This Day in Boxing

Patterson KOs Ingemar Johansson This Day June 20, 1960

Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson 2nd WEB



Patterson KOs Ingemar Johansson This Day June 20, 1960 and regains the heavyweight crown


  • Floyd Patterson 190 lbs
  • Ingemar Johansson 194¾ lbs
  • KO at 1:51 in round 5 of 15
  • Location: Polo Grounds, New York, New York, USA
  • Referee: Arthur Mercante
  • Judge: Artie Aidala
  • Judge: Leo Birnbaum
  • World Heavyweight Championship (1st defense by Johansson)




The fight was broadcast live on ABC radio.

The fight was shown on closed circuit TV in 230 locations in 160 cities. There were no closed circuit locations within 75 miles of New York City.

Each boxer was guaranteed 25 percent of the Polo Grounds’ gate. Of the closed circuit money, half went to the theaters and half to the promotion. Of the promotions’ half, 20 percent went to the closed circuit company, Teleprompter. Of the remaining sum, 50 percent went to Patterson, 35 percent to Johannson and 15 percent to the fight’s promoter, Feature Sports.

An announced crowd of 31,892 at the Polo Grounds produced a gate of $821,561.

The gross closed circuit TV receipts were $2,251,162.

This was the first world championship bout refereed by Arthur Mercante.

Johansson was an 8-5 betting favorite.

Patterson became the first former World Heavyweight Champion to regain the title. Eight previous champions — Jim Corbett (2 times), Bob Fitzsimmons, Jim Jeffries, Jack Dempsey, Max Schmeling, Joe Louis, Ezzard Charles (3 times), and Jersey Joe Walcott — had tried and failed.

The Ring named Patterson Fighter of the Year for 1960, and his knockout of Johansson was named Fight of the Year.

ESPN contributor Bert Sugar wrote:

Following his fight plan, Floyd was the early aggressor. But with just a minute gone in Round 2, Floyd encountered disaster in the form of a Johansson right that exploded against his head. This time, instead of going down, he shook off the effect of the punch and backed away from Ingemar for the remainder of the round. The blow had a salutary effect on Patterson. He discovered that he could take, and survive, the kind of blow that had felled him an incredible six times in the first fight. Patterson’s confidence grew with each passing round. In the fifth round he ripped a right to Ingemar’s jaw that hurt the champion. Floyd followed up with a wild left hook which missed, but a second leaping left hook caught Johansson flush on the jaw, knocking him down. The Swede was up at nine, bleeding from his mouth and with a cut over his left eye. Patterson came roaring at him with one left hook after another. A final left hook — the hardest punch Patterson had unleashed in a career which spanned 64 fights and 40 knockouts — came up from the floor and crashed into Ingemar’s face. The champion went down like a sack of bricks, his head landing with a thud that was audible in the ringside section. His left foot twitched convulsively, and blood oozed from his mouth and nose as referee Arthur Mercante counted him out at 1:51 of the fifth round.


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