Dundee, Angelo 90 of Palm Harbor, Florida, died Wednesday (Feb. 1, 2012) of a heart attack. The brilliant trainer and motivator who worked the corner for Muhammad Ali in his greatest fights and willed Sugar Ray Leonard to victory in his biggest bout. Angelo was best known for being in Ali's corner for most of his career, but those in the sport also knew him as an ambassador for boxing and a figure of integrity in a sport that often lacked it.
Mr. Dundee was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994 after a career that spanned six decades and 15 world champions, including Ali, Leonard, George Foreman and Jose Napoles. With Ali, he had one of the most successful fighter-trainer relationships in history. He helped Ali become the first to win the heavyweight title three times. Their partnership began with a 1959 meeting in Louisville, Ali's hometown. After Ali returned from the 1960 Olympics with a gold medal, Mr. Dundee ran into him in Louisville again and invited him to train with him in Miami Beach. Ali declined. But that December, Mr. Dundee got a call from one of Ali's handlers, seeking to hire him. After Ali won his first pro fight, Dundee accepted.
Born Angelo Mirena on Aug. 30, 1921, in Philadelphia, Mr. Dundee got into boxing because of his brothers Chris, a promoter, and Joe, a fighter. All changed their surname to Dundee so their parents wouldn't know they worked in boxing. Angelo and Chris made South Florida a boxing destination when Chris opened Miami Beach's 5th Street Gym in the 1950s.
More than 10 years ago, Mr. Dundee and his wife, Helen, moved to Palm Harbor to be closer to his family. He is survived by his son Jim and their daughter, Terri Dundee Coughlin. Helen died in 2010.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Friday, Feb. 10 at 12 p.m. at the Countryside Christian Center, 1850 N. McMullen Booth Rd., Clearwater, Fl with family receiving friends from 10 a.m. until service time.
In lieu of flowers, family requests memorial donations be made to the Morton Plant Mease Foundation at Mortonplantmeasefoundation.com or to Clearwater for Youth Foundation at clearwaterforyouth.org.
Family private burial service will be held later at Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park, Clearwater, Florida