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Farewell to Floyd

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Ex-heavyweight champion Patterson dies at 71, During a 21-year career, Floyd Patterson amassed a 55-8-1 record with 40 KOs. NEW YORK (AP) — Floyd Patterson was small for a heavyweight, but that never stopped him from taking on the giants of his time. Good enough to become the first two-time heavyweight champion of the world, he wasn’t big enough to avoid taking beatings from Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston.Patterson, a North Carolina native, died Thursday at his home in New Paltz, N.Y., at the age of 71. He had Alzheimer’s disease for about eight years and prostate cancer, nephew Sherman Patterson said.A shy, quiet man, Patterson was a popular champion long after he retired, getting big ovations at fights. He was cast as the good guy in bouts against Liston and Ali, but was knocked out twice in the first round by Liston and stopped twice by Ali.Patterson won fans because he had a big man’s punch, but a small man’s jaw. He could punch with the best heavyweights, knocking one opponent down 11 times in a fight. But he was also down a total of 21 times during his career, including seven times in an embarrassing loss to Ingemar Johansson, in 1959 at Yankee Stadium that cost him the heavyweight title.’They said I was the fighter who got knocked down the most, but I also got up the most,’ Patterson once said.Read the rest of the article at CNN / SI:…

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