Former champion boxer Tommy Morrison, 44, died in hospital Sunday night in Omaha, Neb.
According to the former WBO heavyweight champion’s longtime promoter, Tony Holden, Morrison died at 11:50 p.m. with his wife at his bedside.
The former fighter tested positive for HIV in 1996 at the height of his boxing career. Right before a fight with Arthur Weathers, he got the bad news, which subsequently ended his boxing career. Morrison denied having HIV in the years that followed.
He challenged the existence of the virus after claiming to have tested negative for the disease multiple times after the first positive result.
Trisha Morrison, who tied the knot with Morrison in 2011, also said she did not believe he had the disease. In a recent interview with ESPN.com, she insisted that Morrison had Guillain-Barre Syndrome, not HIV.
Trisha said Morrison was healthy until a year and a half ago when the doctor left a 12-foot piece of surgical gauze in his chest for eight days. She said Morrison’s health took a turn for the worse ever since then.
Holden declined to comment Monday on what caused Morrison’s death.
“I don’t know what the official cause of death at the hospital will be,” Holden said. “You prepare for things like this, and still you feel like you got hit by a truck when you hear the news.”