Fmr. boxer Tommy Morrison dead at 44

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OMAHA, Neb. — ESPN is reporting Tommy Morrison, the former WBO heavyweight champion, died in an Omaha, Neb., hospital Sunday night. He was 44.

Morrison trained in Kansas City. In 1996 he tested positive for HIV, which ended his boxing career. He denied having the virus and even challenged the existence of HIV and AIDS.

His wife, Trisha Morrison, insisted Morrison had Guillain-Barre Syndrome, not HIV. Guillian-Barre Syndrome is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves.

Morrison played the character Tommy “Machine” Gunn in “Rocky V,” made in 1990. It’s one of the series of the popular Rocky films starring Sylvester Stallone, who played boxer Rocky Balboa.

Morrison won the World Boxing Organization heavyweight title in 1993, defeating George Foreman. He also fought and lost to boxing great Lennox Lewis in 1995.

Morrison’s cause of death has not yet been released. Read more from ESPN.com.

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