Former Heavyweight Champion of the World Floyd Patterson passed away yesterday. For those that don't know, he was an Olympic Gold Medalist in '52, became the youngest HWCoftheW in '56, at the age of twenty-one, and became the first to regain that title after losing it.
A story, recounted at Sports Illustrated, I had heard:
He fought Ali in 1965, lasting until the 12th round despite taking a beating from the champion, who was angry because Patterson called him by his given name, Cassius Clay.
During the fight, Ali toyed with Patterson, peppering him with jabs and right hands, all the time asking, "What's my name?"
Former Ali business manager Gene Kilroy said the two reconciled in the early 1970s when Patterson came up to Ali while he was eating and said, "Hello, Muhammad Ali." They embraced and remained friendly after that.
I remember him as being a little guy, in the ring against giants...Ali...Sonny Liston...he was the guy you hear about who is all heart, and doesn't know how to stay down. This is the quote that reminds me most of Floyd Patterson:
"They said I was the fighter who got knocked down the most, but I also got up the most," Patterson once said.