By Sandra Birungi
Heavyweight boxer, Tommy Morrison died aged 44.
Morrison’s death was announced by his wife, Trisha saying he Sunday in an Omaha, Neb., hospital. She said he died of respiratory and metabolic acidosis and multiple organ failure because he had Miller Fisher Syndrome or Guillain Barre Syndrome. However, in 1996, he was found to be HIV positive at 27. His mother, Diana last month said her son was dying of AIDS.
Morrison’spromoter, Tony Holden, confirmed the death to the Tulsa World, but declined to speculate on cause.
Morrison played Tommy Gunn in the movie “Rocky V,” was 48-3-1 with 42 knockouts and won the WBO heavyweight title in 1993, after defeating the legendary George Foreman. Known to have one of boxing’s best left hooks, Morrison also won over Razor Ruddock, Carl “The Truth” Williams, Pinklon Thomas and James “Quick” Tillis. He lost to Lennox Lewis, Ray Mercer and Michael Bentt.
After finding out he was HIV positive, Morrison held a news conference in Jay, Okla. and blamed it on a promiscuous lifestyle. “I lived a permissive, fast and reckless lifestyle. I hope I can serve as a warning that living this lifestyle can really lead to only one thing and that’s misery. . . . I’ve never been so stupid in my life. I thought I was bulletproof and I’m not. If getting up here and confronting this problem out in the open can get just one person out there to take a more responsible attitude toward sex, then I would feel I scored my biggest knockout ever. I thought the real danger of contracting this rested in the arms of those who subjected themselves to a certain kind of lifestyle–addicts who share needles and people who practice a [unnatural] lifestyle. I honestly believed I had a better chance of winning the lottery than of contracting this disease. I’ve never been so wrong in my life. The only sure prevention of this disease is abstinence.”
According to MMADirt, Morrison’s death came at 11:50 p.m. CT on Sunday.