and charged with introducing men to an underage girl at a club he owned in Miami. He was convicted and served 6 months on a chain gang, although he has maintained his innocence.
LaMotta appeared in more than 15 films, including The Hustler (1961) with Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason, in which he had a role as a bartender. He appeared in several episodes of the NBC police comedy Car 54 Where Are You? (1961-63). A lifelong baseball fan, he organized the Jake LaMotta All-Star Team in the Bronx. The LaMotta team played in Sterling Oval which was located between 165th and 164th Streets between Clay and Teller Avenue.
In 1960 LaMotta was called to testify before a U.S. Senate sub-committee that was looking into underworld influence on boxing. He testified that he had thrown his bout with Billy Fox so that the mob would arrange a title bout for him.
LaMotta is recognized as having had one of the best chins in boxing. He rolled with punches, minimizing their force and damage when they landed, but he was also able to absorb many blows. In the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, his sixth bout with Robinson, LaMotta suffered numerous severe blows to the head. Commentators could be heard saying "No man can take this kind of punishment!" But LaMotta did not go down. The fight was stopped by the referee in the 13th round, declaring it a TKO victory for Robinson.
LaMotta was one of the first boxers to adopt the "bully" style of fighting, in that he always stayed close and in punching range of his opponent, by stalking him around the ring, and sacrificed taking punches himself in order to land his own shots. Due to his aggressive, unrelenting style he was known as "The Bronx Bull." He boasted "No son-of-a-bitch ever knocked me off my feet", but that claim was ended in December 1952 at the hands of Danny Nardico when Nardico caught him with a hard right in the seventh round. LaMotta fell into the ropes and went down. After regaining his footing, he was unable to come out for the next round.
Raging BullMain article: Raging Bull
Hollywood executives approached LaMotta with the idea of a movie about his life, based on his 1970 memoir, Raging Bull: My Story. The film, Raging Bull, released in 1980, was initially only a minor box office success, but eventually received overwhelming critical acclamation for both director Martin Scorsese and actor Robert De Niro, who gained about 60 pounds during the shooting of the film to play the older LaMotta in later scenes.
To accurately portray the younger LaMotta, De Niro trained with LaMotta until LaMotta felt he was ready to box professionally. De Niro lived in Paris for three months, eating at the finest restaurants in order to gain sufficient weight to portray LaMotta after retirement. De Niro won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance.
Later life and death
LaMotta had a troubled personal life, including a spell in a reformatory, and was married seven times. He admitted beating his wives and coming close to beating a man to death during a robbery.
In February 1998, LaMotta's elder son, Jake LaMotta Jr., died of liver cancer. In September 1998, his younger son, Joseph LaMotta, died in the crash of Swissair Flight 111.
His nephew, John LaMotta, fought in the heavyweight-novice class of the 2001 Golden Gloves championship tournament. John later became an actor, and one of his roles was as "Duke", who ran the bar of that name featured in the television comedy series Frasier. Another nephew, William Lustig, is a well-known director and producer of horror films and the president of Blue Underground, Inc.
LaMotta had four daughters, including Christi by his second wife Vikki LaMotta and Stephanie by his fourth wife Dimitria. He married his seventh wife, his longtime fiancée Denise Baker, on January 4, 2013.
LaMotta remained active on the speaking and autograph circuit, and published several books about his career, his life, and his fights with Robinson. He was a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and was ranked 52nd on Ring Magazine's List of the 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years. The magazine ranked him as one of the 10 greatest middleweights of all time.
LaMotta appeared in a 50-minute New York stage production, Lady and the Champ, in July 2012. The production focused on LaMotta's boxing career, and was criticized by The New York Times as poorly executed and a "bizarre debacle".
LaMotta is the subject of a documentary directed and produced by Greg Olliver. The film features an appearance by Mike Tyson among other notable athletes, actors and Jake's family and friends. Also in production was a sequel to Raging Bull, although MGM filed suit to halt the project, saying that LaMotta does not have the right to make a sequel. The lawsuit was settled on July 31, 2012, when LaMotta agreed to change the title of the film to The Bronx Bull.
