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Tragic story of late 90s boxer who had more knockout power than Mike Tyson

Tragic story of late 90s boxer who had more knockout power than Mike Tyson

He was a prominent boxer in the 90s and even appeared in a Rocky movie, but things went wrong

Back in the 90s, there was a boxer who won the WBO Heavyweight title and was reputed to pack a more powerful punch than Mike Tyson, but his story had a tragic end.

Known as 'The Duke', Tommy Morrison was one of the greatest boxers of the 90s with a string of impressive victories under his belt.

Others might know him for his role in Rocky V as Tommy Gunn, the young up and coming boxer Rocky takes under his wing, before they became enemies.

During his career he defeated the likes of George Foreman and Donovan 'Razor' Ruddock, though he never got that big fight against Mike Tyson that many had hoped to see.

In the 90s he became famous for flooring opponents with a savage left hook, picking up a string of knockouts and titles which would likely have put him in the ring with Tyson had tragedy not struck.

Tommy Morrison was chosen to star in a Rocky movie.
Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Morrison's boxing career was effectively scuppered as things took a turn for the worse in the late 90s, when he announced in 1996 that he'd tested positive for HIV.

He was suspended indefinitely from boxing by the Nevada Athletic Commission just before his bout against Arthur Weathers, a ban which was effectively upheld across the sport.

In later years Morrison and his wife Trisha would go on to contest the initial HIV diagnosis, claiming that the result in 1996 had been a false positive.

It was effectively the end of his professional boxing career, but Morrison's difficulties continued to spiral.

In 1997, he was convicted of driving under the influence as part of an incident which left three people injured and was ordered by a court to spend time in treatment.

Two years later in September 1999, he was given a two year suspended sentence for another DUI conviction, while later that same month he was stopped by police for driving erratically and officers found drugs and weapons in his car.

While awaiting trial he was arrested again on charges of intoxication and possessing a weapon in November 1999.

According to ESPN, one of his most difficult moments involved buying a cave and sleeping there through the turn of the millennium, convinced that the world was going to end in the year 2000.

Tommy Morrison defeated George Foreman in 1993 to win the WBO heavyweight title.
Action Images

Two weeks after that he was sentenced to two years in prison for the incident where he had been stopped by police with drugs and weapons found in his car.

Morrison was sentenced to another year behind bars in 2002 for violating parole.

He tried to make a comeback as a boxer and stepped into the ring twice more after he was licenced to fight by the West Virginia Athletic Commission in 2007.

Morrison died aged 44 on 1 September, 2013, the same age George Foreman had been when Morrison defeated him to become heavyweight champion.

Featured Image Credit: votesport/youtube

Topics: Boxing, Sport, Mike Tyson