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Boxing Champion Floyd Patterson Dies at 71


Former world heavyweight boxing champion Floyd Patterson has died at his home in New York state after suffering from Alzheimer's disease and prostate cancer. He was 71 years old.

An undersized heavyweight, Patterson won the Olympic middleweight gold medal in 1952 in Rome. In 1956, at age 21, he became the youngest man to win the title with a fifth-round knockout of Archie Moore.

Patterson lost the title to Ingemar Johansson of Sweden in 1959 when the American was knocked down seven times in the third round. The next year Patterson became the first professional boxer to regain the world heavyweight title by knocking out Johansson.

Sonny Liston took the title from him in 1962, and Patterson was so ashamed that he left Comiskey Park in Chicago wearing dark glasses and a fake beard. Liston knocked Patterson out again in the first round of their 1963 bout.

Patterson got two more shots at winning the title a third time but lost both times - to Muhammad Ali in 1965 and to Jimmy Ellis in 1968. He retired from the ring in 1972 with an overall record of 55-8 with one draw and 40 knockouts. In 1991, Patterson was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.
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