LaMotta: The Bronx Bull stars actor William Forsythe as LaMotta, while Paul Sorvino plays his father. It also features Joe Mantegna, Tom Sizemore, Penelope Ann Miller, Natasha Henstridge, Joey Diaz and Ray Wise.
LaMotta died on September 19, 2017, from complications of pneumonia in a nursing home in Florida, at the age of 95.
Professional boxing record
|Professional record summary|
|106 fights||83 wins||19 losses|
|106||Loss||83-19-4||Billy Kilgore||SD||10||Apr 14, 1954||Auditorium, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.|
|105||Win||83-18-4||Al McCoy||KO||1 (10), 1:10||Apr 03, 1954||Armory, Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.|
|104||Win||82-18-4||Johnny Pretzie||TKO||4 (10), 1:42||Mar 11, 1954||Legion Arena, West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.|
|103||Loss||81-18-4||Danny Nardico||RTD||7 (10)||Dec 31, 1952||Coliseum, Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.||In the 7th round LaMotta was knocked down for the first time in his career. LaMotta's corner stopped the bout between the 7th and 8th rounds.|
|102||Win||81-17-4||Bob Murphy||UD||10||Jun 11, 1952||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Attendance: 16,000|
|101||Win||80-17-4||Gene Hairston||UD||10||May 21, 1952||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|100||Win||79-17-4||Norman Hayes||UD||10||Apr 09, 1952||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|99||Draw||78-17-4||Gene Hairston||PTS||10||Mar 05, 1952||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|98||Loss||78-17-3||Norman Hayes||SD||10||Jan 28, 1952||Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|97||Loss||78-16-3||Bob Murphy||RTD||7 (10)||Jun 27, 1951||Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, New York, U.S.||LaMotta was unable to come out for the 8th round.|
|96||Loss||78-15-3||Sugar Ray Robinson||TKO||13 (15), 2:04||Feb 14, 1951||Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.||Lost World Middleweight title. The fight became known as the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Attendance: 14,802. Their 6th contest.|
|95||Win||78-14-3||Laurent Dauthuille||KO||15 (15), 2:47||Sep 13, 1950||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Retained World Middleweight title. 1950 Fight of the Year - Ring Magazine. Dauthuille was ahead on all judges' scorecards before the knockout.|
|94||Win||77-14-3||Tiberio Mitri||UD||15||Jul 12, 1950||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, U.S.||Won vacant NYSAC World Middleweight title.|
|93||Win||76-14-3||Joe Taylor||UD||10||May 4, 1950||State Fair Coliseum, Syracuse, New York, U.S.||Taylor was down in the 10th.|
|92||Win||75-14-3||Chuck Hunter||TKO||6 (10), 0:59||Mar 28, 1950||Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.||Hunter was down for a five count in the 6th. Attendance: 8,181.|
|91||Win||74-14-3||Dick Wagner||TKO||9 (10), 2:40||Feb 03, 1950||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Attendance: 11,400.|
|90||Loss||73-14-3||Robert Villemain||UD||10||Dec 09, 1949||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, U.S.|
|89||Win||73-13-3||Marcel Cerdan||RTD||9 (15)||Jun 16, 1949||Briggs Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Won National Boxing Association World Middleweight Title.|
|88||Win||72-13-3||Joey DeJohn||TKO||8 (10), 2:41||May 18, 1949||State Fair Coliseum, Syracuse, New York, U.S.||DeJohn was knocked down three times in the 8th, forcing an automatic stoppage.|
|87||Win||71-13-3||O'Neill Bell||TKO||4 (10), 1:40||Apr 18, 1949||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|86||Win||70-13-3||Robert Villemain||SD||12||Mar 25, 1949||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, U.S.||Attendance: 11,491.|
