It's been a while since I've seen one of these come up where they fall in the "I thought they were already dead" category. Not to be mean but I seriously could have sworn that Mr. Dundee had left us a while ago. Since boxers as a whole don't have long life spans I just assumed that the same thing happened with trainers since the mental rigors can be just as strenuous. But even with that, dude held on for a while.
Most of us regular folks commonly associate Dundee with what was greatest accomplishment. Or at the very least the the one he was best known for. He was the trainer that was in Muhammad Ali's corner for pretty much all of his career. Under Dundee's tutelage, Ali (then Cassius Clay) became the then youngest man to ever obtain the heavyweight title when he defeated Sonny Liston in 1964. The two of them never looked back after that.
They would go on to create some of the most epic moments in boxing history. Sure, I was too young to fully remember or even appreciate the 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle" against George Foreman in Zaire. The same goes for his third fight against Joe Frazier in the Phillipines which would be known as The Thrilla in Manilla". However, I wasn't even out into my teens before I was watching replays of them on television. I was old enough to know that I was witnessing greatness. Yet it wasn't until later that I would understand how pivotal Dundee was behind the scenes as part of Ali's successes.
It was more than just Ali though. All in all, Dundee had a part in training 15 world champions. Including George Foreman. But also including Sugar Ray Leonard. Now Leonard's fights I clearly recall watching as a shorty. Not so much the Roberto Duran ones but definitely the ones with Hagler and Hearns. It was obvious that Dundee knew how to not only pick winners but to keep them motivated to stay the way.
It's a shame that boxing has declined to the point it is today where no one could really give two shakes about it. That's probably why the news of Dundee's passing only made big headlines in the sports world. Boxing doesn't transcend like it used to so even the legends aren't as newsworthy as they used to be. But us old heads know how important Dundee was to the world of the boxing. Even if the sport is dying (or arguably already dead), there's no denying many of it fondest memories would can be attributed to Dundee's teachings.
Rest in peace, Angelo