Former world heavyweight champion boxer Tommy Morrison has died, according to one of his former promoters.
Tony Holden said Monday that Morrison, who won one of his titles in Kansas City, died Sunday night at an Omaha, Neb., hospital. Morrison, who was born in Arkansas and grew up in Oklahoma before moving to Kansas City, was 44.
“It’s true,” said Holden, who lives in Tulsa, told the Tulsa World. “He was with his wife, Trisha, when he passed.”
“You prepare for things like this,” Holden told ESPN, “and still you feel like you got hit by a truck when you hear the news.”
Morrison’s family has not commented and an official cause of death has not been released. Diana Morrison, who lives in Aurora, Mo., told ESPN last month that her son was “in the end stages” from full-blown AIDS.
In Feb. 1996, Morrison was suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission after it said he tested positive for HIV.
But 10 years later, Morrison attempted a comeback, telling The Star that a person can’t contract HIV from heterosexual sex and that the virus was a plot to control population. He said he was HIV free.
“You can look at me like I’m crazy if you want … It’s a latent virus that your body will get rid of on its own if you exercise and eat right,” Morrison told The Star in 2006. “It’s disappeared from my body twice where they can’t find the antibodies.”