Sunday, October 07, 2007
Poor Floyd Patterson. Everyone loved him but not everyone respected him as a fighter or champion. You rarely hear his name tossed about when the topic of all time great heavyweights is brought up. What a shame!
Who is to blame for the heartbreaking oversight? People tend to forget that Patterson thrashed Archie Moore much more impressively then Marciano did the night he became the youngest man ever to win the heavyweight crown. Still when a dream match between Marciano and Patterson is talked about, Floyd is quickly dismissed… Simply put, Rocky had the punch and Floyd did not have the whiskers.
After the Moore victory, Floyd would make safe defenses against guys like Pete Rademacher and Tommy “Hurricane” Jackson. Floyd then had his chin exposed by Ingemar Johansson. To Floyd’s credit he became the first heavyweight champion to regain the title by halting Ingo not once but twice. Finally Floyd fell to the ham like fists of Charles “Sonny” Liston in one round. Sonny repeated the one round trick in their return match.
Monday, February 19, 2007
April 27th of this year will mark the 39th anniversary of one of the World Boxing Association’s crowning achievements. The grand finale of their eight man elimination tournament to find a successor for the deposed Muhammad Ali.
Acting with the swiftness matched only by Mr. Dooley of the New York State Athletic Commission, the W.B.A. immediately stripped Ali of his crown when he refused induction into the Armed Forces. Eight ranking contenders were chosen to box off for the ultimate prize, the heavyweight championship of the world. The fortunate eight were: former champion Floyd Patterson, Ex W.B.A. titleholder Ernie Terrell, the Argentine strongman Oscar Bonevena, the fast rising Californian Thad Spencer, Angelo Dundee’s hopeful Jimmy Ellis, the “White Hope” sensation Jerry Quarry, 1964 Gold Medalist Joe Frazier, and Europe’s entry Karl Mildenberger of Germany. Frazier, the #1 contender by virtue of his fine record since turning pro declined the W.B.A.‘s invitation. The W.B.A. then inserted Leotis Martin to take his place.
The elimination tourney was scoffed at then and even today it is still scrutinized. What if the Vietnam War would not have wanted or needed Ali? What if Ali who had already “cleaned up” the division had remained active? Remember Ali defeated Paterson, Terrell and Mildenberger before he was forced to abdicate. He then won two out of three against Frazier and two over Quarry. He beat Patterson again and also whipped Bonevena and Ellis after a three year hiatus. Let’s say Ali remained active through 1970. He might have met Frazier as early as 1969. Joe would have been facing a lean, active and sharp Ali not the slow and rusty version he met in their 1971 epic. Also remember Joe would have had two years less experience then what he carried in 1971 . In 1969, Frazier was not yet the polished fighting machine he was to become. In my opinion the Frazier of March 8, 1971, would have given any heavyweight in history a life and death struggle including a prime Ali.
Friday, May 12, 2006
In honor of Floyd Patterson’s passing, we are seeing more and more items from the past being dug up and brought to the forefront of things. I have to say it’s pretty cool…
FOX Sports: Portraits of Patterson
ESPN Motion: Boxer Floyd Patterson Dies at 71
ESPN Motion: Floyd Patterson Defeats Joe Gannon, October 22, 1954
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Former two-time heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson has died in his home at age 71. Patterson finished a 20 year storied career with a record of 55-8-1 and 40 knockouts. In 1956, he became the youngest world heavyweight champion ever at age 21. Patterson also became the first heavyweight in history to ever recapture the title, avenging his loss to Ingemar Johansson in 1960. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991.
More on Patterson:
CNN/SI: Ex-champ Floyd Patterson dies at 71
ESPN: Patterson dies, was once youngest heavyweight champ
New York Times: Floyd Patterson, Boxing Champion, Dies at 71