Friday 19 January 2018

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Dundee a genius in tight corners

Last weekend, the 10 bells rang once again, signalling the departure of a third legend of the sweet science in recent times, as coach Angelo Dundee followed boxer Smokin' Joe Frazier and sports writer George Kimball to the great boxing pantheon in the sky.

Although he had 15 world champions and a host of other superb boxers in his corner over the years, he would not have been ranked among the higher echelons for his coaching skills (Eddie Futch, who looked after Smokin' Joe, was reckoned to be a far better trainer) but as a motivator and a guy in your corner when things got tough, he had no equal.

On three different occasions, he rescued Muhammad Ali through a combination of quick thinking and dogged, never-say-die attitude. His first vital intervention was in 1963, when he widened the rip in the then Cassius Clay's gloves during the break between Rounds 4 and 5 to allow him to recover from the effect of 'Enry's 'Ammer, which dumped Clay on the seat of his pants during their fight in London; the second in '64, when he doused Cassius Clay's eyes in water, so that he could overcome the mysterious substance that half blinded him in Round 3 of his "I showed the world" bout with Sonny Liston; while his final one probably sealed Ali's legend as The Greatest when he refused to let him quit in the Thrilla in Manila, thus allowing Ali to triumph in that incredible fight that transcended boxing as Eddie Futch pulled Frazier out (for his own safety) at the end of 14 brutal rounds.

Dundee's tactics were designed to get the most out of his boxers and he sometimes used unusual methods. Willy Pastrano, the smooth light-heavyweight with the great left hand, occasionally tried to coast so that he wouldn't be hit and in a championship match with Terry Downes in Manchester, he was down on points and his championship was slipping away.

As Pastrano rose from his stool for the 11th round, Dundee gave him an almighty whack in his backside, causing Pastrano to swing around, eyes wild with rage, to which Dundee uttered the immortal lines, "Don't get mad at me, get mad at him". Pastrano duly KO'ed Downes in the 11th.

But perhaps his finest hour was when he willed and cajoled the great Sugar Ray Leonard ("you're blowing it son") as he overcame a deficit on points to knock out Tommy 'The Hitman' Hearns in the 14th round in their Showdown in Caesars Palace in 1981.

Alas, yet another of the great characters of boxing is regrettably no longer with us

Mark Lawler

Rugby talents run in Sheridan family

I am writing to express my opinion on an article I read in the Sunday Independent [Jan 29]. The article was about the Sheridan cousins from Meath, Joe and Eamonn.

The article claimed that the younger Sheridan was the rugby player, and the older the Gaelic footballer. I would like to correct the writer of the article -- they are both actually rugby players. Rewind your memory back to July 11, 2010 in Croke Park, the Leinster senior football championship final between Louth and Meath. We all remember Joe Sheridan scoring a try at the Davin End.

Gareth Judge

Cats' fans gain home comforts

Did you hear that the Kilkenny footballers are planning a new all-seater stadium?

They won a three-piece suite in a draw!

Jerry Daly

Sweeney does the GAA a disservice

I would like to comment on Eamonn Sweeney's article on the fracas in Portlaoise and on his defence of the Derrytresk team [Jan 29].

To cite five serious GAA violent, thuggish, upheavals, involving players, sometime spectators, and, also, attacks on officials as a defence, because they were of a more serious nature, to me is, in itself, a thuggish outlook.

To sum it up: 'They might be animals, but they are OUR animals'.

Mr Sweeney does a disservice to the GAA and, judging by GAA behaviour, they need all the help they can get. I, for one, wouldn't want my grandchild to play it.

Fintan Lalor

Ulster will have to grin and bear it

We have to endure Ireland's Call and cannot perform our national anthem to keep the Ulster IRFU happy and on-board. They will just have to grin and bear it by playing in the Heineken Cup on Easter Sunday.

K Nolan

Sunday Indo Sport

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