58 Facts About Tommy Morrison


Tommy "The Duke" Morrison was an American professional boxer and mixed martial artist who competed from 1988 to 2009.


Best known for his iconic left hooks and dangerous punching power, Morrison won the WBO heavyweight title in 1993 with a unanimous decision victory over George Foreman.


Tommy Morrison lost the title in his second defense to Michael Bentt that same year.


Tommy Morrison ultimately retired from boxing in 1996 when he tested positive for HIV.


Tommy Morrison had previously attempted a comeback to boxing in 2007 when the Nevada commission lifted the indefinite worldwide suspension in July 2006, even briefly dabbling in the world of MMA.


Tommy Morrison was raised in Delaware County, Oklahoma, spending most of his teenage years in Jay.


Tommy Morrison's nickname, "The Duke", is based on the claim that he was a grand-nephew of the Hollywood star John Wayne.


Tommy Morrison's father urged him to take up boxing at age ten.


When Tommy Morrison was 13 years old, his mother used a fake ID and entered her son into 15 "toughman" contests.


Tommy Morrison later told The New York Times that he lost only one of these matches.


Tommy Morrison started his professional boxing career on November 10,1988, with a first-round knockout of William Muhammad in New York City.


In 1989, Tommy Morrison had 19 wins and no losses, 15 by knockout.


Tommy Morrison took a six-month break from boxing to work on the movie in 1990.


From December 8,1989 until June 8,1990, Tommy Morrison did not compete in a boxing match.


That was due to both injuries and his involvement in the movie Rocky V In 1991, Morrison won four bouts, including notable victories against opponents James Tillis, the first man to take Mike Tyson the distance, and former WBC heavyweight champion Pinklon Thomas.


Tommy Morrison was then given an opportunity to face fellow undefeated fighter Ray Mercer, the WBO title holder in a Pay Per View card held on October 18,1991.


Tommy Morrison got off to a great start, outboxing a sluggish Mercer through the first three rounds en route to taking all three rounds on all three of the judge's scorecards.


Clearly hurt from the exchange, Tommy Morrison slumped against the ropes, but the referee allowed Mercer to land several more punishing blows to a now defenseless Tommy Morrison before finally ending the fight.


Tommy Morrison suffered the first loss of his career, losing by 5th-round knockout.


Tommy Morrison had six wins in 1992, including fights with Art Tucker and Joe Hipp, who later became the first Native American to challenge for the world heavyweight title.


Tommy Morrison chose to avoid brawling with Foreman and spent the fight boxing from long range.


Tommy Morrison was able to hit and move effectively in this manner.


Tommy Morrison then agreed to the lucrative WBC title shot against Lewis, that would see Lewis make the fourth defense of his title against Tommy Morrison, with both men evenly splitting a $16 million purse.


However, Tommy Morrison first chose to take a tuneup bout against the virtually unknown Michael Bentt before facing Lewis.


Tommy Morrison recovered by winning three bouts in a row in 1994, but his last fight of the year, against Ross Puritty, ended with a draw, before he landed a WBO heavyweight title fight against Herbie Hide on the infamous "High Noon in Hong Kong" card, but the event was cancelled at the last minute due to financial issues.


Ruddock regained his feet, but Tommy Morrison drove him to the ropes and showered him with an extended flurry of blows.


In February 1996, in the hours before a scheduled bout against Arthur Weathers, the Nevada Athletic Commission determined that Tommy Morrison had tested positive for HIV, suspending Tommy Morrison from boxing in Nevada.


Several days later, Tommy Morrison's physician administered a test, which was positive.


At another news conference on September 19,1996, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Tommy Morrison announced he wished to fight "one last time" when he could find an opponent, the proceeds of which would benefit his KnockOut AIDS Foundation.


Tommy Morrison was allowed to fight as anyone who was HIV positive was not prohibited from fighting in the boxing sport within Japan.


However the bout was agreed to be stopped if Tommy Morrison received a cut.


Tommy Morrison won against Rhode by TKO, at less than two minutes of the first round.


In 2007, Tommy Morrison began fighting again having seemingly testing negative for HIV, after a decade away from the ring.


In February 2008, Tommy Morrison was cleared to fight Matt Weishaar in Leon, Mexico on the undercard, where standard HIV testing before a match did not exist at such a time, and he defeated him by a third round TKO.


Tommy Morrison had ultimately fought for the last time at the age of 39, despite his later attempts to get additional comeback fights.


Tommy Morrison announced he would make his MMA debut after he began a comeback in his boxing career.


Tommy Morrison did not need a license to fight as the location was outside the Arizona state jurisdiction, and Stover agreed to the match when it was shown to him that his opponent was allegedly HIV negative.


Tommy Morrison fought an unsanctioned bout against professional Corey "WizKid" Williams as the main event of the Ultimate Explosion 12: The Last Stand MMA and Boxing fight card on January 31,2009 for the Wyoming state heavyweight title.


Tommy Morrison defeated Williams by KO at one minute and fifty-eight seconds in the first round.


Tommy Morrison voiced respect for the sport and those that participated in it, but he decided to stick with boxing as it was what he knew best, stating he never did or ever intended to make a full transition, despite popular belief.


At one point in 1996, Tommy Morrison was married to two women at the same time: Dawn Freeman and Dawn Gilbert.


Tommy and Trisha Morrison were engaged in 2009 and married in 2011.


In 2006, Tommy Morrison said his HIV tests had been false positives.


Tommy Morrison tested negative for HIV four times in January 2007.


On July 22,2007, the New York Times reported that Tommy Morrison took two HIV tests in 2007 and a third specifically for the Times.


In January 2011, the RACJ, the boxing commission for the province of Quebec, required that Tommy Morrison take a supervised HIV test in advance of a scheduled 2011 fight.


Tommy Morrison invited the Quebec commission to attend a public test, but the commission did not come.


In December 1993, Tommy Morrison was charged with assault and public intoxication when he allegedly punched a University of Iowa student.


Tommy Morrison said that the student had been staring at him.


Tommy Morrison pleaded guilty and paid a $310 fine, but said he was innocent.


In October 1996, Tommy Morrison pleaded guilty to transporting a loaded firearm in Jay, Oklahoma; he received a 6-month suspended sentence and a $100 fine.


In 1997, an Oklahoma jury convicted him of DUI in an accident that left three people injured; the court ordered Tommy Morrison to spend time in treatment.


On September 16,1999, the police stopped Tommy Morrison for driving erratically and found drugs and weapons in his car, which resulted in various drugs and firearms charges.


On January 14,2000, Tommy Morrison was sentenced to two years in prison on the September 16 charges.


On September 1,2013, Tommy Morrison died at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska at the age of 44.


The World Boxing Organization credits Tommy Morrison as being one the most influential and iconic of their heavyweight title holders, and remember him best for his dangerous punching power and his iconic left hook.


Additionally, though he has not been formally inducted yet, the International Boxing Hall of Fame remembers Tommy Morrison as having brought "so much excitement and energy to the heavyweight division in the 1990s".


Two-time heavyweight champion Pinklon Thomas stated in 2015 that Tommy Morrison had the most brutal and strongest genuine punch, the hardest hitter, of any opponent he ever faced.