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#1
Old 03-10-2012, 09:30 AM
Toney616
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Arrow The sad tale of Patterson I



The president asked the champion whom he would be fighting next. Cassius Clay, the brash Olympic champion, was tearing his way to the top of the division, but no one was demanding that fight yet. Clay was not yet twenty. Patterson knew what the president meant.
'Liston,' he said. 'I'm gonna fight Liston.'
Instead of merely wishing Patterson well, Kennedy said, 'Well, you've got to beat him.'
Liston, for his part, was convinvinced the white house meeting was the reason Patterson finally agreed to the match. 'Frankly, I don't think Patterson would of fought me if he hadn't promised the president,' he said. 'I believe Patterson found himself in a position where he couldnt go back on his word. After all, you don't tell the president of the united states that you are going to do something then fail to do it.'

On the morning of he fight, the heavyweight champion of he world packed a loser's siutcase. Floyd Patterson, for all his handspeed, for all the hours he put in th gym, was the most doubt addled titleholder in the history of the division. There were always losers, professional opponents, set-em ups, unknowns who suffered as he did, men who took no pleasure in winning except as the periodic escape from loss and humiliation. But he was champion, the youngest man to ever win the title.
In the weeks of training , Patterson lay on his bed at night, out in a cabin in the Illinois countryside, half asleep, listening to his recording of 'Music for Lovers Only,' and, if he was lucky, he saw himself winning.


The sad tale of Patterson I


But the odds were against Patterson. Cus D'Amato, his mentor since he began boxing at fourteen, had spent years avoiding this fight, preferring instead to set Patterson up with softer opponents. D'Amato, used his authority and standing amoung the columnists to deliver righteous pronounments about Liston's connections to the Mafia, and, like someone from the department of social welfare, he spoke of the need for rehabilitation, for Sonny to prove himself civilised and stay that way if he wanted a chance at the title. But Patterson knew perfectly well that D'Amato thought he had little chance against Liston. And in this, D'Amato was not alone. Some of Patterson's predecessors as champion, Rocky Marciano and Joe Louis among them, arrived in Chicago for the fight, and no sooner had they stepped off the plane than they began telling reporters that the challenger was too strong, too mean, to lose to Patterson.


Almost everyone, of course, was backing Floyd, rooting for him, but this support was purely sentimental: the writers liked Patterson because he was always so cooperative, he was so open and polite; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was behind Patterson because he was a civil rights man, an intergretaionist, a reform minded gentleman, while Liston, the ex-con, projected what one newspapaer after another called 'a poor example for the youth of America.'Jackie Robinson's prediction that Patteron would 'demolish' Liston had more to do with political hopes than boxing smarts.

Patterson was determined, as always to be fair, to accommodate, to do the right thing.Liston had been ranked the top contender for a long time. He had been to jail for armed robbery, true enough, but he had served his time, he deserved his a chance. Patterosn was doing his bit for the cause of social mobility.

'Liston paid for his crimes,' he said. 'Should he be able to win the championship, these qualities will rise to the surface. I think you'd see a compltely new and changed Liston.' At least for the time being, Liston did not wish to betray any appreciation. 'I'd like to run him over with a truck,' he said.


And so, with losing on his mind, Floyd made arrangements. He carefully stuffed his bag and a attache case with clothes, food and a disguise - a custom made beard and mustache. If he won, of course, he'd meet the press and head back to the hotel for a victory party. If not, he would leave Comiskey Park in his false whiskers and drive through the night to his training camp in upstate New York.


Only a minute had passed. But now the big punches started to land, first a right uppercut that made Patterson's face seem, in flash-frame, as contorted as putty dropped to the sidewalk from a fifth-floor window. He would never recover from that. The right was not the punch that put him down, but, as it happened, it was the one that ended all hopes of a contest. To clear his head, to rest, Patterson tried desperately to clinch, Liston shoved him back and hit him with a two left hooks. His legs stiffened straight and he bent at the waist, but it was a posture that held only for a instant and then he legs gave out.



Latr that day Patterson showered, dressed, and pasted on his beard. He waited awhile until he thought the stadium had emptied out and then found his friend Mickey Alan, the singer who had performed the national anthem that night. He and Alan got in a borrowed car that had been parked in an agreed upon spot by Patterson's chauffeur, and they headed for the expressway

- due east
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#2
Old 03-10-2012, 09:43 AM
kendom
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I always feel sorry for Patterson watching that fight, he got a bad beating a man like him didn't deserve
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#3
Old 03-10-2012, 11:50 AM
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God bless Floyd Patterson. One of my idols! The fastest hands in heavyweight history and one of the finest pound for pound technicians ever.

