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Friday, May 12, 2006

Floyd Patterson, Heavyweight Boxing Champion

"Fear was absolutely necessary. Without it,
I would have been scared to death."
Floyd Patterson, former Heavyweight Boxing Champion.

Dick Contra our newest staff member is here with sad news from the world of sports. Dick...

Thanks, You. Word was received on Thursday from New Paltz, New York that popular former heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson died. He was 71.

Born to a poor family on January 4, 1935, in Waco, North Carolina, Patterson desired to surmount the difficulties he had experienced while growing up in Brooklyn, New York. He began boxing while at a reform school for boys. It was there that he had developed a unique style. Holding his gloves high in front of his face, he would sprung forward with unexpected hooks, surprising many opponents hard punches. After successfully vanquishing the competition his first few years in boxing, he was sure he had found his vocation.

Patterson became a New York Golden Gloves champion and later won the Olympic gold medal in the 165-pound class at Helsinki, Finland. He turned pro in 1952 under the management of *Cus D'Amato, who in the 1980s would develop another heavyweight champion, *Mike Tyson. (Under *D'Amato's tutelage *Tyson also became the youngest heavyweight champion at age 20, and holds that distinction today.)

In 1956, he beat then champion Archie Moore to win a world title. With that win, 21-year-old Patterson became the youngest world heavyweight champion in history. His reign lasted almost five years, during which he won the world heavyweight championship twice. When he recaptured the title in 1961 after a brief loss, it marked the first time a boxer had ever made a successful comeback for the world heavyweight title.

Many of the tributes and obits talk about the incredible number of times this champion was knocked down. What is important to note is what the champ himself said:
"They said I was the fighter who got knocked down the most, but I also got up the most."

To this day, he is admired as a role model and for his idyllic sportsmanship.
A memorial service on May 27th is scheduled in Albany, New York.

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Anonymous Bliss said...

I very much appreciate this mention of Mr. Patterson's passing. From what I learned growing up and hearing he was something else again.
Thanks so much. I am sure his legacy will remain an inspiration for a long long time.

Just an FYI: Anyone seen the Sugar Ray Robinson USPS .39 cents first class stamp? Fantastic! I bought 2 books yesterday so I can have one sheet to save(I have most all Black Heritage USPS Stamps). This one is unique as it appears as a boxing match flyer poster with his pic in pose on it. Check it out.

9:07 AM

Anonymous Stanley Patterson said...

I remember Mr. PAtterson..mainly because my name is Patterson, too. (No relation or perhaps very distantly related.)

As a young man growing up in the 1950s I recall how proud we were of him. He always conducted himself as a gentleman.

He will be fondly remembered as a great athlete, and a credit to the human race.

1:59 PM

Blogger You Think said...

Thank you for your comments concerning the late champion Floyd Patterson.

All comments are welcome.

3:09 PM


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