Interview with Angelo Dundee

OK, tell me how you first met Cassius Clay?


Well, that was a very interesting experience. I used to go to Louisville, Kentucky quite a bit with a lot of my fighters. And I happened to be there with Willie Pastrano. And we were at the Sheraton Hotel and we were sitting in a room and I'd stay in the same room with Willie because he was not exactly the kind of kid that we know, he used to chase chicks like, you know a fox terrier would chase a dog in heat. So I stayed in the same room with the kid. And the phone rings, we were watching TV, and I pick up the phone and I said, ah, "Hello," he says, the voice on the other phone was, "Hey, my Ca--my name is Cassious Marcellus Clay, Jr., I'm the, and I won the Golden Glove Championship in Louisville, Kentucky. I won the Golden Gloves in, ah, Washington State and I won the Chicago Golden Gloves." This was 1958 mind you. And he said, "I want to win the Olympics in 1960." I said, "That's great. Glad to hear it." So, I didn't know who he was because I didn't pay too much attention to amateurs, still don't. I'm strictly a professional guy and that's what I do. So, I held my hand over the phone and I told Willie, I said," Hey, some sort of a nut downstairs, he wants to talk to us." That was the beginning of, up comes Cassius Marcellus Clay, with his brother, ah, Rudy and, ah, they walk into the room and we proceeded to have some of the finest conversation I've ever had with a human being, ah, who was then a student of boxing. He was very, he wanted to know how I trained my fighters, what they do, when to eat, when not to eat. A very, very in depth young man. And he had, he knew what direction he wanted to go. His brother, oddly enough, looked like the artist of the two because he had a mannequin, a face he had done in clay and he had a picture he had painted. The whole family was very artistic. Because Cassius Senior was a painter. A painter paints signs, "Paint this." "You paint it." "I'll do it." You know, that kind of stuff. But, ah, we proceeded to talk for three or four hours and that was the beginning. That was the beginning of a friendship that I nurture to this day because he's one of my best friends. Cassius Marcelleus Clay was the nicest thing that ever happened to my life and I think the nicest thing that every happened to boxing.


Sounds like a wonderful place to stop down. Let me just check--