Not only did he face Liston...........he was man enough to take the rematch too!!

Only things he lacked were heavyweight size and decent punch resistance.
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#4
Old 03-10-2012, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Sugarj View Post
God bless Floyd Patterson. One of my idols! The fastest hands in heavyweight history and one of the finest pound for pound technicians ever.

Not only did he face Liston...........he was man enough to take the rematch too!!

Only things he lacked were heavyweight size and decent punch resistance.

The truth is that Floyd made Liston wait plenty before being pressured into defending his title against him. And of course he took the rematch. There wasn't another fight where he could have made a fraction of what he got for Liston II.
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#5
Old 03-11-2012, 10:45 AM
Toney616
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I always feel sorry for Patterson watching that fight, he got a bad beating a man like him didn't deserve
I agree. Patterson was one of boxings 'good guys'. It's a shame how things turned out for him
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#6
Old 03-11-2012, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Scott9945 View Post
The truth is that Floyd made Liston wait plenty before being pressured into defending his title against him. And of course he took the rematch. There wasn't another fight where he could have made a fraction of what he got for Liston II.

I can believe D'Amato made Liston wait. Patterson had all the bravery in the world, I don't doubt that if D'Amato wanted the match in the late 50s that Floyd would have had any hesitation to meet Liston.

As for the rematch, true......Patterson would not have made as much money elsewhere. But surely pride had something to do with it. If there was true fear, Floyd wouldn't have gone anywhere near him!
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Toney616 View Post
I agree. Patterson was one of boxings 'good guys'. It's a shame how things turned out for him
To be honest though after the 1965 Ali match where bad luck (bad back!) struck Patterson again......he had a good final 7 years of his career.

A KO over Henry Cooper, disputed decisions with Quarry and Ellis and a win over Bonavena amongst others was not bad at all.

He was boxing well against Ali the second time too.

Oh and a lovely lady in your avatar Toney....
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Sugarj View Post
I can believe D'Amato made Liston wait. Patterson had all the bravery in the world, I don't doubt that if D'Amato wanted the match in the late 50s that Floyd would have had any hesitation to meet Liston.

As for the rematch, true......Patterson would not have made as much money elsewhere. But surely pride had something to do with it. If there was true fear, Floyd wouldn't have gone anywhere near him!

Actually I agree with most of that. D'Amato called the shots. But ultimately Floyd is the one who gets the stain on his rep because of ducking Liston, Machen, Williams. and Folley when he was heavyweight champion. Just like it makes me shake my head when people say that Larry Holmes fought everyone. That just isn't true. Even if there was a reason (Don King) for most of it.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Scott9945 View Post
Actually I agree with most of that. D'Amato called the shots. But ultimately Floyd is the one who gets the stain on his rep because of ducking Liston, Machen, Williams. and Folley when he was heavyweight champion. Just like it makes me shake my head when people say that Larry Holmes fought everyone. That just isn't true. Even if there was a reason (Don King) for most of it.

Who did you feel Larry Holmes missed? I'm struggling to think of any greats he missed in his prime. Foreman retired before Holmes became champion of course (that is the real disappointment). But he seemed to face everyone else of note (Ali, L.Spinks, Cooney, Norton, Shavers, Witherspoon, Bonecrusher, Williams, Weaver, M.Spinks).

When post prime he was brave enough to face peak Tyson and peak Holyfield.

Pinklon Thomas might have been a good match of course.
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#10
Old 03-12-2012, 09:48 AM
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Who did you feel Larry Holmes missed? I'm struggling to think of any greats he missed in his prime. Foreman retired before Holmes became champion of course (that is the real disappointment). But he seemed to face everyone else of note (Ali, L.Spinks, Cooney, Norton, Shavers, Witherspoon, Bonecrusher, Williams, Weaver, M.Spinks).

When post prime he was brave enough to face peak Tyson and peak Holyfield.

Pinklon Thomas might have been a good match of course.
Holmes never fought Thomas, Greg Page, Michael Dokes, or Gerrie Coetzee. He also never gave Witherspoon or Weaver well deserved rematches. Add to that he fought some of the worst title challengers ever (like Scott Frank).
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