Vol. 5 Num 694 Sat. May 13, 2006  

Patterson passes away

Floyd Patterson, the first world heavyweight champion to lose the crown and then reclaim it, died here on Thursday at his home at age 71.

The American first won the heavyweight throne in 1956 at age 21, becoming at the time the youngest heavyweight champion.

He lost the title to Sweden's Ingemar Johansson in 1959 but reclaimed the crown the following year.

He finished his career with a record of 55-8 with one draw and 40 knockouts.

"Floyd Patterson was an icon, a true gentleman and a great representative of the sport of boxing," International Boxing Hall of Fame executive director Edward Brophy said.

"He will be missed."

Patterson was the middleweight champion at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, winning the gold medal bout with a first-round knockout, the first Olympic champion in the weight class to win by knockout.

Seven months after undefeated heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano retired in April of 1956, Patterson took boxing's most prized title with a fifth-round knockout of Archie Moore in Chicago.

Patterson made four successful defenses of the heavyweight crown before being stopped by Johansson at Yankee Stadium in New York on June 26, 1959.