“Muhammad Ali is Muhammad Ali, and compared to him all other men are earthlings.”—Angelo Dundee
Angelo Dundee, one of the greatest trainers in boxing history, passed away four years ago today in Tampa, Florida, at the age of 90.
During his long and illustrious career he was in the corners of 15 world champions, including Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Carmen Basilio, Luis Rodriguez, José Nápoles, Willie Pastrano, George Foreman, Jimmy Ellis, Michael Nunn, Wilfredo Gómez, Ralph Dupas, Pinklon Thomas, Trevor Berbick, and Sugar Ramos.
Born Angelo Mirena in Philadelphia on Aug. 30, 1921, Dundee learned the ropes at Stillman’s Gym, the fabled “University of Eighth Avenue” in New York City, where he started out as a bucket boy and picked up the tricks of the trade from such legendary trainers as Ray Arcel, Charlie Goldman, and Chickie Ferrera.
He and his older brother Chris opened their own gym, the Fifth Street Gym in Miami, in 1950. Dundee’s first world champion was Carmen Basilio, who defeated Tony DeMarco to win the welterweight title in 1955.
Although he never fought, Dundee was a master motivator, one of the ring’s great psychologists, able to pinpoint chinks in an opponent’s armor with the precision of an old master.
A great wit and raconteur who was as loved as he was respected, Dundee was elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.