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Old 07-26-2013, 03:23 PM   #1
janitor
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Default Floyd Patterson’s incredible run of world class form

I often think that Floyd Patterson gets a little bit under rated, because he was too big to stay at light heavyweight for a long time, but too small to dominate at heavyweight.

When we look beyond the dominant champions, a key diagnostic for finding the strongest fighters, is ability to remain ranked in the top ten over a number of years. In reality, most contenders and indeed most of the weaker champions, do not manage to hold a top ten ranking for very long. I think that I am right in saying that Floyd Patterson was ranked in the top 10 for more years than any other fighter, and that his record will probably never be surpassed.

Light Heavyweight

1953 7
1954 4
1955 1

Heavyweights

1956 Champion
1957 Champion
1958 Champion
1959 2
1960 Champion
1961 Champion
1962 1
1963 7
1964 2
1965 2
1966 4
1967 7
1968 10
1969 Unranked
1970 Unranked#
1971 7
1972 5

Conclusions
Between 1953 and 1972 there were only two years where Floyd Patterson was not ranked in the top 10 by Ring Magazine. He has an unbroken streak of 15 years ranked in the top 10. This is an incredible 19 years over which he was consistently operating at the elite level.

He entered the heavyweight rankings when Rocky Marciano was champion, and bowed out of them under the title reign of Joe Frazier. This is a remarkable accomplishment given that he was a small heavyweight with an offensive style, fighting in an era of dreadnoughts.

Perhaps he deserves some sort of pound for pound recognition?
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Floyd Patterson’s incredible run of world class form

Terribly underrated. People go on and in about Jersey Joe Walcott and he was an excellent, excellent fighter but he literally accomplished half as much as Patterson.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Floyd Patterson’s incredible run of world class form

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Originally Posted by LittleRed View Post
Terribly underrated. People go on and in about Jersey Joe Walcott and he was an excellent, excellent fighter but he literally accomplished half as much as Patterson.
In terms of volume, consistency, and longevity yes.

He has a couple of hidden depths of his own though.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Floyd Patterson’s incredible run of world class form

It's great that threads like this are created. Can't speak for others but it certainly helps to educate us younger fans on fighters we may have otherwise brushed over.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: Floyd Patterson’s incredible run of world class form

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Originally Posted by Zombieguy View Post
It's great that threads like this are created. Can't speak for others but it certainly helps to educate us younger fans on fighters we may have otherwise brushed over.
Thankyou.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: Floyd Patterson’s incredible run of world class form

[quote=janitor;15583529]I often think that Floyd Patterson gets a little bit under rated, because he was too big to stay at light heavyweight for a long time, but too small to dominate at heavyweight.

When we look beyond the dominant champions, a key diagnostic for finding the strongest fighters, is ability to remain ranked in the top ten over a number of years. In reality, most contenders and indeed most of the weaker champions, do not manage to hold a top ten ranking for very long. I think that I am right in saying that Floyd Patterson was ranked in the top 10 for more years than any other fighter, and that his record will probably never be surpassed.

Light Heavyweight

1953 7
1954 4
1955 1

Heavyweights

1956 Champion
1957 Champion
1958 Champion
1959 2
1960 Champion
1961 Champion
1962 1
1963 7
1964 2
1965 2
1966 4
1967 7
1968 10
1969 Unranked
1970 Unranked#
1971 7
1972 5

Conclusions
Between 1953 and 1972 there were only two years where Floyd Patterson was not ranked in the top 10 by Ring Magazine. He has an unbroken streak of 15 years ranked in the top 10. This is an incredible 19 years over which he was consistently operating at the elite level.

He entered the heavyweight rankings when Rocky Marciano was champion, and bowed out of them under the title reign of Joe Frazier. This is a remarkable accomplishment given that he was a small heavyweight with an offensive style, fighting in an era of dreadnoughts.

Perhaps he deserves some sort of pound for pound recognition?[/quote

Greetings Janitor! And, in 1968, with that somewhat 'feeble' #10 ranking he busted up WBA champ Jimmy Ellis which I watched on Wide World of Sports and which brought tears to my eyes for my hero's performance. Great post!!!
As I've mentioned before, can we think of a HW that, after losing his crown in a terrible way, actually was a BETTER fighter after that? Without that passivity of his, which drove all of us fans nuts, he should have went 3-0-0 against Quarry-Quarry-Ellis. That would have made him undefeated sans the two Ali fights post-Liston (tho a Frazier scrap in 69 might not have been pretty ) Machen, Chuvalo, Cooper, Bonavena, the disc problem in the first Ali, the eye in his gallant swan song performance in Ali 2 (thanks Devil Green for your cheap head butt in Sept. 70).
No HW ever threw faster combinations, only his mild demeanor kept him from throwing more.
My good bud texted me the day he died and I cried.
One of the few people that still makes me long for the old days.

