Floyd Patterson (January 4, 1935 – May 11, 2006) was an American 2-time world heavyweight boxing champion. At 21, Patterson was then the youngest man to win the world heavyweight championship and, later, the first to regain it. He had a record of 55 wins 8 losses and 1 draw, with 40 wins by knockout. He won the gold medal at the 1952 Olympic Games as an amateur middleweight.
Patterson carried his hands higher than most boxers, in front of his face. Sportswriters called Patterson’s style a “peek-a-boo” stance.
After beating Tommy “Hurricane” Jackson in an elimination fight, Patterson faced light heavyweight champion Archie Moore on November 30, 1956, for the world heavyweight championship. He beat Moore by a knockout in five rounds, and became the youngest world heavyweight champion in history, at the age of 21 years and 10 months. He was the first Olympic gold medalist to win a professional heavyweight title.
The fights against Liston
Patterson lost his title to Liston on September 25, 1962 in Chicago, by a first-round knockout in front of 18,894 fans. The two fighters were a marked contrast. In the ring, Liston’s size and power proved too much for Patterson’s guile and agility. However Patterson did not use his speed to his benefit. According to Sports Illustrated writer Gilbert Rogin, Patterson didn’t punch enough and frequently tried to clinch with Liston. Liston battered Patterson with body shots and then shortened up and connected with two double hooks high on the head. The result at the time was the third-fastest knockout in boxing history. After being knocked out, Patterson left Comiskey Park in Chicago wearing dark glasses and a fake beard for the drive back to New York. After the fight questions were raised on whether or not the fight was fixed to set up a more lucrative rematch. Overnight Patterson seemed to lose his public support as a result of his swift knockout.
The rematch was set for April 1963, however Liston injured his knee swinging a golf club and the fight was delayed to July 22, 1963. In Las Vegas that night Patterson attempted to become the first boxer to win the heavyweight title three times, but Liston once again knocked him out in the first round. Patterson lasted four seconds longer than in the first bout.
The fight against Ali
On November 22, 1965, in yet another attempt to be the first to win the world’s heavyweight title three times, Patterson lost by technical knockout at the end of the 12th round, in a bout in which Ali was clearly dominant. Ali called Patterson an “Uncle Tom” for refusing to call him Muhammad Ali, (Patterson continued to call him Cassius Clay) and for this outspokenness against Black Muslims. Instead of scoring a quick knockout, Ali mocked, humiliated and punished Patterson throughout the fight.
Last fight before retirement
Patterson lost a controversial 12-round decision to Jerry Quarry in 1967. Subsequently, in a third and final attempt at winning the title a third time, Patterson lost a controversial 15-round referee’s decision to Jimmy Ellis in Sweden despite breaking Ellis’ nose and scoring a disputed knockdown.
Patterson continued on, however, defeating Oscar Bonavena in a close fight over ten rounds in early 1972. However, a final defeat by Muhammad Ali in a rematch for the North American Boxing Federation heavyweight title on September 20, 1972, convinced Patterson to retire at the age of 37.
Photos of Floyd Patterson
Floyd Patterson (January 4, 1935 – May 11, 2006) was an American 2-time world heavyweight boxing champion.
Holder of the title :June 20, 1960 -September 25, 1962
Nickname(s) :The Gentleman of Boxing
Height : 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Reach :71 in (180 cm)
Death date :May 11, 2006(2006-05-11) (aged 71)
Death place :New Paltz, New York, U.S.
Total fights :64
Wins by KO :40
Video from Floyd Patterson’s Career