Boxer Tommy Morrison dies at age 44

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NEW YORK — Tommy Morrison’s career reached its pinnacle on a hot June night in Las Vegas, when he stepped into the ring and beat George Foreman to become heavyweight champion. It reached its nadir when he tested positive for HIV three years later.

The last 20 years of the brash boxer’s life were defined by extensive legal troubles, erratic behavior and mounting health problems.

Morrison died Sunday night at a Nebraska hospital. He was 44.

His longtime promoter and close friend, Tony Holden, confirmed that “the Duke” had died the previous night, but his family would not disclose the cause of death.

Morrison and his wife, Trisha, continued to deny that the former champion ever had HIV during the final years of his life.

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