Last edited by jowcol; 07-26-2013 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Floyd Patterson’s incredible run of world class form

When Sonny Liston blew Patterson out in one round in September, 1962, I NEVER would have imagined that ten years later Floyd would be a top contender, behind only Frazier, Ali, and Foreman in Ring Magazine's ratings for September, 1972. At that time, Patterson was prepping for his return with Ali, Liston had been deceased for over a year, Johansson had been retired for almost ten years, Quarry had just retired after his stoppage by Ali, and Ellis was clearly on the downgrade. It was sad that the Ali fight had to be stopped on a cut eye - Floyd was winning rounds - one judge had the fight even after six rounds. Even so, his opponents and scalps were more impressive in his post-championship years than before, in spite of the fact that sportswriters and commentators had been calling on him to retire from as far back as the Liston fights.
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Floyd Patterson’s incredible run of world class form

Collins....only Johannson and Liston koed Patterson. He fought Ellis, Quarry and Chavalo...all excellent punchers...and gave excellent accounts of himself even though past his prime. Floyd in his prime was an excellent highly talented fighter that could give many past champions a tough fight. There is no need for your thread bashing.
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: Floyd Patterson’s incredible run of world class form

Collins does not know what he is talking about again.
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:26 AM   #10
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Default Re: Floyd Patterson’s incredible run of world class form

Good thread, i think people certainly forget Floyd's consistent run of form in the 1960s and often think of him just as a weak champion. His tenure at the very top wasn't particularly great, due the the calibre of his opposition, but like mentioned earlier, perhaps he's one of the very few examples of a fighter becoming better after he lost the title (specifically from 64 onwards). I think the one criticism against him when looking at the best fighters he was pitted against, may be that his W column is that great- and for any argument that he beat Ellis, which looked a harsh decision, I personally don't think he deserved the decision vs Bonavena.

However, without being arsed to look it up, I'm pretty much certain he hasn't had as many years in the top 10 as Bernard Hopkins, who's been rated probably every year since 1992.
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:43 AM   #11
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Default Re: Floyd Patterson’s incredible run of world class form

I agree and Peterson was too small for proper HWs yes. as to Rankings, they don't always reflect the truth, nor the absolute Best... this, his run is a fantastic "achievement", but one has to wonder 'IF' he might have been given some favour, automation or popularity placements in keeping with Boxing profile, income or politics.

we know this sort of thing takes place with dozens & dozens of fighters over the years of financial interest and secured placement.

Paterson was indeed a TOP Dawg, maybe just not as long as shown by records & stats.
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:51 AM   #12
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Default Re: Floyd Patterson’s incredible run of world class form

I think the rankings are mostly a fair representation of his consistency (e.g beat Machen 64, Chuvalo 65, Cooper 66, drw and jobbed vs Quarry 67, fought Ellis for title 68, etc) but, yeah, often a former champ is afforded some favouritism in the rankings for sure.

Last edited by My dinner with Conteh; 07-28-2013 at 07:33 AM. Reason: Initially claimed he beat Quarry (Freudian Slip).
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Old 07-28-2013, 06:45 AM   #13
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Default Re: Floyd Patterson’s incredible run of world class form

Bear in mind also that he was arguably on the wrong end of some bad decisions, so presumable his ranking could be higher at some stages.
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:52 AM   #14
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Default Re: Floyd Patterson’s incredible run of world class form

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Originally Posted by janitor View Post
Bear in mind also that he was arguably on the wrong end of some bad decisions, so presumable his ranking could be higher at some stages.
Give him Jerry Quarry I & II, then Ellis [admittedly controversial no matter those decisions went], and things might improve considerably regarding his historical standing. He could very well have emerged as the winner of that WBA tournament. Personally, I believe he would have reversed the outcome of Liston I & II in a third bout scheduled for 15 rounds during 1969, still being younger, faster, better conditioned, and not suffering from the lung disease revealed by Sonny's autopsy in 1970. Floyd was far smarter by the late 1960s and early 1970s than he was in the early 1960s. [And I'm thoroughly convinced Patterson would have felt honor bound to make his first defense of the WBA Title against Liston in Stockholm before Leotis Martin ever would have had a chance at getting to Sonny.]

