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Born in Philadelphia in 1923, Dundee was originally named Angelo Mirena Jr. He changed his name to Dundee after his older brother Joe adopted it in honor of Hall of Famer Johnny Dundee. Angelo Dundee boxed some while in the Army during World War II, and also worked as a cornerman in service bouts.
After the war, Dundee moved to New York to work for his brother Chris, who was then a fight manager. He also spent a great deal of time in Stillman’s Gym, watching and learning from some of the greatest trainers in the business. In 1950, Dundee took over the management of his first fighter, Bill Bossio, and two years later he was hired as chief second and cut man for Carmen Basilio. He later became Basilio’s trainer.
During the 1950’s Dundee built a stable of fighters. However, Basilio was his only champion at that time. In 1960 Dundee was hired to train a fighter who would change his life: Cassius Clay, later to become Muhammad Ali. Dundee enjoyed working with Ali and remained in his camp for over twenty years.
While working with Ali, Dundee handled several other champions. Two won titles on the same card in 1963: Sugar Ramos and Luis Rodriguez. Two more won titles later that same year: Ralph Dupas and Willie Pastrano. Jose Napoles, another Dundee trained fighter, won the welterweight title in 1969.
As Muhammad Ali’s career was winding down, another great fighter, Sugar Ray Leonard, hired Dundee as his trainer. Leonard became perhaps the most popular fighter of the post-Ali era. Other champions trained and/or managed by Dundee were: Pinklon Thomas, Slobodan Kacar, Michael Nunn, George Scott and George Foreman (during his second career).