In our latest episode of the BROOKLYN BOXING PODCAST Pat Healy sat down to talk with Dino Spencer the co-owner of the Word Famous 5th street gym in south beach.
The gym got it's start in 1950 when Chris Dundee started promoting big time boxing in Miami Beach. The gym soon became the University of Boxing with Chris and his brother Angelo at the helm. It attracted a host of celebrities including ; Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Jackie Gleason, Malcom X, The Beatles, Sean Connery, Frank Sinatra and later Sylvester Stallone.
The original structure lasted about 4 decades and created countless world champions such as Carmen Basilo, Willie Pastrano and a young man called Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr , a then 18 year old who arrived in 1960 and spent most of the next 6 years there. He lived in Overtown, which was then a thriving black community , a miniature Harlem. Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr had won the Gold medal at the Rome Olympics four months earlier. The Louisville Sponsoring Group sent him to be tutored by Dundee who had a stable of fighters he was training at a gym at the corner of 5th St and Washington Ave in Miami Beach.
The rest as they say is history.