|85||Loss||69-13-3||Laurent Dauthuille||UD||10||Feb 21, 1949||Canada Forum, Montreal,Quebec, Canada.|
|84||Win||69-12-3||Tommy Yarosz||UD||10||Dec 03, 1948||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, U.S.|
|83||Win||68-12-3||Vern Lester||SD||10||Oct 18, 1948||Eastern Parkway Arena, Brooklyn, New York, New York, U.S.|
|82||Win||67-12-3||Johnny Colan||TKO||10 (10), 1:32||Oct 01, 1948||St. Nicholas Rink, New York, New York, U.S.|
|81||Win||66-12-3||Burl Charity||TKO||5 (10)||Sep 07, 1948||Park Arena, Bronx, New York, New York, U.S.||Bout stopped because of a bad cut over Charity's left eye, as well as a split lip. Main event of the opening card of the 1948/49 (final) season at Park Arena.|
|80||Win||65-12-3||Ken Stribling||TKO||5 (10), 2:46||Jun 01, 1948||Griffith Stadium, District of Columbia, U.S.|
|79||Loss||64-12-3||Billy Fox||TKO||4 (10)||Nov 14, 1947||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, U.S.||LaMotta would later admit to having thrown this fight in order to get a shot at the middleweight title.|
|78||Loss||64-11-3||Cecil Hudson||SD||10||Sep 03, 1947||Comiskey Park, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|77||Win||64-10-3||Tony Janiro||UD||10||Jun 06, 1947||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, U.S.|
|76||Win||63-10-3||Tommy Bell||UD||10||Mar 14, 1947||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, U.S.||A left hook to the jaw knocked Bell down in the 1st, for a count of seven.|
|75||Win||62-10-3||Anton Raadik||UD||10||Dec 06, 1946||Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|74||Win||61-10-3||O'Neill Bell||KO||2 (10), 2:32||Oct 25, 1946||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|73||Win||60-10-3||Bob Satterfield||KO||7 (10), 1:50||Sep 12, 1946||Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|72||Win||59-10-3||Holman Williams||UD||10||Aug 07, 1946||University of Detroit Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|71||Draw||58-10-3||Jimmy Edgar||PTS||10||Jun 13, 1946||University of Detroit Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|70||Win||58-10-2||Joe Reddick||UD||10||May 24, 1946||Arena, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|69||Win||57-10-2||Marcus Lockman||UD||10||Mar 29, 1946||Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|68||Win||56-10-2||Tommy Bell||UD||10||Jan 11, 1946||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, U.S.|
|67||Win||55-10-2||Charley Parham||TKO||6 (10), 0:59||Dec 07, 1945||Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|66||Win||54-10-2||Walter Woods||KO||8 (10), 1:33||Nov 23, 1945||Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|65||Win||53-10-2||Coolidge Miller||KO||3 (10), 2:51||Nov 13, 1945||Park Arena, Bronx, New York, New York, U.S.|
|64||Loss||52-10-2||Sugar Ray Robinson||SD||12||Sep 26, 1945||Comiskey Park, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.||Attendance: 14,755. Their 5th contest.|
|63||Win||52-9-2||George Kochan||TKO||9 (10), 0:54||Sep 07, 1945||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, U.S.||Kochan was knocked down by a left hook; the referee stopped at after he rose unsteady.|
|62||Win||51-9-2||Jose Basora||TKO||9 (10)||Aug 10, 1945||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, U.S.||Attendance: 14,907.|
|61||Win||50-9-2||Tommy Bell||UD||10||Jul 06, 1945||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, U.S.|
