Interview with Floyd Patterson

Now, let's take you back to this first fight you had with Cassius Clay, who by this time I guess was Muhammad Ali. What are some of your thoughts about that fight? What do you remember about that fight?


Well, frankly, I remember more about the second fight than the first fight. I prefer not to remember the first fight. However, I will tell you some of the things that happened in the fight. Ah,, as you may know, I had a bad back then. In fact it was a knot as big as my fist in back of my back because the blood could not get through my, ah, spinal cord. Ah, I sustained an injury when I threw a left hook and I believe fell down and, ah, when I got up, ah, well. Anyway. I took a very bad beating for many, for several rounds. Finally, I think in about the 10th round, I said to myself, "I'm going to try to hit this guy at least one shot." So I tried to tie up his left jab, because he throws an awful lot of jabs. And as he was throwing the jab, I went to cross a right hand to catch him as the jab was coming back. Now there are many things that you can do to avoid a right hand. You could bob, weave, you could take a step to the side, left to right and move back. You can do several things. Ah, he did every one of them. I never even threw the right hand. So I said to myself, "How do you hit this guy?" Which led me to believe he was very, very fearful of getting hit. And the fact that he was so fearful of getting hit, he had a tremendous, ah, a very, very good defense. Ah, but he took no chances when it came to getting hit. Then I realized why it was so difficult to hit him. Ah, of course after the fight was all over, ah, if you remember back then Howie Cosell said that he carried me, ah, during, during the fight. Ah, that's not true. He did not carry me. It's just that he was, ah, aggressive at times, being very fearful of getting hit and very, when anyone that fearful of getting hit, very rarely gets hit. Clay never really got hit until he lost his legs. When he lost his legs, then he started taking a lot of punishment.


I see. Let's cut.


I mean, some people said that--