Floyd Patterson Becomes World Heavyweight Champion At 21 Years Old — November 30, 1956

Floyd Patterson was 21 years old when he made history.

Patterson (then 30-1) became the youngest world heavyweight champion, at the time, by knocking out legendary Archie Moore (then 160-20-8).

Though Patterson was the underdog, he was the one dominating. Moore was unable to match Patterson’s speed and constant movement.

In the fourth round, Patterson struck Moore, who was already bleeding at that point.

Then came the fifth where Patterson swung a swift left hook to Moore’s head, sending him to the mat. He got up, but he was quickly knocked down again and was unable to rise for the count.

“The turning point came in the third round. I landed a left in his stomach and I heard him say, ‘ugh’ — or something like that. I knew then I had hurt him and I knew I could beat him,” Patterson said at the time.

The world heavyweight title belt became vacant when Rocky Marciano retired. He held the title from 1952 to 1956.

Mike Tyson would later break Patterson’s record by becoming a world heavyweight champion at 20 years old after a technical knockout over Trevor Berbick.

The referee shouldn’t have stopped it. I felt Floyd Patterson is a vastly improved fighter,” Moore said at the time.

“He has potentialities of being a great fighter when he gets some experience. I felt confident I could beat him, but I also learned that youth can be too much.”

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