A guy who keeps his HIV to himself. Look at that smilin’ lady!
Former boxing champion Tommy Morrison, whose life story would disturb even the dregs of society, has died at 44. A couple weeks back, Elizabeth Merrill at ESPN profiled Morrison, mentioning that he was in the final stages of full-blown AIDS, waiting to die jaundiced and on a ventilator after being bedridden for a year. Most would remember Morrison as the star of Rocky V and a prominent boxer who was derailed from a huge fight contract by an HIV test he always claimed was a false positive.
However, Morrison only became known to me when he attempted to market himself as breaking into the MMA market in 2007. It was originally stated that Morrison would have an MMA fight, but the rules were changed at the last minute to disallow anything but punches. As these types of shenanigans are par for the course for boxers like Ray Mercer, I didn’t really notice or care about the rule changes much. The thing that really got to me was that the Sherdog Radio hosts ended up being the ones to tell Morrison’s opponent about possible issues with Morrison’s HIV test:
A fact that cannot be ignored is that Stover stepped into the cage Saturday night still not sure if his opponent was HIV positive or negative. It was first reported that Morrison tested positive for HIV in 1996 following a blood test conducted by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The news removed Morrison from boxing for 11 years, but he returned to the ring this February in West Virginia.
Varying reports leading into tonight’s bout stated that Morrison’s former agent Randy Lang said the fighter had repeatedly tested positive for the HIV virus in mandatory blood tests in attempts to a acquire a boxing license. Saturday pre-fight Morrison’s current advisor Peter McKinn, who also promoted tonight’s Worldwide Fighting Championship event, refuted an Arizona Republic story published Friday citing Lang’s allegations that documents used to get the license in West Virginia were fraudulent, or the blood sample had been tampered with.
Saying Dr. Carl E. Ferguson at the Lab Corps testing facility tested Morrison on Feb. 12, 2007, McKinn presented Sherdog.com with copies of a signed letter by Ferguson confirming that Morrison has tested negative for HIV 1 and 2 as well as hepatitis B and C.
“The reason we’ve been real quiet is the letters (questioning Lang’s status as a attorney) went to the Arizona states’ attorney general, Maricopa County’s attorney’s office,” McKinn told Sherdog.com. “The reason we have not given this blood to anybody is because Tommy is going to launch a lawsuit.”
The circus-like environment continued in the days leading up to the bout. At Thursday’s press conference it was revealed that no heart, blood, or eyes exams were required of the fighters at the promoter’s digression. Hours before the weigh-in on Friday, Stover learned during an interview with the Sherdog Radio Network that the fight would not take place under the jurisdiction of the ASAC.
Now, in retrospect, it turns out that Morrison had actually been playing shell games with his AIDS blood, probably submitting false samples for years in an attempt to clear his reputation:
In 2006, Morrison said his HIV tests had been false positives. The Nevada commission’s medical advisory board reviewed Morrison’s 1996 test results and concluded they were “ironclad and unequivocal.” Morrison said he tried to get a copy of the original test result but was unable to do so: “I don’t think it ever existed.”The Commission said Morrison could “contact the laboratory, and they would immediately release the results to him.”
Beginning in 2007, Morrison began fighting again. After passing medical tests in Texas, West Virginia licensed Morrison to fight in the state, and in February 2007 he fought and beat John Castle The Kansas City Star described his early 2009 fight in Wyoming as a “staged” event and a “fake fight.”
Morrison tested negative for HIV four times in January 2007. On July 22, 2007, the New York Times reported that Morrison took two HIV tests in 2007 plus a third specifically for the Times. HIV experts reviewed the three tests and concluded that the 1996 result had been a false positive. But ringside doctors expressed doubt, implying that the negative results were not in fact based on Morrison’s blood. However, the experts agreed that no one is ever cured of HIV, so if his tests in 2007 showed that he was negative, then he was never infected with HIV.
Let’s play Sherlock for a second. Hmm. So, if he actually did get AIDS, then he did have HIV. So that means he wasn’t never infected with HIV. Seems like pretty conclusive evidence that something was amiss. Unfortunately, the above text only details a couple of many incidents involving his AIDS blood that occurred over the years. It is now pretty much clear that Morrison knowingly fought with HIV multiple times. As knowingly giving someone HIV is a generally shitty thing to do, it is a criminal offense in numerous states; it is also a crime in the head of Dick. Thus, even though I sympathize with dead people and their families and yadda yadda, it is difficult for me to truly say anything sympathetic about Tommy Morrison knowing that he put several people in situations where they could go with him.
I’m aware that I might not come off as sympathetic, but this is a guy who deliberately tried to infect others with his HIV so that he could make money and stroke his own ego. As I freely admit to having sex with multiple partners (NSFW tits), I am an outspoken advocate for not just frequent STD testing but living by the results of those tests (NSFW tits). Thus, the nicest thing that I can really say about Tommy Morrison is, “I’m glad he didn’t give his HIV to anyone else… that we know of.”