|60||Win||49-9-2||Bert Lytell||SD||10||Apr 27, 1945||Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|59||Win||48-9-2||Vic Dellicurti||UD||10||Apr 20, 1945||St. Nicholas Rink, New York, New York, U.S.|
|58||Win||47-9-2||George Costner||KO||6 (10)||Mar 26, 1945||Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.||In round 6 Costner was dropped for a nine-count prior the knockout. Attendance was 11,115.|
|57||Win||46-9-2||Lou Schwartz||KO||1 (10), 2:30||Mar 19, 1945||U.S.O. Auditorium, Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.|
|56||Loss||45-9-2||Sugar Ray Robinson||UD||10||Feb 23, 1945||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, U.S.||Attendance: 18,060. Their 4th contest.|
|55||Win||45-8-2||George Kochan||TKO||9 (10)||Nov 03, 1944||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|54||Win||44-8-2||George Kochan||UD||10||Sep 29, 1944||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|53||Loss||43-8-2||Lloyd Marshall||UD||10||Apr 21, 1944||Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.|
|52||Win||43-7-2||Lou Woods||SD||10||Mar 31, 1944||Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.||Woods was down in rounds 8 and 9.|
|51||Win||42-7-2||Coley Welch||UD||10||Mar 17, 1944||Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|50||Win||41-7-2||Ossie Harris||SD||10||Feb 25, 1944||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|49||Win||40-7-2||Ossie Harris||SD||10||Jan 28, 1944||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|48||Win||39-7-2||Fritzie Zivic||UD||10||Jan 14, 1944||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|47||Win||38-7-2||Fritzie Zivic||SD||10||Nov 12, 1943||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, U.S.|
|46||Win||37-7-2||Johnny Walker||TKO||2 (10), 0:53||Oct 11, 1943||Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|45||Win||36-7-2||Jose Basora||UD||10||Sep 17, 1943||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||LaMotta knocked Basora down four times in the 1st round, and once in the 2nd round.|
|44||Loss||35-7-2||Fritzie Zivic||SD||15||Jul 12, 1943||Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|43||Win||35-6-2||Fritzie Zivic||SD||10||Jun 10, 1943||Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|42||Win||34-6-2||Tony Ferrara||KO||6 (10)||May 12, 1943||Music Hall Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.|
|41||Win||33-6-2||Ossie Harris||UD||10||Mar 30, 1943||Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|40||Win||32-6-2||Jimmy Reeves||KO||6 (10)||Mar 19, 1943||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||In 6th round Reeves was floored for a one-count prior the knockout.|
|39||Loss||31-6-2||Sugar Ray Robinson||UD||10||Feb 26, 1943||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Robinson was floored in the 7th round for an eight-count. Attendance: 15,149. Their 3rd contest.|
|38||Win||31-5-2||Sugar Ray Robinson||UD||10||Feb 05, 1943||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Robinson was knocked through the ropes in the 8th round. Attendance: 18,930. Their 2nd contest.|
|37||Win||30-5-2||Charley Hayes||TKO||6 (10)||Jan 22, 1943||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Hayes was floored for an eight-count in the second round.|
|36||Win||29-5-2||California Jackie Wilson||PTS||10||Jan 15, 1943||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, U.S.|
|35||Win||28-5-2||Jimmy Edgar||SD||10||Jan 01, 1943||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|34||Win||27-5-2||Henryk Chmielewski||UD||10||Nov 06, 1942||Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|33||Win||26-5-2||Bill McDowell||TKO||5 (8), 0:44||Oct 20, 1942||Broadway Arena, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.|
