"It was the gym where the Muhammad Ali legend was born. The 5th Street Gym in Miami and those that inhabited it are gone now, but inside these pages their spirit lives."--Thomas K. Stewart, Boxing Writers of America
"Ferdie Pacheco takes you back to a time and place that no longer exist in boxing. On these pages, you are standing alongside the great characters of the sport, inside the wonderfully eclectic 5th Street Gym. You can feel the rhythm of the gym, smell the sweat, and hear the pounding of the heavy bags. What a ride."--Robert Cassidy, Newsday
In its forty-year existence, the 5th Street Gym housed the training grounds for three of the greatest fighters the sport has ever known--Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, and Sugar Ray Leonard--and became the locus for a grand total of fourteen world champions. The site was also a magnet for a wide range of international celebrities including Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Jackie Gleason, Frank Sinatra, the Beatles, and Sylvester Stallone, who were all absorbed into the gym's legend. The 5th Street Gym's beginnings trace back to 1950, when Chris Dundee, along with his brother Angelo, began promoting big-time boxing at Miami Beach.
Tales from the 5th Street Gym includes a wealth of never-before-seen photographs and is the first to chronicle the fascinating history of the 5th Street Gym from one of its insiders--Dr. Ferdie Pacheco--with crucial contributions from Tom Archdeacon, Angelo Dundee, Suzanne Dundee Bonner, Enrique Encinosa, Howard Kleinberg, Ramiro Ortiz, Edwin Pope, Bob Sheridan, and Budd Schulberg. Discover the secret history of one of boxing's most hallowed grounds, as Pacheco recalls the rise, heyday, and fall of the "sweet science" at Miami Beach.
Ferdie Pacheco, the "Fight Doctor," is a physician, boxing analyst, screenwriter, author, and artist. After serving fifteen years as Muhammad Ali's physician and corner man, he began a career as a boxing analyst for NBC, Showtime, and Univision. He received an Emmy Award for his work on a series of specials on Ali's greatest fights. His most recent book is Blood in My Coffee: The Life of the Fight Doctor.
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"Reveals the details that only insiders knew about during the heyday of promoting big-time boxing at Miami Beach."
--Social Affairs Magazine
"By the last page, it is easy to understand why the wrecking ball that went through the gym in 1993 also went through the hearts of Ferdie Pacheco and his boxing brethren."
--New York Times Book Review
"Pacheco manages to keep the history of the gym tied to the history of Miami, making Tales from the 5th ST. Gym an engaging read not only for fans and historians of boxing, but those interested in the cultural history of postwar Miami as well."
"It is reminiscent of sitting in a room with a group of boxing aficionados, where myriad tales of old fighters fill the air. "...a valuable lens to view the history and business of boxing, as well as the South Beach region generally, Cuban immigration to Florida, and the crucial role of sport and popular culture in postwar Miami's history."
--Florida Historical Quarterly
"Pacheco doesn't pull any punches in this book. Just ask the reporters who were kicked out of his house, one specifically for answering his cell phone during a question-and-answer session. From the closed-circuit theaters, the glorious Ali sparring sessions, Pacheco's sweat-smelly ghetto clini, and the crowded 5th Street Gym in the heart of Miami Beach, this book is a knockout look at a time when boxing was golden."
--Southern Humanities Review