Interview with Floyd Patterson
QUESTION 17
INTERVIEWER:

Before the first fight with you and Clay, he had been saying a lot of things to the press that he was going to have you call him by his, ah, his Muslim name. Tell me a little bit about what he had been saying and then the fight itself.

FLOYD PATTERSON:

Well, yes, he had, ah, Cassius Clay had said this over TV many a time and he had said it to the press at press conferences. That he was going to beat me so bad he'd have me, he was going to ask me, he was going to make me call him by the name he wanted to be called. Ah, and during the actual fight he did say during the earlier rounds, I believe he asked me once or twice, "What's my name? What's my name? And, ah, I said, "Cassius Clay". I distinctly remember the latter rounds when I was taking a bad beating, ah, ah, he said, "What's my name now?" And I, my reply was, "Cassius Clay and that's what it will always be." I'm 54 years-old now and it's still Cassius Clay. Now don't misunderstand. I'm not being disrespectful. Ah, his mother and father, they still call him Cassius Clay. I ran into his father several years ago and he had said to me, ah, "I met you at such and such a place, do you remember who I am?" So I looked at him and I said, "Well, I don't quite remember. But you look familiar." He said, "Well, I'm Cassius Clay's father." So, I said, "Oh, you still call him Cassius Clay?" And he said, "Yeah." So anyway, to get back to what I was saying. Ah, Clay and I get along very well now. You know, I mean, ah, I've seen him on several occasions. We talk. We're friends. You know, all that's forgotten about. But he's still Cassius Clay. I'm still the rabbit. He calls me a rabbit.

INTERVIEWER:

Cut. OK. That's good. That was nice.