Back In The City
When he returned home, Patterson was twelve and still shy. But he had overcome his shame, and he had discovered that boxing, not stealing, was a way to earn the money his family needed.
Cus D'Amato, who would later manage Mike Tyson, ran the Gramercy Gym in Brooklyn. He would build on the fundamentals that Patterson was taught at Wiltwyck and begin to shape Patterson into a contender. But Patterson's first fight was against his brother Frank, who had been boxing for years, and he beat the heck out of Floyd. Showing early the resilience he would demonstrate throughout his career, Patterson came back in a few months for his first amateur fight.
In January of 1950, Floyd Patterson won his first Amateur Athletic Union fight in the 147 lb. weight class. The next year he moved up to the 160 lb. class. Still very young (he was sixteen), Floyd was impatient and wanted badly to turn professional. But D'Amato forbade it. He saw something in the young fighter and wanted him to maintain his amateur status so he would be viable for the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.