RIP, Gil Clancy--Check Back Later For BORGES Article On Clancy's Passing

BY The Sweet Science ON March 31, 2011
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Image6-3Courtesy Ring 8, and their ace historian, Henry Hascup:

It saddened us to learn that Hall of Fame boxing trainer and commentator, Gil Clancy, passed away this morning. Gil worked with Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Jerry Quarry as well as Gerry Cooney in his bout with Foreman. He was the first and only trainer of Emile Griffith, and led him to win both the welterweight and middleweight championships of the world. He was a class act and an asset to the great sport of boxing. He will surely be missed. May he rest in peace.

Gil Clancy was born on May 30, 1922. Clancy is a Hall of Fame boxing trainer and one of the most noted boxing commentators of the 1980s and 1990s. Clancy is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. In 1983, he won the Sam Taub Award for excellence in boxing broadcasting journalism.

He is married to Nancy Clancy, and has six children and a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

After the famous No Más Fight between Roberto Durán and Sugar Ray Leonard was stopped in the 8th round when Duran quit with a “¡No más! ¡No más!”, it was Gil Clancy who first suggested that Duran must have quit due to stomach distress and probably had to use the bathroom. Ultimately, this turned out to be just about what Durán later said himself.

Fighters Trained

Alex Miteff
Oscar Bonavena
Gregorio Peralta
Muhammad Ali (at different times during career)
Joe Frazier (at different times during career)
Mac Foster
Johnny Persol
Jerry Quarry
Gerry Cooney (during fight with Foreman)
Jorge Victor Ahumada
Tony Anthony
Tom Bethea
Ralph Jones
Juan Carlos Rivero
Emile Griffith
Rodrigo Valdez
Harold Weston Jr.
Oscar De La Hoya
Ken Buchanan
Juan La Porte
George Foreman (after the Ali fight, until first retirement)
Charlie Green
Manuel Alvarez
Eddie Mustafa Muhammad (as a manager)

Awards & Recognition

1967 & 1973 Boxing Writers Association of America Manager of the Year
1983 Sam Taub Award: Boxing Writers Association of America Excellence in Broadcasting Journalism Award
Inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame, “Expanded Category” (Managers & Trainers)

Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, “Non-Participant”

Miscellaneous

Took over matchmaking duties from Teddy Brenner at Madison Square Garden in late 1978. He held the position for three years.

In the early 1980s, Clancy started working as a television boxing commentator. He worked for CBS Sports, MSG Network, and HBO. In an interview with Zachary Levin, Clancy told how he got his start: “I was at a cocktail party with Angelo (Dundee). And Barry Frank was there. He was president of CBS Sports. And we always used to joke around, Angelo and I. So Barry Frank says, ‘Could you guys do that on the air?’ I say, ‘Sure.’ The next week we were on the air from Italy.”

Comment on this article

Robert Curtis says:

As a kid, Gil Clancy was the voice of boxing as far as I was concerned. Whenever he was announcing, I was glad. Of course, anything was better than that no-nothing Cosell. But Gil Clancy was the real deal. I knew whatever he said would be succinct and true. He taught me something new about boxing every time he spoke. He was a supreme asset to this sport. You can't replace a guy like that.

Radam G says:

My deepest, deepest condolences. Gil "Da Kill, always work and always will" [one of his many respectful nicknames called him by many in da game.] was a trainer's trainer, a-knew-his-s*** boxing talking head and most of all a caring gentle man and gentleman to the max. Wow! May he enjoy all the wonderfulness that there may be in the afterlife of this topsy-turvy one. Gil "Da Kill," you were da MAN! And be DAT -- you always will." We'll see you at the crossroad." Until then, Holla!

Matthew says:

RIP Gil Clancy. He was a great trainer and teacher, but he may have been an even better broadcaster. As partial as I am to the old HBO team of Barry Tompkins, Ray Leonard, and Larry Merchant, I think Tim Ryan and Gil Clancy may have been the best on-air boxing commentary team ever. They had great chemistry, and Clancy's analysis was usually spot-on. Watch the Top Rank broadcast of Leonard-Hagler, or any of the old CBS broadcasts if you don't believe me. He will be missed.

brownsugar says:

Clancy was a generation ahead of me... I really didn't learn much about his training career untill I saw a film about Griffith. No wonder he brought true authenticity whenever he commentated a fight. He sounded like a cab driver,.. a bar tender or a barber,.. meaning that he wrapped an elegant commoners' grace around pearls of insight and wisdom. Clancy made fights fun to watch and I enjoyed seeing him at ringside... I'm glad he was able to live a long fruitful life... what more can you ask?

the Roast says:

I remember Gil Clancy mainly as the CBS announcer with Tim Ryan. Growing up watching the fights on Saturday afternoon with my Dad. A true boxing legend. 88 years is one hell of a run. We should all be so lucky. Rest in peace.

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