Russell Crowe and Ron Howard have led the tributes to Muhammad Ali's boxing trainer Angelo Dundee, who died on Wednesday (01Feb12) at the age of 90.
Dundee was being treated for a blood clot found after a trip to visit Ali in Louisville, Kentucky for the fighter's 70th birthday last month (Jan12), and he passed away surrounded by his loved ones in a rehabilitation center in Tampa, Florida.
A statement from his family reads, "He was very happy that he got to celebrate Ali's (70th) birthday earlier this year and also that he got to go to the Hall of Fame. He still had much to do, but led a full and extraordinary life."
Dundee served as a longtime cornerman in the ring to Ali at the height of the boxer's career, and also helped train legends including Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman, Carmen Basilio and Jose Napoles.
He famously sparked controversy at Ali's 1963 bout with Henry Cooper in London when he cut Ali's glove to delay the start of the fifth round and give the struggling boxer time to recover from a knockdown at the end of the fourth.
Dundee also worked in the movie industry, and helped train Crowe to portray boxer James J. Braddock in Howard's 2005 drama Cinderella Man.
Crowe learned of Dundee's death on Thursday (02Feb12), and took to his Twitter.com page to remember his pal.
In a post, he writes, "Rip Angelo Dundee. My life is so much richer for having known him. He had the biggest heart of any man I ever knew. God love you Angelo."
Howard also tweeted, "Angelo Dundee Rip - all time great boxing trainer and a tremendous person. He trained R Crowe in Cinderella Man and inspired us all", while John Cusack added: "rip to the great angelo dundee - i watched him train great fighters as long as i can remeber (sic)."