Longtime trainer Gil Clancy dies

Updated: April 2, 2011, 10:21 AM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

Gil Clancy, the International Boxing Hall of Fame trainer and manager, died Thursday. Clancy was 88.

Clancy, who died at an assisted living facility in Lynbrook, N.Y., was a teacher when he began training amateur fighters after the school day in his native Queens, N.Y. But he would eventually rise to become one of the most significant trainers and managers in professional boxing.

Although he is best known for guiding the career of fellow Hall of Famer Emile Griffith, the former welterweight and middleweight champion, in the 1960s, Clancy worked with numerous champions and contenders.

[+] EnlargeGil Clancy
Lawrence Lucier/FilmMagicGil Clancy, who worked with Emile Griffith, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Oscar De La Hoya, among others in his long career, died at 88 years old Thursday.

The first name fighter that Clancy worked with was middleweight contender Ralph "Tiger" Jones. But he also had middleweight champion Rodrigo Valdes, heavyweight contender Jerry Quarry and George Foreman following his loss to Muhammad Ali until his first retirement.

Others that he worked with included Ali, heavyweight champ Joe Frazier, heavyweight contender Gerry Cooney, lightweight champion Ken Buchanan, featherweight champion Juan La Porte and welterweight champion Oscar De La Hoya.

Clancy was twice named manager of the year by the Boxing Writers Association of America, in 1967 and 1973. Clancy also worked from 1978 to 1981 as the matchmaker for Madison Square Garden Boxing.

However, millions came to know Clancy for his role as the analyst for CBS's boxing telecasts in the 1980s and 90s, when he was paired with Tim Ryan. Clancy also called fights for MSG Network and HBO.

In 1983, the BWAA presented him with the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. He was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y., in 1993.

"Gil Clancy was one of boxing's truly great minds," Hall of Fame executive director Edward Brophy said. "As a trainer and manager he was held in the highest regard by his peers. The Hall of Fame is saddened by the loss of our friend."

Clancy was a well-liked figure throughout the sport, although he had not been seen much in recent years.

"Gil Clancy was a dear friend of mine and was one of the greatest men in boxing of all time," Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said. "While I will miss him dearly, I am thankful that I am left with memories of the great times we shared together. My deepest condolences go to the Gil Clancy family."

Said Ross Greenburg, president of HBO Sports, "Gil Clancy was a beloved member of the boxing community and was a part of the HBO Sports family for many years. We and the rest of the boxing world mourn his passing."

Clancy boxed in college and in the Army and earned a master's degree in teaching at New York University -- and paid his tuition by training fighters, according to the Associated Press.

Clancy is survived by five children and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. His wife, Nancy, died 16 months ago. Funeral arrangements were incomplete, the family told the AP.

Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.