Ali’s Trainer, Angelo Dundee, Dead at 90:
News came in on Wednesday evening that legendary boxing trainer Angelo Dundee passed away. Dundee was most famous as being Muhammad Ali’s trainer, although he worked with scores of other notable fighters, including the likes of Sugar Ray Leonard. He was 90 years old at the time of his death.
Angelo Dundee will go down as perhaps the most famous boxing trainer in the long history of the sport thanks to his association with Ali. He’ll also be remembered as one of its best. A person who could motivate and mold the best of men, and make the most out of others who weren’t quite so blessed.
He was also a generous and caring soul, and the boxing world will be worse for his absence.
Two of the most famous Angelo Dundee moments were when he cut off Ali’s gloves when he was fighting Henry Cooper in England, buying Ali more time to recover after being knocked down, and when he famously shouted at Leonard as he was fighting Tommy Hearns: “You’re blowing it, son!” That motivational snippet helped spur Leonard on to his come-from-behind TKO win over Hearns.
If you haven’t checked it out before, I strongly suggest you read Dundee’s autobiography, My View from the Corner. In it, Dundee, with the help of Bert Sugar, recalls how he first got involved in the fight game with the help of his older brother, and recounts all of the biggest moments he shared with Ali and Ray Leonard, not to mention the other dozen or so world champions he worked with. He dishes on both of those moments mentioned above, as well as the infamous Leonard vs. Duran “No Mas” incident.
Sometimes tragic news like this comes in bunches. So it was that just months ago, Joe Frazier passed away. Frazier and Ali are of course inextricably linked to one another in the annals of the sport’s history, and Dundee was right by Ali’s side for the duration. Meanwhile, Muhammad Ali just celebrated his 70th birthday to much fanfare, which also offered boxing fans and individuals across the globe a chance for reflection.
Rest in Peace, Angelo Dundee, and our condolences to his family.