Angelo Dundee, American boxing trainer died he was 90
Angelo Dundee (born Angelo Mirena) was an American boxing trainer and cornerman died he was 90. Best known for his work with Muhammad Ali (1960–1981), he also worked with 15 other world boxing champions, including Sugar Ray Leonard, José Nápoles, George Foreman, George Scott, Jimmy Ellis, Carmen Basilio, Luis Rodriguez and Willie Pastrano.
(August 30, 1921 – February 1, 2012)
Born in Philadelphia of Italian descent, 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.
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 Archie Moore (who had trained Clay before his partnering with Dundee) and Sonny Liston,
where Clay won the Heavyweight title. Dundee continued to train Ali in
all of his fights until his exile from boxing, and upon Ali’s return to
the sport Dundee trained him in almost all of his fights, including
Ali’s famed bouts with fighters such as Jerry Quarry, Oscar Bonavena, Joe Frazier, Floyd Patterson, George Foreman, 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. In 1998, after decades, Dundee reunited with Muhammad Ali and appeared alongside him in a sentimental Super Bowl commercial.
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. Leonard went on to score a fourteenth round win when the referee stopped the fight.
In addition, Dundee also trained such world champions as 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 such as 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.
Dundee died peacefully at his home at the age of 90 on February 1, 2012, in Tampa, Florida after 5 years of Heart Disease. 3 weeks before his death, he attended Muhammed Ali’s 70th birthday party in Louisville, Kentucky on January 17, 2012. He died about 3 months after boxer Joe Frazier died of liver cancer on November 7, 2011.
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