|Angelo Dundee, who trained Muhammad Ali, dies at 90
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing (Feb 2, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing: For all his talents as a trainer, Angelo Dundee had one trait that everyone who knew him admired.
Dundee was loyal.
Muhammad Ali sensed this immediately. When
the young Cassius Clay angered white America by changing his name to
Muhammad Ali, Dundee never wavered. When Ali refused induction into the
military, and lost 3 ½ of his prime years, Dundee was there waiting for
Dundee allowed Ali to be Ali.
"He let me be exactly who I wanted to be, and
he was loyal. That is the reason I love Angelo," wrote Ali in a forward
to a book on Dundee .
The legendary trainer died Wednesday at the age of 90.
Dundee worked the corner of almost all of
Ali’s 61 professional fights. In his first battle with champion Sonny
Liston, Dundee kept the 22 year-old calm when vaseline from Liston’s
gloves seeped into the challengers eyes. He urged Ali on in his fights
with Joe Frazier and George Foreman. Dundee traveled the world with Ali,
helping him to be the first fighter to win the heavyweight title three
times. In 1974, Ali faced the formidable Foreman in Zaire . A year
later, they traveled to the Philippines for Ali’s epic third fight
against Frazier. Rarely in this day and age does a boxer stay with one
trainer. Ali and Dundee never split. Their mutual respect was obvious,
as was their desire to win.
In 1980, Dundee willed Sugar Ray Leonard to
his greatest victory. With Leonard falling behind on points late in his
fight with Tommy Hearns, Dundee famously shouted, “You’re blowing it,
son. You’re blowing it.” Leonard rallied to stop Hearns in round 14.
In 1994, the International Boxing Hall of
Fame inducted Dundee into their Boxing Hall of Fame. In a sixty-year
career, Dundee trained 15 world champions, including Leonard, Foreman,
Carmen Basillo and Jose Napoles.
Dundee was born in south Philadelphia on Aug.
30, 1921. Dundee 's older brother Chris steered him into a boxing
career. In the late 1940’s, Dundee joined his brother in New York .
Before long, he learned how to tape hands and handle cuts. The word soon
spread that “Chris’ kid brother,” was a talented cornerman. Dundee had a
joyful spirit and lifelong love and respect for the sport of boxing.
Recent work from Raspanti:
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John Scully Interview: From ranking contender to championship trainer John J. Raspanti
"The Last Great Prizefight", by Steven Frederick - A Review John J. Raspanti
David Rodriguez: "I thank God I’m alive" - "The blood was squirting out like a sprinkler" John J. Raspanti
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