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Tribute: Angelo Dundee Was Among the Best to Work a Corner

By CagePotato Boxing Correspondent Steve Silverman

Angelo Dundee understood the game of boxing perhaps more than any trainer the sport has ever known.

He trained Muhammad Ali and “Sugar” Ray Leonard, and his influence on their careers was significant. Dundee died Thursday night after complications from blood clots at the age of 90.

There is no doubt that Ali was among the most talented fighters in the history of boxing. But Ali was different than most great heavyweights. He had lightning speed and quickness and he used his ability to motor around the ring as if he were a lightweight or a welterweight.

Dundee began training Ali, who was then still known as Cassius Clay, shortly after he won the Olympic gold medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics. A trainer who did not have Angelo’s foresight would have immediately tried to change Ali’s style and take the movement out of the equation. Instead, Dundee embraced Ali’s athleticism and his ability to move around the ring.

“Why would I have ever changed that,” Dundee asked during a 1989 interview. “There were a lot of old timers who would say that’s not how a heavyweight is supposed to fight and that he only moved around so much because he wasn’t a real puncher. They didn’t have a clue about my guy. He was great from the time he started and all they wanted to do was criticize him.”

Dundee almost always referred to Ali as ‘my guy.’”

The sentiment was mutual.