In the early 1990s, Tommy Morrison, a young roughneck from Jay, Oklahoma, burst onto the boxing scene to become one of the most controversial fighters of his era. Handsome, eloquent, and dynamic, Morrison parlayed destructive knockout power and a homespun personality into celebrity status throughout middle America, where boxing rarely prospered.
But it was his starring role in Rocky V alongside Sylvester Stallone that propelled him to stardom–and ultimately led to his tragic downfall. His brush with Hollywood fame triggered a limitless appetite for parties, liquor, and sex. When Morrison was shockingly diagnosed with HIV in 1996, his life imploded, and his subsequent descent into drugs, prison, bigamy, and conspiracy theories made Morrison notorious long after his glory days had ended.
In The Duke, Carlos Acevedo chronicles Morrison’s tumultuous life from his days as a teenaged Toughman contestant, to his victory over George Foreman, to his struggles with HIV and depression, to his death at forty-four, when his delusions finally overtook him.