Muhammad Ali last night interpreted what he said was a report from the Mayo Clinic of being in "excellent physical and mental condition" as a repudition of some other doctors.
After two days of tests at the famed clinic the former heavyweight boxing champion said on the telephone from Rochester, Minn., "I'm still shaking up the world of my critics . . . doctors . . . everybody. I whipped Pacheco and "Doctor London."
He said he was referring to Dr. Ferdie Pacheo of Miami, who once worked in Ali's corner, and a brain specialist in London who recently cast doubts on the advisibility of Ali fighting again.
Ali accused Pacheco of reporting that the former champion had suffered kidney damage in the ring.
"The doctors at Mayo examined my hands, my skull, my kidneys, everything. I've got 13 copies of a letter from the Mayo doctors to hand out to the world. There's nothing to stop me now (from fighting again). This report is not from some boxing commission, but from the best doctors in the world.
"It was degrading to me and my family for some doctors to say I had brain damage. . . . Let them talk to the Mayo Clinic."
He said the Mayo report "makes me, (opponent) Larry Holmes and (promoter) Don King feel good."
Ali was alluding to concerns that he might not pass a boxing commission's physical examination to fight Holmes in October in Las Vegas.
I'm going to get Holmes," Ali went on. "I'm predicting a knockout anytime after the 10th round; he tires.
"One of the (Mayo) doctors is working out a diet for me; he is getting me a book on how to eat. I will run six miles a day instead of the three and two miles a day I used to do. I will be able to go 25 rounds at full speed in training. Holmes is in trouble.
Ali underwent the tests at Mayo on the advice of Gene Killroy, his business manager.
Pacheco said last night on the telephone from Miami," I have no comment other than to say I'm very happy if Mohammad got clearance from the Mayo Clinic. It dosen't change my opinion about fighting again."
Is Pacheco still opposed to that?
"At this point it is a boxing decision. I haven't been with him for three years as a friend, I would not like to see him risk what he already has done. If he has clearance, I'm ecstatic. I have accomplished what I set out to do. I urged him to get a full medical examination. That was what all the hollering was about.
"I thought that at his age (38 now) and in his condition he should have had the examination years ago. Now it is a career decision for him.