If I should win I'm going to look down into the faces of those reporters...and that alone is going to be worth a million dollars."
In these words, Floyd Patterson, training for his return bout with Ingemar Johansson, summed up to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED the pent-up fury he has felt at a denigrating section of the sporting press since he lost his title to Johansson a year ago.
When Floyd Patterson did win, brilliantly, he looked down into the faces of the reporters and he jumped up and down on his heels in glee.
"Ee-yah!' he shouted at them through his pink mouthpiece.
But the press did not understand his derision. The press was on its feet cheering him, delighted that Floyd Patterson had just done what no man had ever done before and that he had done it with the �lan of a true champion. He had regained the heavyweight championship of the world. He had regained it with such a vicious, furious assault that the bewildered Ingemar Johansson, fighting his first defense of the title, was totally unable to cope with him.
The youngest, at 21, ever to win the title, Patterson was the youngest, at 25, ever to try to win it back.
In succeeding, he astonished almost all the experts, including SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, not only by his achievement but by the manner of his doing it. Never before has Patterson fought with such fire, not even on the night he won the title by knocking out Archie Moore at Chicago. On that night he was coolly competent, in charge from the opening bell. This night at the almost packed Polo Grounds in New York he flashed fire with every move, accepted Ingemar's power-laden right hand in the second round, and crashed home punch after punch to the body until the defending champion's guard was forced down.
With a path thus opened to Johansson's chin, Patterson landed two left hooks in the fifth round. The first came on one of his famous leaps and knocked Johansson to the canvas for a count of 9. Not badly hurt, Johansson prudently took the count on one knee, his eyes clear. Moments later he was indeed hurt. A long left hook banged into his jaw and toppled him over backward with a crash that jarred the ring. He lay very still on the flat of his back, his massive legs stretched out straight, blood flowing from a corner of his mouth, and he did not move while Referee Arthur Mercante counted the 10 seconds that ended his championship and marked his first defeat as a professional.
For several minutes thereafter he remained there, only semiconscious, while doctors and handlers ministered to him. He seemed to have suffered a concussion, one of the physicians said.
Floyd promises return