Muhammad Ali’s cornerman and doctor, Ferdie Pacheco, dies at 89

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MIAMI — Fernando “Ferdie” Pacheco, “The Fight Doctor” who served as Muhammad Ali’s ringside physician, has died. He was 89.

Pacheco’s daughter, Tina Louise Pacheco, told The Associated Press that he died Thursday morning at his Miami home after prolonged illness.

Pacheco was born in Tampa and opened a practice in Miami after earning a medical degree from the University of Miami. He met Cassius Clay, who would later become Muhammad Ali, in 1960 when the fighter began training with Angelo Dundee at the 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach.

Pacheco worked as Ali’s cornerman from 1962-1977, which included three successful title bouts. Pacheco has said he left his position after suggesting Ali retire because of serious injuries. Ali fought four more matches, losing three.

Pacheco went on to become a television boxing analyst, as well as a painter and author.