AC Fine Art will be featuring original oil paintings by Ferdie Pacheco, aka The Fight Doctor, from Saturday, Aug. 6, to Aug. 31. Also being featured will be photos taken by Ferdie’s wife, Luisita, during his years with Muhammed Ali.
Opening night will include a book signing by Pacheco and live music in conjunction with the Coconut Grove Gallery Walk. Pacheco has exhibited his works throughout the U.S., France and in London.
Pacheco was born on Dec. 8, 1927 in the immigrant community of Ybor City in Tampa. 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 Little Havana and began working with boxers alongside Angelo Dundee at the Fifth Street Gym on Miami Beach.
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 noticed that Ali’s reflexes were slowing down and recommended that he retire, but Ali continued to fight. Due to this difference of opinion, Pacheco left Ali’s camp. 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 the author of 20 books, most recent Tales from the Fifth Street Gym. He also has written plays, screenplays, and short stories. Many of his books 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). Coming out soon is an updated e-book version of the Fight Doctor.
AC Fine Art is located in the Grove Retrospective Gallery at 2911 Grand Ave. in Coconut Grove. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 1 to 5 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 1 to 9 p.m. Also open by appointment.
Contact Steven Steele at 305-742-7071.