Ferdie Pacheco

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dr. Ferdie Pacheco
Born (1927-12-08) December 8, 1927 (age 87)
Tampa, Florida,
United States
Education University of Florida
University of Miami
Occupation Artist, author, physician, sports commentator
Spouse(s) Luisita
Children 4

Dr. Ferdie Pacheco is the former personal physician and cornerman for world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, as well as numerous other boxing champions. Beginning in the late 1970s, Pacheco was a TV boxing analyst for several television networks, most notably Showtime. Pacheco is also a prolific author and painter and currently resides in Miami, Florida with his wife Luisita. His nickname is the "Fight Doctor."

Early life[edit]

Ferdie Pacheco was born on December 8, 1927 in the immigrant community of Ybor City in Tampa, Florida. Boxing was a popular sport in Ybor City, and Pacheco took an early interest. He received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Florida, and his Medical Degree from the University of Miami. After graduation, he set up practice in the Little Havana community of Miami and began working with boxers alongside Angelo Dundee at the 5th Street Gym.[1]


In 1962, Pacheco began working with Muhammad Ali when the then-Cassius Clay was training in Miami. Pacheco became Ali's cornerman and physician and would remain so until the latter parts of Ali's career. In 1977, Pacheco was concerned about potential liver and kidney damage and noticed that Ali's reflexes were slowing down.[2] He recommended that Ali retire, but Ali continued to fight. Due to this difference of opinion, Pacheco left Ali's camp.[3] Despite this disagreement, he and Ali are still friends to this day.

Pacheco moved on to become a television boxing analyst, working for NBC and Univision. He became Showtime's featured boxing analyst in the early 1980s and continued his association with that network until his retirement from TV in the late 1990s, covering many memorable fights along the way. Pacheco is fluent in Spanish and acted as translator for audiences when bouts featured the corners of Mexican and Puerto Rican fighters.

Pacheco is the author of several books, plays, screenplays, and short stories. Many of them are set in the Ybor City neighborhood where he grew up. Among his works, he has written a memoir (Ybor City Chronicles), an autobiography (Blood in My Coffee) and a cookbook (The Columbia Restaurant Spanish Cookbook, co-authored with longtime friend Adela Gonzmart).[4]

Pacheco is also an award-winning artist. As with his writing, the subjects of many of his paintings are the two most important influences in his life: boxing and Ybor City.

Pacheco was portrayed by Paul Rodriguez in the 2001 film Ali. A biographical film, Ferdie Pacheco: The World of the Fight Doctor, was released in 2004.


Today, Pacheco lives in Miami. His wife, Luisita, has co-authored a number of his books and is his official photographer and manager. Dr Pacheco has 1 daughter. Youngest daughter Tina Louise is a well known feature film editor. His niece Pamela McLaughlin lives in Cincinnati, OH with her four children.

External links[edit]


Pacheco, Ferdie (1994). Ybor City Chronicles: A Memoir. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. ISBN 0-8130-1296-1.