Memorial service held for Patterson

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Heavyweight boxing champion Floyd Patterson was recalled as a humble and giving man at a memorial service in the Hudson Valley on Saturday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:34 IST
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New Paltz:

Heavyweight boxing champion Floyd Patterson was recalled as a humble and giving man at a memorial service on Saturday. About 200 people gathered to remember Patterson, who died on May 11 at age of 71 after fighting Alzheimer's disease and prostate cancer. The Reverend Dan O'Hare, who met Patterson shortly after the boxer retired to New Paltz in 1973, said, "I didn't understand how this gentle, kind person beat up people". O'Hare said he later saw photographs of Patterson helping up men he had knocked out. Fond memories Another picture, printed on the back of the memorial's bulletin, shows a smiling Patterson and the scar tissue on the knuckles of his big left hand, which the 190-pound boxer used to knock out Ingemar Johansson and retake the heavyweight crown in 1960. Patterson's son, Floyd Patterson II, recalled going to a dinner where his father left the table for the toilet and didn't come back. He was found talking to fans. His son said Patterson would talk and sign autographs as long as people wanted him to. Good innings Patterson won the heavyweight boxing title in 1956 when he knocked out Archie Moore. He lost and regained the title in fights with Johansson and lost the title for good to Sonny Liston. Patterson retired in 1972 with a 55-8-1 record and 40 knockouts. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991. He became an ecumenical minister who visited the homebound, and was remembered as a concerned family man, and a generous helper to troubled youngsters at his 17-acre home and gym in New Paltz. His last project, which wasn't yet finished, was to build a chapel for young people at a residential centre in nearby Highland. Those who attended the service included Patterson's children from two marriages and current and former fighters including his adopted son, Tracy Harris Patterson, who won the super bantamweight and super featherweight titles. (AP)

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