Cus D’Amato, Angelo Dundee, Emmanuel Steward, Eddie Futch, “Cuyo” Hernandez – If Your Life Depended on It, Which Coach Would You Pick to Train You?


In the realm of boxing, the role of boxing coaches stands paramount. Their invaluable contribution and expertise are pivotal in shaping a boxer’s journey toward success. A proficient boxing coach not only imparts technical skills but also plays a crucial role in mental and emotional development. They guide boxers in perfecting their techniques, footwork, and defensive maneuvers. One might remember the incredibly important role Mickey played in Rocky Balboa’s rise to become the champion.

Throughout the history of the sport, many talented boxers have blessed the ring with their own style of fighting. However, behind each boxer’s success there is always a trainer looking out for him as if handcrafting a jade sculpture. Many of these great trainers have given us legendary boxers. These coaches stand among them all: Cus D’Amato, Angelo Dundee, Emmanuel Steward, Eddie Futch, and “Cuyo” Hernandez. Now the question arises, if your life depended on it, which coach would you pick to train you?


Cus D’Amato, Angelo Dundee, or Emmanuel Steward whom would you prefer?

There would hardly be any boxing fan who does not know the name of Cus D’Amato. In a way, D’Amato revolutionized the sport. His deep passion and strategic brilliance helped mold boxing champions like Mike Tyson. Without D’Amato we wouldn’t have gotten “The Baddest Man on the Planet” to grace the ring with his dominating performances.

He instilled discipline and focus in Tyson which allowed him to become the youngest heavyweight champion of the world. Furthermore, he even came up with the legendary peek-a-boo style, which was tailor-made for Tyson. Few can compare to his brilliance.

Another such celebrated trainer is Angelo Dundee who also left an indelible mark on the sport. He is most renowned for his work with ‘the Greatest’ Muhammad Ali, who captured the hearts of fans with his talent and immense charisma. Dundee’s keen tactical insights and motivational skills played a pivotal role in Ali’s legendary career. The duo’s collaboration yielded several iconic bouts, including the legendary “Rumble in the Jungle” against George Foreman in 1974. He has also worked with figures like Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman, and Sean Mannion to name a few.


Known as the “Godfather of Detroit Boxing”, Emmanuel Steward was a Boxer, trainer as well as a commentator for HBO Boxing. Shockingly, throughout his career, Steward trained 41 world champions. Steward’s most famous protege was Thomas Hearns, the “Hitman.” Under Steward’s tutelage, Hearns became a ferocious puncher and a skilled tactician, achieving multiple world titles across different weight classes. Furthermore, Steward was even inducted into the International and World Boxing Hall of Fame.

These three coaches stand toe-to-toe with each other and are a class apart. Choosing one among them would be hard as it is. But the list goes on.

What about Eddie Futch and “Cuyo” Hernandez?

Another tough contender is Eddie Futch who is a revered boxing trainer. Renowned for his astute tactical acumen, Futch guided numerous pugilists to greatness. Moreover, he trained boxers like Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, Larry Holmes, and Trevor Berbick who ended up being the four out of five people to defeat Muhammad Ali!

Futch also had a huge hand in Frazier’s victory against Ali during the ‘Fight of the Century’. It was he who noticed the flaws in Ali’s style and devised the plan for Frazier to wear the champ down with body punches, which eventually led to the most memorable knockdowns of the century. Below is a short documentary on Futch-


Arutro “Cuyo” Hernandez, on the other hand, was a revered figure in Mexican boxing history. Hernandez’s remarkable career involved mentoring boxing legends like Carlos Zarate, Ricardo “Finito” Lopez, and Ruben “El Puas” Olivares, all later inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Additionally, he played a crucial role in the success of Lupe Pintor, Rafael “Bazooka” Limon, Baby Casanova, and the iconic Alexis Arguello, guiding them in their respective journeys. Astonishingly, he worked with 12 world champions and 37 Mexican national champions, showcasing his extraordinary training abilities. His name is in the International Boxing Hall of Fame as well.


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