Angelo Dundee, the trainer who helped guide the careers of boxing giants Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, has died at the age of 90.
Famed boxing trainer Angelo Dundee, who helped guide the careers of legendary fighters Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, died at age 90 on Wednesday in Florida.
Dundee was considered one of the greatest trainers in the history of boxing, known as a master motivator as a cornerman during some of the biggest fights the sport has ever seen.
Dundee’s work spanned six decades and he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994, cementing his legacy as an invaluable asset to some of the most decorated boxers of all time.
“Angelo died surrounded by family and friends,” his family said in a statement. “He was very happy that he got to celebrate Ali’s birthday earlier this year and also that he got to go to the [Hall of Fame] ... He still had much to do, but led a full and extraordinary life.”
Dundee, noted for his knack for motivating and challenging the best of boxers, passed away at his home in Tampa, Florida.
While working with Ali for the majority of the boxing great’s career, Dundee trained 15 world champions in total, including Leonard and George Foreman.
One of the more indelible memories of Dundee’s career came in 1981 when he loudly exhorted Leonard in the late stages of a world championship unification fight against Thomas Hearns.
After famously telling the fighter, “You’re blowing it, son,” Leonard came back out to register a thrilling knockout after having been dominated in preceding rounds.
“He saved Ray Leonard in the Hearns fight. He saved Ali [against Joe Frazier] in Manila,” longstanding boxing promoter Bob Arum told Reuters, having worked with Dundee countless times over the years.
“To motivate [a fighter] takes a special skill and there aren’t many people that can do it. In the [more than 45 years] I’ve been in boxing, he is the greatest cornerman by far of anyone that I’ve ever witnessed.”
“Ali was this unbelievable figure, and a guy who symbolised an entire era of American culture and was idolised around the world,” Arum added. “And through all those times, the person at his side was Dundee. For that, he will always be remembered.”—Reuters