Sunday, 24 June, 2018


"Fight Doctor" Ferdie Pacheco Dead at 89 - Ali's Personal Physician

Muhammad Ali "Fight Doctor" Ferdie Pacheco Dead at 89 - Ali's Personal Physician
Hannah Rogers | 18 November, 2017, 00:46

Ferdie Pacheco, best known as the "Fight Doctor" for his years serving as Muhammad Ali's ringside physician, has died at the age of 89. Though not a boxer himself, Pacheco displayed a keen interest in the sport and attended many fights.

Pacheco worked the corner of Ali from 1962 to 1977 when he got a medical report that Ali was having kidney failure and was not in the corner for Ali's last four fights of which he lost three of them.

Pacheco met Ali, then known as Cassius Clay at Miami's 5th Street Gym in the early 1960s when the future heavyweight champion was training with legendary trainer Angelo Dundee.

"What was it like to be Ali's fight doctor?" Pacheco claims a Parkinson's-stricken Ali told him, "You was right", years after their breakup.

Ali's blood pressure rose at the weigh-in and Pacheco was asked to examine the fighter away from the atmosphere.

Pacheco married Luisita Sevilla in 1970. He became Showtime's featured boxing analyst in the early 1980's and continued doing this until his retirement in the early 1990's.

The Ybor City native also won two Emmy Awards as a TV boxing analyst.

Besides all this, Pacheco has authored several books and written plays, screenplays, and short stories. He was portrayed by Paul Rodriguez in the 2001 "Ali" biopic. But by the 1970s, the cat-quick Ali's reflexes appeared more human-like, and after taking a punishing bout with the concrete-fisted Earnie Shavers against the Fight Doctor's advice, Ali, Pacheco instructed, should retire.

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