Patterson-Liston III in early or mid 1969 over 15 rounds is not like dominating a green Henry Clark over seven for an aging Bear. Floyd might spot Sonny the first several rounds like Leotis, but Liston could find himself in very, very serious trouble if it goes past ten or 12 with a wisely moving and evasive Patterson newly experienced and confident in his ability to go the championship distance in good form.

Look at Patterson-Chuvalo again. 1969 Sonny is not wiping out that far more clever and resourceful version of Floyd in a single round, and it's not as if Patterson had never reversed an ignominious blowout loss before. Following Liston II, he also crunched Charlie Powell in six, giving him at least one competent heavyweight knockout victim bigger than Liston. [Powell didn't have a terrific chin, but he was an amazing athlete, still the youngest National Football League player ever, had a huge knockout win over a then streaking Nino Valdes, and it may be a better big man scalp for Floyd than Shkor was for Marciano.]

Floyd of course never defeats prime Ali and Frazier, but he could very well have been the true number two HW in the world during Ali's exile, and was still top five even after Ali II.

His penultimate win was over Bonavena in February 1972. Ringo would go 11-1 through the remainder of his shortened life. If Oscar had lived into 1978, and continued as he did after Billy Joiner in February 1976, Ali-Bonavena II in February 1978 in place of Leon Spinks would have been no sure title retention for Muhammad, especially if Ali dares a historic road trip to Luna Park. [After Ali-Shavers, the GOAT was a sitting duck, and Ali-Bonavena II would have been promotable as a viable defense if Ringo maintained his seven fight winning streak after Lyle.]
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:52 PM   #15
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Default Re: Floyd Patterson’s incredible run of world class form

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Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
Give him Jerry Quarry I & II, then Ellis [admittedly controversial no matter those decisions went], and things might improve considerably regarding his historical standing. He could very well have emerged as the winner of that WBA tournament. Personally, I believe he would have reversed the outcome of Liston I & II in a third bout scheduled for 15 rounds during 1969, still being younger, faster, better conditioned, and not suffering from the lung disease revealed by Sonny's autopsy in 1970. Floyd was far smarter by the late 1960s and early 1970s than he was in the early 1960s. [And I'm thoroughly convinced Patterson would have felt honor bound to make his first defense of the WBA Title against Liston in Stockholm before Leotis Martin ever would have had a chance at getting to Sonny.]

Patterson-Liston III in early or mid 1969 over 15 rounds is not like dominating a green Henry Clark over seven for an aging Bear. Floyd might spot Sonny the first several rounds like Leotis, but Liston could find himself in very, very serious trouble if it goes past ten or 12 with a wisely moving and evasive Patterson newly experienced and confident in his ability to go the championship distance in good form.

Look at Patterson-Chuvalo again. 1969 Sonny is not wiping out that far more clever and resourceful version of Floyd in a single round, and it's not as if Patterson had never reversed an ignominious blowout loss before. Following Liston II, he also crunched Charlie Powell in six, giving him at least one competent heavyweight knockout victim bigger than Liston. [Powell didn't have a terrific chin, but he was an amazing athlete, still the youngest National Football League player ever, had a huge knockout win over a then streaking Nino Valdes, and it may be a better big man scalp for Floyd than Shkor was for Marciano.]

Floyd of course never defeats prime Ali and Frazier, but he could very well have been the true number two HW in the world during Ali's exile, and was still top five even after Ali II.

His penultimate win was over Bonavena in February 1972. Ringo would go 11-1 through the remainder of his shortened life. If Oscar had lived into 1978, and continued as he did after Billy Joiner in February 1976, Ali-Bonavena II in February 1978 in place of Leon Spinks would have been no sure title retention for Muhammad, especially if Ali dares a historic road trip to Luna Park. [After Ali-Shavers, the GOAT was a sitting duck, and Ali-Bonavena II would have been promotable as a viable defense if Ringo maintained his seven fight winning streak after Lyle.]
Like you, I honestly think that you could hand pick a date when Patterson could have avenged his defeats at the hands of Sony Liston.
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