He died at home in New Paltz, on May 11, 2006 at the age of 71. He had won the heavyweight championship from Joe Walcott by knocking him out late, after the champion had dominated for most of the fight. Dempsey knocked him out in the first round of their 1918 bout. Hitler himself even sent Schmeling a telegram wishing good luck. [5] However, after Rocky Marciano announced his retirement as World Heavyweight Champion on April 27, 1956, Patterson was ranked by The Ring magazine as the top light heavyweight contender. In 1966 he traveled to England and knocked out British boxer Henry Cooper in just four rounds at Wembley Stadium. According to Sports Illustrated writer Gilbert Rogin, Patterson did not punch enough and frequently tried to clinch with Liston. It was not only a defeat for Schmeling but also a massive defeat for Nazism. He had no answers for the onslaught and he went down three times from right hand punches before the bout was stopped. The sweet science of boxing is often a battle of strategy and will when top fighters get together. Williams was the bigger boxer with the longer reach and he tried to establish his jab. When Carl "The Truth" Williams challenged Mike Tyson in their 1989 bout, the challenger knew that he was going up against a devastating puncher. The fight was over inside 60 seconds, all due to a seemingly harmless punch to Liston’s temple. There were some question marks however over the manner of victory as Liston cited an injured shoulder as the reason he couldn’t come out for the 7th. Liston fought on until 1970, the year of his death. After Schmeling hit him with a left hook, Louis let loose with a barrage of punches that devastated Schmeling. [11] Patterson said John F. Kennedy also did not want him to fight Liston. Because of Sonny Liston’s links with organized crime, Floyd Patterson’s advisers did everything in their power to prevent the match-up from ever being made. The bout wasn’t just billed as black vs white, but democracy vs totalitarianism and even good vs evil. Floyd Patterson was the heavyweight champion in September of 1962 when he took on hard-hitting challenger Sonny Liston at Comiskey Park in Chicago.

Floyd Patterson (January 4, 1935 – May 11, 2006) was an American professional boxer who competed from 1952 to 1972, and twice reigned as the world heavyweight champion between 1956 and 1962. Jack Dempsey was a full-fledged celebrity in the first half of the 20th century and is recognized as one of the hardest punchers in boxing history. That idea was put to bed early however as the champ was unable to beat the count, after a series of vicious blows handed out by Liston. Patterson carried his hands higher than most boxers, in front of his face. At the age of 21, he became the youngest boxer in history to win the title, and was also the first heavyweight to regain the title after losing it. With glazed eyes, blood trickling from his mouth and his left foot quivering, he was counted out. The result at the time was the third-fastest knockout in boxing history. The two fighters were a marked contrast. Williams was a solid boxer and a good puncher in his own right, but he had a tendency to get hit with left hooks. Johansson had landed both right hands over Floyd's left jab. Patterson was an underdog despite holding the title belt.

While he made it to his feet before the 10 count, he could not answer any questions from the referee and the fight was stopped. [13] After being knocked out, Patterson left Comiskey Park in Chicago wearing dark glasses and a fake beard for the drive back to New York. Johansson lay unconscious for five minutes before he was helped onto a stool. Patterson turned pro and steadily rose through the ranks, his only early defeat being an eight-round decision to former Light Heavyweight Champion Joey Maxim on June 7, 1954, at the Eastern Parkway Arena in Brooklyn, New York. Sensing that Patterson was hurt, Liston let loose with a powerful left hook, followed with a grazing right and then put him away with a finishing left hook to end the fight and take the championship in the first round.

After a series of defenses against fringe contenders (Hurricane Jackson, Pete Rademacher, Roy Harris,[7] and Brian London), Patterson met Ingemar Johansson of Sweden, the number one contender, in the first of three fights.

Patterson's amateur record was 40 wins (37 by knockout) and 4 defeats. It can do me all kinds of harm but I love it. Schmeling was on the canvas taking a count when his trainer Max Machon threw in the towel and referee Arthur Donovan waved it off at the 2:04 mark. ", "When you have millions of dollars, you have millions of friends. In fact, D'Amato made these plans clear as early as 1954, when he told the press that Patterson was aiming for the heavyweight title. Walcott thought he beat the count and stormed around the ring, but the knockout was official.