Jake LaMotta won the world title in 1949 in Detroit against Frenchman Marcel Cerdan, who was the world champion. Cerdan, called by many boxing critics the greatest champion ever from France, dislocated his arm in the first round and gave up before the start of the tenth, the official scoring being LaMotta winner by a knockout in ten because the bell had already rung to begin that round when Cerdan announced he was quitting. A rematch was signed, but while Cerdan was flying back to the United States to fight the rematch, his Air France Lockheed Constellation crashed at the Azores, killing everyone on board. LaMotta met two challengers (Tiberio Mitri and Laurent Dauthuille) and beat them, and then he was challenged by Robinson on their rivalry's sixth fight. Held on February 14, 1951, the fight became known as boxing's version of The St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Robinson won by a technical knockout in the thirteenth round, when the fight was stopped with LaMotta lying on the ropes. In 1953, LaMotta shocked the sports world when he was called to testify by the FBI in the hearings they were holding against some mafia groups. LaMotta said during the hearing, perhaps not realizing that he was also harming his own image, that he had thrown the fight in 1948 with Billy Fox in exchange for a shot against world champion Cerdan. Throwing the fight affected his reputation greatly, but he still believes that it was worthwhile.
After retirement, he bought a few bars and became a stage actor and stand up comedian.