Patterson, whose quiet, almost shy manner has impressed local kibitzers, runs at Woodbine Race Track on the northwestern outskirts of the city and boxes at Palace Pier, a local dance and fight emporium. Several hundred people turned out for some of his sessions. Floyd will be at least a 9-to-1 favorite to beat McNeeley, but he has more respect for his opponent than the odds-makers do.
"Everybody seems to be taking this guy for granted. I wish I could be as sure. The way this is set up I can't get any credit even if I win. I'll just collect my money."
It is understood that Patterson has been guaranteed $200,000 for the fight, McNeeley $100,000. The Bolan brothers are predicting a crowd of 15,000 and a gate of around $250,000. Television will make a handsome contribution (supposedly $300,000) to the overall proceeds. The fight will be televised on a closed circuit, with a local blackout. Spectators in Maple Leaf Gardens will first see the Sonny Liston-Albert Westphal fight from Philadelphia on a four-sided, 9-by-12-foot screen. Then, after a short intermission, Patterson and McNeeley will go into their act, and fans in Philadelphia will see them. Equipment necessary for the closed-circuit transmission can be erected or dismantled in a few minutes, the promoters say.
Ringside fans will have to pay $50 per seat, the highest ever asked for a single athletic event in Canada. Cheapest seats in the house will be $10 each, the same price that football fans will pay to sit on the 50-yard line for the Grey Cup.
In the last major fight in Toronto, between Moore and Parker, the gross gate was $148,500 in the baseball stadium. But top price for a ticket was only $20.
Patterson said last weekend, "Physically I'm ready to go now. But I have to concentrate on getting my mental attitude up. That's important."
The mental attitude of the anticipated crowd has to be up too, especially with that $50 tops. There wouldn't be this worry if Patterson and McNeeley could only play football.