|32||Loss||25-5-2||Sugar Ray Robinson||UD||10||Oct 02, 1942||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, U.S.||Attendance: 12,784. Their 1st contest.|
|31||Win||25-4-2||Vic Dellicurti||PTS||10||Sep 08, 1942||New York Coliseum, Bronx, New York, U.S.|
|30||Win||24-4-2||Jimmy Edgar||PTS||10||Aug 28, 1942||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, U.S.|
|29||Win||23-4-2||Lorenzo Strickland||PTS||8||Jul 28, 1942||New York Coliseum, Bronx, New York, U.S.|
|28||Loss||22-4-2||Jose Basora||PTS||10||Jun 16, 1942||New York Coliseum, Bronx, New York, U.S.|
|27||Win||22-3-2||Vic Dellicurti||PTS||10||Jun 02, 1942||New York Coliseum, Bronx, New York, U.S.|
|26||Draw||21-3-2||Jose Basora||PTS||10||May 12, 1942||New York Coliseum, Bronx, New York, U.S.|
|25||Win||21-3-1||Buddy O'Dell||PTS||10||Apr 21, 1942||New York Coliseum, Bronx, New York, U.S.|
|24||Win||20-3-1||Lou Schwartz||KO||9 (10)||Apr 07, 1942||New York Coliseum, Bronx, New York, U.S.|
|23||Win||19-3-1||Lorenzo Strickland||PTS||10||Mar 18, 1942||New York Coliseum, Bronx, New York, U.S.|
|22||Win||18-3-1||Frankie Jamison||PTS||8||Mar 03, 1942||New York Coliseum, Bronx, New York, U.S.|
|21||Win||17-3-1||Frankie Jamison||PTS||8||Jan 27, 1942||New York Coliseum, Bronx, New York, U.S.|
|20||Loss||16-3-1||Nate Bolden||MD||10||Dec 22, 1941||Marigold Gardens, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|19||Win||16-2-1||Jimmy Casa||PTS||6||Nov 14, 1941||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, U.S.|
|18||Loss||15-2-1||Jimmy Reeves||UD||10||Oct 20, 1941||Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.|
|17||Win||15-1-1||Lorenzo Strickland||PTS||8||Oct 07, 1941||Westchester County Center, White Plains, New York, U.S.|
|16||Loss||14-1-1||Jimmy Reeves||SD||10||Sep 24, 1941||Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.||In round 9 Reeves went through the ropes for a nine-count. In the tenth he was down four times.|
|15||Win||14-0-1||Cliff Koerkle||PTS||6||Aug 11, 1941||New York Coliseum, Bronx, New York, U.S.|
|14||Draw||13-0-1||Joe Shikula||PTS||6||Aug 05, 1941||Queensboro Arena, Long Island City, Queens, New York, U.S.|
|13||Win||13-0||Joe Baynes||PTS||6||Jul 15, 1941||Queensboro Arena, Long Island City, Queens, New York, U.S.|
|12||Win||12-0||Johnny Morris||KO||3 (6)||Jun 23, 1941||Starlight Park, Bronx, New York, U.S.|
|11||Win||11-0||Lorenzo Strickland||PTS||6||Jun 16, 1941||Starlight Park, Bronx, New York, U.S.|
|10||Win||10-0||Lorenzo Strickland||PTS||4||Jun 09, 1941||Queensboro Arena, Woodhaven, Queens, New York, U.S.|
|9||Win||9-0||Johnny Morris||PTS||4||May 27, 1941||New York Coliseum, Bronx, New York, U.S.|
|8||Win||8-0||Johnny Cihlar||PTS||4||May 20, 1941||Broadway Arena, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.|
|7||Win||7-0||Monroe Crewe||PTS||4||Apr 26, 1941||Ridgewood Grove, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.|
|6||Win||6-0||Lorne McCarthy||PTS||4||Apr 22, 1941||Westchester County Center, White Plains, New York, U.S.|
|5||Win||5-0||Stanley Goicz||PTS||4||Apr 15, 1941||Westchester County Center, White Plains, New York, U.S.|
|4||Win||4-0||Joe Fredericks||TKO||1 (4), 1:36||Apr 08, 1941||Westchester County Center, White Plains, New York, U.S.|
|3||Win||3-0||Johnny Morris||TKO||4 (4)||Apr 01, 1941||Westchester County Center, White Plains, New York, U.S.|
|2||Win||2-0||Tony Gillo||PTS||6||Mar 14, 1941||Pyramid Mosque, Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S.|
|1||Win||1-0||Charley Mackley||PTS||4||Mar 3, 1941||St. Nicholas Rink, New York, New York, U.S.|