Roy Jones Jr. says Jake LaMotta is one of the 10 greatest fighters EVER -- and says the late, great boxer had a very real impact on his own legendary career. 

"He taught me that no matter how tough things got, no matter how hard things got, you don't stop," Jones tells TMZ Sports.

"That's why he's called a Raging Bull. You don't stop for nothing."

As for why Jake belongs on the All-Time Top 10 list, Roy says the way he pushed Sugar Ray Robinson (widely considered to be the best boxer ever) to the brink 6 TIMES is one of the most incredible feats anyone has ever accomplished in the ring.

Jake died on Tuesday. He was 95.