MIAMI — Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, known as “The Fight Doctor” for his role as Muhammad Ali’s ringside physician, died in his sleep Thursday morning at his Miami home, his daughter Tina Louise Pacheco said.

Pacheco, who was the lone surviving member of Ali’s training team and who would go on to a career as author, painter and Emmy-winning boxing analyst for NBC, was 89.

“He’s a cool guy, a cool Florida guy,” his daughter said.

Born to a Spanish-Cuban immigrant family in Ybor City in Tampa, Pacheco died in the Baypoint neighborhood of Miami that he had lived in since the 1950s. “That’s a long time. And he stayed in Florida even when he worked with NBC. They wanted him in New York but he didn’t want to leave,” his daughter said.

The Fight Doctor was so proud of his adopted Miami home he once said of Ali: “Cassius Clay was born in Louisville. Muhammad Ali was born in Miami.”

Pacheco, whose father J.D. was a physician, started his medical practice after earning his medical degree from the University of Miami in 1959. He served as a pharmacist in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.

“The big important thing for him was helping people,” his daughter Tina Louise Pacheco said. “He wanted to be a good doctor and cure people.”

Later, he joined boxing trainer Angelo Dundee’s corner at the famous 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach.

There, he became intrinsically linked with Ali — The Greatest.

Before the Miami Dolphins’ perfect football season in 1972, and long before the Miami Heat, Miami Marlins and Florida Panthers, the epicenter of sports in South Florida was a rough-hewn, sweaty boxing temple, accessed by a flight of sagging steps leading up to the 5th Street Gym. There, for 15 years, one could find Pacheco and the Dundee brothers, Angelo and Chris, at Ali’s side.

The Greatest trained there for his history-making match against Sonny Liston at the nearby Miami Beach Convention Center in 1964, when the-then Cassius Clay defeated the favored Liston and won his first heavyweight championship title.

Sports Illustrated called the bout one of the five greatest sporting events of the 20th century. Clay would soon convert to Islam and change his name to Muhammad Ali. As Ali, he faced pressure from his new community to make changes among his team. He chose to stick by Pacheco and the Dundees.

Pacheco served as Ali’s cornerman and personal physician from 1962 to 1977. He became almost as famous as Ali. He never had to wait for a table at Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach. NBC hired Pacheco to do boxing analysis on television, a role he played for 19 years following his retirement from ringside in 1981. He won an Emmy award in 1989 for his production, writing and commentary on the special, “February 25, 1964: The Championship.”

“He called so many amazing fights from the years 1981 to 2000; it’s hard to mention them all,” his daughter said. “If it was a must-see boxing event during those years, Ferdie was on the air giving his opinion and commentating.”

Pacheco is survived by his wife Luisita, his children Tina, Dawn, Evelyn and Ferdie Jr., and two grandchildren.