Thursday, May 11, 2006


The former heavyweight champion of the world was 71. He died Thursday in New Paltz, N.Y.

According to The Associated Press:
Patterson, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease and prostate cancer, had been hospitalized a week earlier. Funeral arrangements are pending. A second wife and four grown children from two marriages survive him.

Born in Waco, N.C., Patterson became a boxing phenomenon while competing in the New York Golden Gloves tournament. He later won gold as a middleweight in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.

In 1956, he knocked out legendary boxer Archie Moore in a pro title fight and became the youngest world heavyweight champion in history at age 21. He held the title for five years, and he won it again after a loss, making him the first heavyweight to reclaim the title.

He retired in 1972 at age 37 with a pro record of 55-8-1 and 40 knockouts. He went on to become New York state athletic commissioner.
Point to Smitty.

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