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Boxing
Ali 'cornerman' Angelo Dundee dead at 90
Legendary trainer worked with champions Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman during boxing's golden era.
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2012 09:41
 Angelo Dundee worked with 15 boxing world champions during a stellar ringside career [Reuters]

Celebrated boxing trainer Angelo Dundee, Muhammad Ali's cornerman in his greatest fights, has died at the age of 90.

Noted for his ability to motivate and challenge the best of boxers, Angelo passed away at his home in Tampa, Florida on Wednesday.

"Angelo died surrounded by family and friends," his family said in a statement. "He was very happy that he got to celebrate Ali's (70th) 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 worked with Ali for the majority of the boxing great's career, and trained 15 world champions in total, including Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman.

He will always be linked to Ali as one of the most successful fighter-trainer relationships in boxing history, helping Ali become the first to win the heavyweight title three times.

The pair travelled around the world for fights like the October 1974 bout in Zaire against Foreman, dubbed "The Rumble in the Jungle," and Ali's third fight against Frazier in the Philippines, the so-called "Thriller in Manila".

"I just put the reflexes in the proper direction,'' Dundee said in a 2005 interview with The Associated Press.

'You're blowing it, son'

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," Bob Arum, longstanding boxing promoter, who worked with Dundee countless times over the years, told Reuters.

"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."

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.

"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."

Source:
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