Dundee was still in relatively good health when he traveled with his son, Jimmy, to Louisville, Ky., last month for Ali's 70th birthday party. The aging fighter and his elderly trainer talked and posed for pictures, and Dundee reminisced about the past.
"I've had a lot of great fighters and a lot of great times," Dundee said then. "But the greatest time of my life was with Muhammad Ali."
Jimmy Dundee said the visit meant everything to his father, who was hospitalized with a blood clot shortly after returning home. He was later released and seemed to be recovering before having trouble breathing. He died surrounded by his children and grandchildren, a peaceful end to a life well lived.
"He had a ball. He lived his life and he had a good time," Jimmy Dundee said. "I'm so glad we went. It meant so much for him to see Muhammad again."
Dundee will be forever linked to Ali, and his death — which followed by just a few months the passing of Frazier — erases another link to an era long gone. Though Dundee will be remembered as Ali's trainer and cornerman, his son said he would also like him to be known as something else:
In the often brutal and cutthroat world of boxing, he stood out as an extraordinary ambassador for the sport. Anyone who met him was his friend, whether they were in his corner or across the ring.
To those who wondered why, Dundee always had the same reply:
"It doesn't cost anything more to be nice."