The name Angelo Dundee is inextricably linked with another, Muhammad Ali. In his 50-plus years in boxing, Dundee has worked as a trainer and corner man with 15 world champions, but his association with Ali, who approached him as a teenage amateur called Cassius Clay, is what has given him fame.
In the foreword to his racy, Runyonesque memoirs, Ali writes: "I love Angelo," and the feeling is reciprocated, which makes Dundee's sorrow at the champion's sad twilight more poignant. But there is much to savour in this close-up view of "showbusiness with blood", as Budd Schulberg termed the fight game.
Dundee owns up to skulduggery – yes, he split the laces on Ali's gloves to give him time to recover after he was floored by Henry Cooper – but also dispels some myths – Roberto Duran never said "No mas" as he quit in the ring against Dundee's man Sugar Ray Leonard.
This is as close as you're likely to get to the flavour of the ring without clambering through the ropes yourself; indispensable reading for aficionados of fistiana.
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