Sunday 17 December 2017

Final bell rings for Ali mentor

CELEBRATED boxing trainer Angelo Dundee, Muhammad Ali's cornerman in his greatest fights, has died aged 90.

"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."

Dundee worked with Ali for most of the boxing great's career, but he also trained 15 world champions in total, including Sugar Ray 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 knockout after having been dominated in preceding rounds.

"He saved Ray Leonard in the Hearns fight. He saved Ali (against Joe Frazier) in Manila," said boxing promoter Bob Arum, who worked with Dundee.

"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."

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