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Floyd Patterson

Tough Time As A Black Fighter

Though he was firmly in control of his own destiny in the world of boxing, and at twenty-one should have felt that the sky was the limit, his impressive status didn't matter at all when he'd visit the segregated south. America was still functioning under heavily racist tendencies, and Patterson encountered many hardships while he traveled on his fighting circuit. He was unable to get meals in Baltimore, or eat inside a restaurant in Kansas City. Fed up with the racism, Patterson, "vowed that he would never box in front of a segregated crowd again. He insisted that promoters desegregate seating and avoid scheduling him to train in segregated towns."

Patterson became a proponent of desegregation. He fought for his rights both inside and outside of the ring. He even fought for those of his wife, whom he joined to become part of an anti-discrimination lawsuit filed against a beauty parlor that refused service to her.

Where Is He Now?

Since his resignation from the commission, Patterson has spent his days on his 17-acre farm in New Paltz, where he takes care of his animals and lives without the interruption of modern life, choosing not to even own a television.

Archie Moore, the man he'd defeated for the heavyweight championship. He resigned from the commission the following month.

Floyd Patterson, standing at left

"Boxing has given me everything," Patterson said in 1994, in an article in the Colorado Springs Gazette. "Without it I'd be nothing."

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Famous Sports StarsBoxingFloyd Patterson Biography - Growing Up, A Needed Change, Back In The City, After The Gold, Chronology - CONTACT INFORMATION, SELECTED WRITINGS BY PATTERSON: