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W. K. Stratton
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The Book Odyssey
A two-time World Heavyweight Champion known as the Gentleman of Boxing, Floyd Patterson was the youngest man to win the title--at 21 years of age in 1956--and then the first boxer ever to regain it after suffering its loss. In his prime, during what many have called The Golden Age of Boxing, he was a favorite subject of writers like Gay Talese, Norman Mailer, Pete Hamill, and Budd Schulberg. In one breath, Muhammad Ali called him the most skilled fighter he ever faced, and in another, christened him an "Uncle Tom" for his stance on black radicals.
In this first trade biography about Patterson, critically acclaimed author W. K. Stratton chronicles the life of one of American boxing's forgotten legends-- an athlete usually overshadowed by Ali's theatrics and Liston's fearsome reputation and a civil rights activist overlooked in the who's who of race politics. From humble beginnings in Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy, to a reform school upstate often visited by Eleanor Roosevelt, to a scrappy gym in Gramercy Park, Patterson went on to win an Olympic gold medal at seventeen and begin a professional career soon after. Known initially for his unique "peek-a-boo" stance and his wildcard manager, Cus D'Amato, Patterson went on to fight Archie Moore (whom he defeated for the title), Rocky Marciano, Tommy "Hurricane" Jackson, Sonny Liston, Muhammad Ali, Ingemar Johansson (the man to whom he lost and from whom he regained the championship), and many others.
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