Muhammad Ali Stops Floyd Patterson This Day November 22, 1965 and Retains Heavyweight Crown
- Floyd Patterson 196¾ lbs
- Muhammad Ali 210 lbs
- TKO at 2:18 in round 12 of 15
- Location: Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
- Referee: Harold Krause 46-53
- Judge: Harold Buck 45-54
- Judge: Bill Stremmell 43-53
- World Heavyweight Title (2nd defense by Ali)
Ali nicknamed Patterson “The Rabbit” because “he’s scared like a rabbit.”
Before the fight, Patterson insisted on calling Ali “Cassius Clay.” Ali responded by calling Patterson an “Uncle Tom” and promising to humiliate him.
Ali taunted Patterson during the fight with remarks like, “Come on American. Come on ‘white’ American.”
Patterson fought the fight with a bad back, and his corner worked on his back between rounds.
Patterson took a knee in the sixth round.
Referee Harry Krause stopped the fight in the twelfth round with Patterson on his feet taking punishment. Krause said, “It was hurting me to watch.”
The crowd booed Ali, believing he treated Patterson with cruelty and disrespect.
“The image of a Black Muslim as the World Heavyweight Champion disgraces the sport and the nation.” – Patterson before the fight
“Patterson says he’s gonna bring the title back to America. If you don’t believe the title is already in America, just see who I pay taxes to.” – Ali before the fight
“This will be a mismatch. Floyd Patterson will be no match. He’s too short, he’s too slow, he don’t have the reach, he can’t take a punch, he don’t hit hard and he don’t have the footwork. This will be a mismatch. I’ll hit him about six times to every every miss that he throws.” – Ali before the fight
“In my honest opinion, if I was watching the fight at home on TV, I would have wanted it stopped, but I preferred to be counted out.” – Patterson after the fight
“He could have knocked Patterson out whenever he wanted, but let’s face it, Clay is selfish and cruel.” – Joe Louis after the fight.