Angelo Dundee

Angelo Dundee

Angelo Dundee
Dundee in June 2010.
Born (1921-08-30)August 30, 1921
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died February 1, 2012(2012-02-01) (aged 90)
Tampa, Florida
Nationality American
Occupation Boxing Trainer
Known for Training Muhammad Ali (1960–1981)

Angelo Dundee (born Angelo Mirena; August 30, 1921 – February 1, 2012) was an American boxing trainer and Jimmy Ellis, Carmen Basilio, Luis Rodriguez and Willie Pastrano.[1]

Contents

  • Professional career 1
    • Career with Muhammad Ali 1.1
    • Career with Sugar Ray Leonard 1.2
    • Other work 1.3
  • Honors 2
  • Popular culture 3
  • Death 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6
  • External links 7

Professional career

Born in Philadelphia of Italian descent, Dundee served in World War II as an airplane mechanic. [2] Dundee went to New York and later to Miami where he learned many of the strategies of a boxer's cornerman while acting as a "bucket man" to the great trainers of Stillman's Gym. There, his mentors included Charlie Goldman, Ray Arcel and Chickie Ferrera. Later, his brother Chris Dundee opened the Fifth Street Gym in Miami.

Carmen Basilio was the first world champion for whom Dundee acted as a cornerman when Basilio defeated Tony DeMarco for the world welterweight crown and later Sugar Ray Robinson for the world middleweight crown.[When?]

Career with Muhammad Ali

Dundee traveled around the world with Ali, and he was the cornerman in all but two of Ali's fights (Tunney Hunsaker in 1960 and Jimmy Ellis in 1971). Dundee trained the young Cassius Clay, as Ali was then known, in most of his early bouts, including those with Ken Norton and, later, Leon Spinks. One exception was in Ali's '71 fight with Jimmy Ellis where Dundee was in Ellis' corner. Ali knocked Ellis out in the 12th round. Dundee was accused by Foreman of loosening the ring ropes before his 1974 The Rumble in the Jungle fight with Ali to help Ali win the fight by using the rope-a-dope technique. Dundee consistently denied tampering with the ropes.[3] In 1998, after decades, Dundee reunited with Muhammad Ali and appeared alongside him in a sentimental Super Bowl commercial. The two men were friends until Dundee's death and the veteran trainer would always refer to Ali as "my kid".

Career with Sugar Ray Leonard

Dundee saw a future emerging star in Sugar Ray Leonard, whom he called "a smaller version of Ali". Dundee acted as cornerman for Leonard in many of his biggest fights, including those with Wilfred Benítez, Roberto Durán, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler. In Leonard's first bout with Hearns, Dundee, thinking that his protégé was behind on the scorecards, quipped the now famous words, "You're blowing it, son! You're blowing it!" before the start of round 13.[4] Leonard went on to score a fourteenth round win when the referee stopped the fight.

Other work

Dundee later teamed up with George Foreman, including his 1991 Heavyweight title fight against Evander Holyfield and his 1994 Heavyweight title win against then-undefeated Michael Moorer.

In addition, Dundee also trained world champions Luis Rodriguez, Willie Pastrano, Ralph Dupas, José Nápoles, Pinklon Thomas, Trevor Berbick, Jimmy Ellis, Wilfredo Gómez, Michael Nunn and Sugar Ramos, as well as other boxers including Bill Bossio, David Estrada, Douglas Vaillant, Jimmy Lange, Tom Zbikowski and Pat O'Connor.

In 2005, Dundee was hired to train Russell Crowe for Crowe's characterization of James J. Braddock in Cinderella Man. To that end, Dundee traveled to Australia to work with the Oscar-winning actor and appeared in the film as "Angelo" the corner man. Throughout his career, Dundee was widely respected as a decent, honorable man in an often corrupt sport. Perhaps the greatest tribute to Dundee was paid by Howard Cosell who said "If I had a son who wanted to be a fighter and I couldn't talk him out of it, the only man I would let train him is Angelo Dundee".

In November 2008, he was hired as a special consultant for Oscar De La Hoya's fight with Manny Pacquiao.[5]

Honors

Dundee was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994.[6]

Popular culture

Dundee was played in the movie The Greatest.

Death

Angelo Dundee fell and broke his hip a year or more prior to his death and he recuperated - all unbeknownst to most people. But the fall caused a blood clot to develop which eventually traveled to his heart, killing him. Dundee died peacefully in his sleep at his senior resident apartment at the age of 90 on February 1, 2012, in Tampa, Florida after five years of heart disease. Three weeks before his death, he attended Muhammad Ali's 70th birthday party in Louisville, Kentucky on January 17, 2012. He died about three months after boxer Joe Frazier died of liver cancer on November 7, 2011.[7][8]

References

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  4. ^ http://www.startribune.com/sports/138536039.html
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Further reading

External links

  • Boxing news website 8CN was the first to break the news of Dundee's death
  • Angelo Dundee Video Interview
  • Dundee Signs With Golden Boy Promotions