Tommy "The Duke" Morrison, a former heavyweight champion who gained fame for his role in the movie "Rocky V," has died. He was 44.
Morrison's former manager, Tony Holden says his longtime friend died Sunday night at a Nebraska hospital. The family would not disclose the cause of death. Morrison tested positive for HIV in February 2006.
In 1993, Morrison beat George Foreman to win the World Boxing Organization heavyweight title. Morrison's professional boxing record stands at 49 wins, three losses, and one draw. He won 44 of his fights by knockout. Morrison's last fight was in 2008, a win over Matt Weishaar. Morrison had a much publicized bought with Lennox Lewis 1995. Lewis ended up winning the match by a technical knockout. Tommy Morrison also fought Ray Mercer, an Olympic Gold Medalist, in 1991. The fight was a close one, with Mercer ultimately winning the Heavyweight title. That was Morrison's first loss.
Morrison was born in Arkansas and grew up in Oklahoma. He played Tommy "Machine" Gunn in Stallone's "Rocky V." Rocky Balboa trains Tommy in the movie, and turns him into a pro-boxer. But Tommy and Rocky have a falling out at the end of the movie, which leads to a dramatic bare-knuckles street fight. That intense fight gave the movie a PG-13 rating. All the previous Rocky movies were rated PG.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.