5th Street Gym (Miami)
The 5th Street Gym has been called "the world's most famous gym." It opened in 1950 at the corner of 5th Street and Washington Avenue in Miami Beach, Florida. The gym was owned and operated by Chris Dundee.
Dundee started managing boxers in 1928 and began promoting fights in 1932. In 1950, with the completion of the Miami Beach Convention Center, Dundee moved his base of operations from New York City to Miami Beach and promoted boxing and wrestling at the Convention Center for 27 years.
His brother, Angelo Dundee, trained numerous world champions at the 5th Street Gym, including Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Carmen Basilio, Luis Manuel Rodriguez, Willie Pastrano, Sugar Ramos, Jimmy Ellis and Ralph Dupas.
The gym was nicknamed "Oz," Chris Dundee the "Wizard of Oz" and Angelo Dundee the "Prince of Oz."
In its heyday, the 5th Street Gym was the place to be. In addition to many of the world’s top fighters who trained there, celebrities were always plentiful among its visitors. Malcolm X, The Beatles, Sean Connery, Frank Sinatra and Jackie Gleason are just a few of the many iconic figures to have made their presence felt.
The gym was torn down in 1993. Five years later, Chris Dundee died at age 91.
Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, who worked with Angelo Dundee and many of his fighters at the gym, wrote a book titled Tales from the 5th Street Gym: Ali, the Dundees, and Miami's Golden Age of Boxing. It was published in March 2010.
The 5th Street Gym reopened at its original location in September 2010. The International Boxing Hall of Fame reported:
- "Nearly 60 years after it first opened, and 17 years after it was torn down in 1993, the famous gym is now back. Angelo Dundee, along with partners Matt Baiamonte, Dino Spencer and Tom Tsatas unveiled the modern facility with fanfare as many members of the boxing community helped Dundee and company cut the red ribbon to officially signal the rebirth of the gym."
Angelo Dundee passed away in 2012 at age 90.
Tsatas and Spencer opened a new gym called "World Famous 5th Street Gym" at 1434 Alton Road in Miami Beach in September 2013. That month, it was reported that Angelo's son, Jim Dundee, decided to terminate the licensing agreement which saw the 5th Street Gym reopen three years earlier. Dundee stated:
- "With great sorrow, I felt it best to move in a different direction, as I felt that the gym was being managed in the manner my father wouldn't deem fit. After much soul-searching, I sent a cease and desist letter to all parties involved, and effectively terminated the agreement on May 1 of this year. I want to make clear that the 'World Famous 5th Street Gym' that is being opened by Tom Tsatas and Dino Spencer on Miami Beach is in no way affiliated with my father Angelo Dundee, the Dundee family, nor with my father's protege Matt Baiamonte."