Tommy Morrison, former WBO heavyweight champion who starred in "Rocky V", has passed away. Tommy's promoter Tony Holden tells ESPN that Tommy passed away at the age of 44 at an Omaha, Neb., hospital Sunday night, September 1.
Tony adds that Tommy's wife Trisha was beside him during his passing. The family will not disclose the cause of death. "I don't know what the official cause of death at the hospital will be. You prepare for things like this, and still you feel like you got hit by a truck when you hear the news," Tony said on Monday.
Tommy, whose nickname is "The Duke", was born in Arkansas and grew up in Oklahoma. He won his first heavyweight fight in 1989 after defeating Alan Jamison in the first round. In 1993, he won the WBO heavyweight title following his win from George Foreman. Tommy's boxing career was ruined after he was tested positive for HIV and his license was suspended by Nebraska in 1996. He later denied that he contracted the disease.
Tommy had some runs-in with the law in the following years. According to Associated Press, he was charged with DUI in some occasions and also weapon possession. In 2000, he was sentenced to jail for two years. Another year was added in 2002 for violating parole.
Besides fighting in the ring, Tommy was also famous for starring in boxing movie "Rocky V" in 1990. He played rookie boxer Tommy Gunn who was trained by Sylvester Stallone's character Rocky Balboa.