Muhammad Ali vs. Floyd Patterson

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Sports Illustrated cover

1965-11-22 : Floyd Patterson 196¾ lbs lost to Muhammad Ali 210 lbs by TKO at 2:18 in round 12 of 15


Notes

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  • Ali nicknamed Patterson "The Rabbit" because "he's scared like a rabbit."
  • Before the fight, Patterson insisted on calling Ali "Cassius Clay." Ali responded by calling Patterson an "Uncle Tom" and promising to humiliate him.
  • Ali taunted Patterson during the fight with remarks like, "Come on American. Come on 'white' American."
  • Patterson fought the fight with a bad back, and his corner worked on his back between rounds.
  • Patterson took a knee in the sixth round.
  • Referee Harry Krause stopped the fight in the twelfth round with Patterson on his feet taking punishment. Krause said, "It was hurting me to watch."
  • The crowd booed Ali, believing he treated Patterson with cruelty and disrespect.
  • Official Fight Poster

Quotes

  • "The image of a Black Muslim as the World Heavyweight Champion disgraces the sport and the nation." - Patterson before the fight
  • "Patterson says he's gonna bring the title back to America. If you don't believe the title is already in America, just see who I pay taxes to." - Ali before the fight
  • "This will be a mismatch. Floyd Patterson will be no match. He's too short, he's too slow, he don't have the reach, he can't take a punch, he don't hit hard and he don't have the footwork. This will be a mismatch. I'll hit him about six times to every every miss that he throws." - Ali before the fight
  • "In my honest opinion, if I was watching the fight at home on TV, I would have wanted it stopped, but I preferred to be counted out." - Patterson after the fight
  • "He could have knocked Patterson out whenever he wanted, but let's face it, Clay is selfish and cruel." - Joe Louis after the fight.

Magazine Article