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Floyd Patterson Obituary

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. (AP) – Floyd Patterson, who came back from an embarrassing loss to become the first boxer to regain the heavyweight title, died Thursday. He was 71.

Patterson died at his home, having suffered from Alzheimer's disease for about eight years, according to nephew Sherman Patterson. Patterson also had prostate cancer.

Patterson's career was marked by historic highs and humiliating lows.

He emerged from a troubled childhood in Brooklyn to win the Olympic middleweight championship in 1952.

In 1956, the undersized heavyweight became at age 21 the youngest man to win the title with a fifth-round knockout of Archie Moore.

But three years later, Patterson was knocked down seven times in the third round in losing the title to Ingemar Johansson at the Polo Grounds in New York City.

Patterson returned with a vengeance at the same site in 1960, knocking out Johansson with a tremendous left hook to retake the title.

"They said I was the fighter who got knocked down the most, but I also got up the most," Patterson said later.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press

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Published in Times Herald-Record on May 18, 2006
Floyd Patterson, age 71, of New Paltz, died Thursday, May 11, 2006 at home. Mr. Patterson was born January 4, 1935 in Waco, N.C., the son of the late Thames and the late Annabell (Johnson)... Read Obituary
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