RingTV.com caught up to Angelo Dundee as the dean of boxing trainers celebrated his 90th birthday with friends and family at his home in Palm Habor, Fla., on Tuesday.
Grandson Ryan and son Jimmy, respectively, had birthdays on Aug. 24 and 27, so “We’re all going out to dinner later on tonight,” said Dundee, who has not allowed hip-replacement surgery to slow him down.
“Yes, I’ve got a new hip. Got it in January, but I’m fine. You can just start calling me Hop-A-Long Cassidy. But I’m a grandfather of six and great grandfather of one, who is named Riley. We always have a good time when we’re together.”
Dundee was in the corner of Foreman when the 45-year-old knocked out Michael Moorer in the 10th round on November 5, 1994, to become the eldest man to win a heavyweight crown.
That record was eclipsed by 46-year-old Bernard Hopkins, who became the oldest fighter in the history of the sport to win a significant title when he dethroned Jean Pascal as WBC lightheavyweight belt-holder in May.
“Bernard Hopkins is like George Foreman. He knows how to fight, and he knows how to train himself. I think that he’s fantastic,” said Dundee.
“The older you get, the wiser you get. You train yourself a certain way at certain age levels. Now, I’m a step slower, because I’m 90.”
Dundee offered his selections when asked about fights featuring WBC welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 knockouts) and Floyd Mayweather Jr. (41-0, 25 KOs), and, WBO welterweight beltholder Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) and WBA and WBO lightweight strap holder Juan Manuel Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs), respectively, on Sept. 17 and Nov. 12.
“Tough fight. But if I had a fighter to choose to fight against Mayweather, it would be one who fights like Ortiz. Result? Tough, split-decision. But Ortiz may be the winner,” said Dundee.
“Marquez will give Pacquiao a tough fight every day that they’re alive. Another tough fight, like I said. Probably Pacquiao’s toughest fight, because Marquez is a guy who knows how to fight him. Decision, split, Marquez.”
As far as a potential bout between Mayweather and Pacquiao?
“Mayweather wins. I just don’t know why Mayweather’s not fighting him,” said Dundee. “He walks around saying that he’s the best fighter in the world? Well, fight the sucker. I think that he beats Pacquiao.”
But Dundee qualified his picks, which don’t necessarily bode well for those he selected.
“I’m warning you: I’m the worst fight picker that you will ever meet. I’m a great analyst, but I’m the worst picker,” said Dundee. “Now, I ain’t crazy, I’m just Angelo Dundee, and I’m a just really bad fight picker.”
Dundee, nowadays, is working with young talent, such as South Carolina heavyweight Justin Wayne Ledet and Tampa-based lightweight female fighter Christine Swanson.
Ledet debuted with a third-round stoppage of Tobias Rice on Aug. 26, and Swanson is 2-0, with one knockout.
“Angelo’s also doing something that he’s never done before now, and that’s working with some amateur kids. He’s got some really good kids here in Tampa that he’s been working with, and some kids from Chicago have been coming down,” said Dundee’s managerial assistant, Mark Grismer.
“Angelo’s always had Olympic champions after they’ve become Olympic champions, but these kids are hopefuls for the Olympic team. So Angelo’s really excited about getting to work with some young talent. It keeps him going to be able to help them with their development.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]