Remembering Tommy Duke Morrison
By Niall Doran
It was with a heavy heart that I learned of the passing of Tommy “The Duke” Morrison Monday evening Irish time, to hear that Tommy had sadly passed away late Sunday night in an Omaha, Nebraska hospital.
When I think back of Tommy I always fondly remember both his explosive career in the professional ranks and also his brilliant co-star appearance in Rocky V with Sylvester Stallone.
Tommy’s career started out like a train, knocking out his first 11 opponents inside the distance. His career progressed very much in this vein as he cut through heavyweights like a knife through butter. His crowing achievement came on June 7th 1993 at the Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, when he defeated hall of fame heavyweight George Foreman over twelve rounds to earn a unanimous decision for the WBO Heavyweight championship of the world.
When you look back at Tommy’s record as a pro inside the ropes, it really was staggeringly impressive. He only ever lost on 3 occasions out of 53 bouts, and those losses only came to the likes of Lennox Lewis, Ray Mercer and Michael Bentt (all tremendous champions in their day). I think it is also important to remember the prolific knockout ratio Tommy had with his incredible concussive tally of 44 knockouts within his 49 victories. The man had a left hook that was like the equivalent of lumping someone in the head with a golf club, the boy could punch to say the least.
I think a lot of people will also remember Tommy for his appearance in Rocky V, co-staring alongside legendary actor Sylvester Stallone. It was clear to see that Tommy was a young man of many talents outside the ring, and came off very well in the film and will forever be embraced for years to come through it.
Tommy was diagnosed with HIV in 1996. His official cause of death on Sunday night has not been released at this particular time.
I for one, think I speak for lot of boxing fans in saying this is a very sad couple of days for the fight game. Tommy Duke Morrison maybe gone but will never be forgotten by fight fans the world over, that’s for sure. He will be truly missed.
RIP Tommy Morrison (January 2, 1969 – September 1, 2013).
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