Jake LaMotta Dies: 5 Best 'Raging Bull' Quotes in Late Boxer's Honor

Updated | Jake LaMotta was a middleweight boxing champion during one of the sport's most talent-rich eras, battling the likes of the great "Sugar" Ray Robinson. But he hung up his gloves in 1954 and now is perhaps best known as the inspiration for Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull.

Released in 1980, the iconic, black-and-white film helped cement Scorsese's reputation as one of the greatest filmmakers of his or any other generation, and it landed actor Robert De Niro the second Academy Award of his career for his portrayal of LaMotta, who died Tuesday at 95.

Shot with buckets of blood and inside a ring that was made bigger than regulation to accommodate Scorsese's sweeping, fast-moving camera, the film delved into LaMotta's self-destructive nature. After he did something wrong outside of the ring—like physically abusing his second of seven wives, Vikki LaMotta, or accusing his brother Joey of carrying on an affair with Vikki—the New York City native would often did his penance inside the ropes.

While the brutality and violence of his fights were a big part of the film's calling card, the cutting and clever dialogue cannot be overlooked.

Here are some of the best quotes from Raging Bull:

1. The film opens with an older and overweight LaMotta standing before a mirror and practicing the monologue below for his stand-up act. It provides a glimpse into his mindset after boxing and life have beaten him down:

"I remember those cheers, they still ring in my ears, and for years they'll remain in my thoughts, 'cause one night I took off my robe and what'd I do? I forgot to wear shorts. I recall every fall, every hook, every jab, the worst way a guy could get rid of his flab.

"As you know, my life wasn't drab....Though I'd rather hear you cheer, when I delve into Shakespeare. 'A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse,' I haven't had a winner in six months.

I know I'm no Olivier, but if he fought Sugar Ray, he would say that the thing ain't the ring, it's the play.

"So gimme a stage, where this bull here can rage. And though I can fight, I'd much rather recite, that's entertainment! That's entertainment."

2. LaMotta was nicknamed "the Raging Bull" for his pummeling power but also for his tenacious and relentless style. During one of his six fights with Robinson, he says, "Hey, Ray, I never went down, man! You never got me down, Ray! You hear me, you never got me down."

3. "I'm gonna open his hole like this. Please excuse my French. I'm gonna make him suffer. I'm gonna make his mother wish she never had him. Make him into dog meat. He's a nice, a nice kid. He's a pretty kid too. I mean, I don't know, I gotta problem—if I should f**k him or fight him," LaMotta says of fighter Tony Janiro.

4. "Who's an animal? Your mother's an animal, ya son of a bitch," LaMotta yells out his apartment window at a neighbor while he's arguing with his first wife.

5. "Come on, hit me. Harder. Harder. Come on, don't be a little f*****. Come on. Hit me. You throw a punch like you take it up the a**. Come on. Harder." This quote came immediately after LaMotta was having an argument with his wife and he asked his brother, Joey, to hit him repeatedly in the face.

Correction: An earlier version of this article said LaMotta was 96, based on conflicting reports about his age.

Jake LaMotta Dies: 5 Best 'Raging Bull' Quotes in Late Boxer's Honor | Sports