Tommy Morrison Dies; Former Boxing Champion Was 44

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Tommy Morrison, a former heavyweight boxing champion, has died after a long battle with AIDS. He passed away in a Nebraska hospital at the age of 44.

He reportedly died peacefully, with his wife by his side.

T. Morrison

Morrion's longtime boxing promoter, Tony Holden, confirmed the death, adding that he had been in and out of the hospital for months battling an illness.

Holden and his family wouldn't specify what ailment.

In 1996, Morrison famously tested positive for HIV, essentially ending his boxing career. He later denied that he had the disease or that it even existed.

 "Tommy's a very stubborn person and he views things the way he wants to view things. That's his right and privilege," Holden said of his friend.

"All through his career, him and I would come not to physical blows but disagreements on certain things. We always ended up friends. That was Tommy."

"That's the way Tommy took off after he was told he was HIV-positive. When he first was told, I was taking him to seek treatment and to different doctors around the country."

"And then he started research on the Internet and started saying it was a conspiracy. He basically went in that direction and never looked back."

In recent years, he didn't often speak about his plight, but did admit it was the result of what he called a "permissive, fast and reckless lifestyle."

In 1993, he defeated George Foreman for the heavyweight championship, only to be promptly upset by a lesser opponent and give up the crown.

In 1990, Morrison starred in Rocky V with Sylvester Stallone.


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