Ray "Sugar" Robinson didn't know what to do. The remains of the butchery were everywhere. Blood on his gloves, all over the face of his opponent, on every inch of the ring, on the bell, on the referee’s table, splattered on the clothes of those on the first row… he had punched him even with the ropes, but Jake La Motta was still there, standing.
The savage punishment received through 13 rounds assaults had him half-unconscious, but not even like that he could make his opponent bend the knee, and he made his opponent aware of that, considered by many the best boxer pound by pound in history. It was February 14, 1951.
Almost 40 years later, Robert de Niro read his autobiography and at once he wanted to make a movie of it, until he gave us the most famous among the thousands of movies about boxing ever filmed. A detail not to be overlooked if we are taking into account it’s about a technically mediocre boxer who got to be middleweight world champion in 1949, and defended his supremacy twice winning before clashing against Robinson.
But his courage enduring Robinson's punches even with his guts launched him into history, with the help of Martin Scorsese. Few remember that this was the sixth match between them, and that one of them was won by the Bull of the Bronx (when Robinson had 128 undefeated fights), but especially for what he told him with pride after the fight was stopped: I never went down, man! You never got me down, Ray! You hear me, you never got me down.
That was the end of "The slaughter of San Valentine's Day", but the legend began, and Giacobbe would never be Giacobbe again, from that day on he would be known as Raging Bull. His life was a rollercoaster of ups and downs (he fixed fights, beat his wife, cheated on her, was a car thief, alcoholic, consumed smoker, etc.) he was a true dish for Hollywood, but maybe it was necessary another Italian descendant to get to the very core of a human being with a hundred of shades.
Perhaps it even reform him, because as La Motta admitted years later, it was not recognized in the movie premiere, but he later understood that that was his past, and fortunately not his present.
Amilkal Labañino Valdés / Cubasi Translation Staff
- Published in Specials