Ferdie Pacheco, legend in boxing, lost to history
One of the best things about covering boxing was just being in the press room. Anyone involved in boxing who was NOT in the ring that night would come by the press room to kabitz and promote whatever they had coming up.
Bert Sugar would often waive some of them over to join our pre-fight radio broadcast. Gregory Hines was amazing and explained why great fighters are usually great dancers as well.
Muhammad Ali, if feeling up to it, would do his magic tricks and the endless stream of Mike Tyson ex-managers would come out to explain how they, and they alone, had all legal rights to Iron Mike.
One of my favorites though was The Fight Doctor, Ferdie Pacheco. A conversation with Doc would start out being about boxing but could end up being about art, opera, comedians or just life. He loved to talk and had insights into so many things. It was always fun to have him on and he was a great guest.
At least a dozen times I found myself in the coffee shop late at night eating with Doc and a few others. Sometimes, it was just the two of us. It was always great and I always walked away with a new understanding of something life related, some new insight.
Being from New Orleans, we talked about the city a lot. He loved The Big Easy and had a keen understanding of the culture and the music. At one point, his daughter was attending Spring Hill College near Mobile, just a few hours away.
Ferdie Pacheco is one more link to the glory days of boxing that has fallen away as the sport itself fades into memory.
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