Saturday, May 13th, 2006 | 5:37 pm | Administrator

Floyd Patterson

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On Thursday, Floyd Patterson, youngest ever heavyweight boxing champion and Olympic gold medalist, died at the age of 71. He lived in New Paltz, New York.

Patterson was known as one of the nicest guys in boxing circles. He was underweight all of his career but battled through this adverse position to attain boxing’s crown jewel – the title of undisputed world heavyweight champion.

Perhaps one moment best illustrated Patterson’s humanity. In the second of a trilogy of boxing matches against Swedish boxer, Ingemar Johansson, Patterson stunned the world as he cradled his fallen opponent after knocking him out for the count in the fifth round. It was said that at that moment Patterson promised Johansson a rematch. Now, that’s crazy nice, the sign of a great person.

Holding the record for the youngest person to win a heavyweight title, Patterson is also known for having been knocked more than any other champion. Of course, Patterson has been known to point out that this record also means that he has gotten back up more than any of his peers. That’s the kind of forward looking, positive vibe Patterson put forth. The world will miss him. I for one am saddened for his loss and for the fact that I only until now knew what a great and good guy he was.

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