Remembering Boxing’s Other Floyd, Floyd Patterson - The Heavyweight Who Made History!

By James Slater: This week (June 20th in 1960) Floyd Patterson managed to do something no other boxer had been able to do at that time - regain the heavyweight championship of the world. Former greats such as Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis had tried and failed. Yet Floyd, in his rematch with Sweden’s Ingemar Johansson, was able to make history and win back his heavyweight crown.

Floyd had been badly beaten by Johansson a year earlier. Knocked down seven times in a shocking third round by the Swede’s right hand punch - a blow soon to become famously known as “The Hammer of Thor” - Patterson’s title was gone. He was badly embarrassed and locked himself away to train for a return fight. Training like never before, Floyd lived like a monk, intent on restoring his pride and dignity. A full twelve months later, the twenty-five year old finally got his chance at revenge.

Coming into the fight about eight pounds heavier than he‘d weighed for the first bout, Floyd was much stronger physically than he had been in his initial encounter with the man he had so badly underestimated. This time he was at his very best..

Boxing both confidently and aggressively from the first bell, Patterson kept his left jab in “Ingo’s” face and threw lots of fast flurries at the twenty-eight year old. With a live crowd of over 30,000 in attendance Floyd was determined to bring the world title back to America. In round number six he did so.

Less than a minute into the round, Patterson broke through with a leaping left hook that put the champion on the deck. Ingemar rose at nine, but was badly shaken. He tried his best to fight back, though. But then, again with the leaping left to the jaw, Patterson put him down for a second time. There would be no getting up this time. With his leg visibly twitching as he lay unconscious on the canvas, the now ex-champion was the very sight of a brutally beaten man. The punch Floyd levelled him with was a truly stunning blow. Added to the devastation of the punch was the hurtful thud Johansson’s head made with the floor as he crashed to the mat. Those watching had just seen a sensational KO. They had also witnessed boxing history being made.

Floyd Patterson put himself well and truly into the record books on June 20th, 1960. He was now a two-time heavyweight champion of the world.

Floyd passed away in May of 2006, at the relatively young age of 71.

Article posted on 18.06.2012

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