1960-06-20 Floyd Patterson w co 5 (15) Ingemar Johansson, Polo Grounds, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD

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1960-06-20 Floyd Patterson w co 5 (15) Ingemar Johansson, Polo Grounds, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD. Referee: Arthur Mercante. Planning the fight carefully, Patterson (190) made a fast start, keeping well away from the champion’s right hand, while darting in and scoring before getting away. With Johansson (194¾) looking to jab with the left and cross with the right he was being outmanoeuvred and made to look clumsy by the American. By the fourth, it was clear that Patterson’s tactics were working as Johansson, cut over the left eye, was being hit by hooks and combinations without response and in the fifth a left hook to the jaw saw the Swede floored. Up at ‘nine’ Johansson was all at sea and when another left hook found its mark he crashed down to be counted out, the time of the knockout being 1.51. In winning, Patterson became the first man to regain the heavyweight title, but by now it was becoming clear that title defences were taking a lot longer to organise, for whatever reason, than the regular six-month defence programme allowed.

With a return clause yet again in place, it was obvious that there would be a rubber match and an announcement came in November that it would take place sometime between January and March 1961 depending on the venue. At the end of December, the Miami Beach Convention Hall was confirmed as the venue and 13 March the date.

Earlier, Sonny Liston had secured the number-one rating by his 12-round elimination wins over Zora Folley (w co 3 on 18 July at The Coliseum, Denver, Colorado) and Eddie Machen (w pts 12 on 7 September at Sicks’ Stadium, Seattle, Washington), but would have to wait. A fearsome puncher who intimidated his opponents, Liston had taken up boxing while in prison and even when he was up and running as a pro he served another sentence which saw him out of the ring for close on two years.