"The Greatest" Muhammad Ali and Author/Former Mayor Alex Daoud to Celebrate Reopening of the Legendary 5th Street Gym

Top Quote Boxing great Muhammad Ali, Former Miami Beach Mayor Alex Daoud, among the VIPS to attend ceremonies to mark the reopening of the legendary 5th Street Gym. End Quote
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL (1888PressRelease) September 21, 2010 - The World Famous 5th Street Gym, which was first opened in 1951 by Angelo Dundee and his brother Chris, is reopening this Thursday, September 23rd. Several VIP'S are expected to attend including boxing legend Muhammad Ali and Author/Former Miami Beach Mayor Alex Daoud.

    Daoud, a boxing enthusiast, worked out at the famous Fifth Street Gym during its heyday. The former mayor trained under Angelo Dundee and did roadwork with the likes of Ali and other world champions.

    Daoud says he's thrilled that the gym is reopening but he adds, "it was a sin for it to be torn down in the first place. It was a national landmark and a Miami Beach treasure."

    In 1991 Mayor Daoud named the hall in which Ali won his first heavyweight championship. The Muhammad Ali Hall of Champions in Miami Beach stands as the first and only officially dedicated landmark for an African American in the city. Daoud called it an "oasis of equality in a desert of segregation."

    The original building on fifth and Washington was closed in 1992. Angelo Dundee,Tom Tsatas, Dino Spencer and Matt Baiamonte (Angelo's chief trainer and protégé;) have resurrected a new gym that will be located on the same corner of 5th Street and Washington Avenue, just a few doors down from the original location. The owners are hoping to attract professional boxers, mixed martial arts fighters preparing for upcoming bouts, and those simply looking for a workout.

    The 5th street Gym would come to house 15 world champions including Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Jimmy Ellis and George Foreman. The renowned trainer Angelo Dundee guided many of the gym's boxing legends including Ali, Carmen Basilo and Luis Rodriguez. Now 89, Dundee is a partner in the new gym's ownership group. His brother, Chris, who died 12 years ago, opened the original gym and operated it for 30 years.

    Former Mayor/Author Alex Daoud's critically acclaimed book Sins of South Beach recalls his experiences at the original 5th street gym and his time working out with Ali and Dundee. Daoud says there were still vestiges of discrimination against blacks in South Beach even against Ali who trained frequently at the gym. "Ali was gracious even in the face of prejudice. He knew how to find the humor in everything," said Daoud.

    Sins of South Beach details Daoud's rise to power from a lawyer and city commissioner to a beloved mayor who eventually fell from grace. It is a warning to public servants about the moral pitfalls that may await. The book has been acquired by Cinepro Pictures to be made into a feature length movie.

    To set up a phone interview with Author/Former Miami Beach Mayor Alex Daoud about the reopening of the 5th street gym or his book Sins of South Beach, contact Tandi Wilder at She Got Game Media at (914) 572-3671.

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