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For the next 17 years the “Fight Doctor” met everybody who came knocking, whether it was the Beatles, Elvis, Hollywood icons or the hundreds of hangers-on. “He wasn’t an intelligent man, not in a conventional sense – he was totally instinctive.
Ali, barely able to stand, was the man who lifted his arms aloft. “The Ali I knew had everything – speed, style, power, footwork.
The contest was roundly declared the best in the sport’s history. “He had a boxing brain, and the greatest body God ever blessed a man with.
He recalled: “He was breathtaking from the first moment I saw him – the most impressive looking, perfect guy I’d ever seen. “I used to to reply, ‘You’re either crazy, or you will be’. But above all else it was where he would patch up Ali, ease his aches and put him back together after a bout.
Ferdie would inject Ali’s knuckles with novocaine before each fight to dull the pain of his punches.
But to Ferdie, sat in Ali’s corner, it was clear that fight was the beginning of the end for the legendary fighter. He made champions resemble amateurs.” It was in 1960 that the young gold-medal winning Olympic boxer from Kentucky showed up at Miami Beach’s famous Fifth Street Gym to train with legendary coach Angelo Dundee.
Read more: Muhammad Ali fought to the very end as his daughters sat at his bedside He revealed: “That night, Ali looked me in the eye and told me, ‘I almost died’.” In fights that followed, Ferdie noticed early signs of brain damage. Complaining of a cold, he was sent to see Ferdie for a jab.