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Patterson Dressed as Bearded Beatnik after Losing Title

Sept. 28, 1962 - Floyd Patterson was so humiliated after the first-round knockout by Sonny Liston Tuesday night in Chicago that he drove all the way back to New York disguised as a bearded beatnik. He had a beard glued to his chin, a thick mustache across his upper lip, dark glasses over his eyes, and a hat tilted forward on his head. “I just didn’t want anyone to see me,” he explained today. The fake mustache that Patterson wore was the same one he had in his pocket as he entered the Polo Grounds before his second fight against Ingemar Johansson in June 1960. Had he lost a second time to the Swede, Patterson said he would have tried to escape unrecognized through the crowd. Defeats in the ring, particularly those in which he performs poorly, leave the sensitive fighter with a sense of embarrassment and guilt. He does not wish to face people at such times. Patterson said today, however, that he would not go into hiding, as he seemed to do after suffering the knockout in his first fight with Johansson. He plans to resume training soon for his return match with Liston, and said he does not feel that the world has come to an end. “In the next fight, I don’t say the result will be different,” Patterson said, “but I guarantee this: I’ll give a much, much better account of myself.”


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