This tape features raw footage of an interview with boxing legend Floyd Patterson (1935-2006) in Atlantic City. Shot for the 1985 TV series "Once A Star." Also included is a short interview with boxing manager and trainer Lou Duva (1922-2017).
00:00Copy video clip URL This tape begins with color bars and tone.
00:56Copy video clip URL People make their way out of a conference hall, and there is a shot of a boxing manager’s jacket.
01:33Copy video clip URL Producer Tom Weinberg speaks with boxing manager Lou Duva about managing Olympic athletes. He states that he manages several high profile boxers such as Evander Holyfield and Tyrone Biggs. When asked about Floyd Patterson, Duva explains that he helped train Patterson around the time of his 1965 fight with Cassius Clay a.k.a. Muhammad Ali. He goes on to say, “I would love my sons to look up to him as a hero, as a good human being… he knows how to ride with the punches of life. There’s nobody that he runs against that ever knocks him, understand? Sometimes they may knock him for being too nice a guy… From the human standpoint, he’s a credit to the human race.” Duva also talks about legendary trainer Cus D’Amato, who also trained Patterson.
05:48Copy video clip URL Cut to an interview with Patterson who begins to talk to associate producer Joel Cohen about the differences between training his son and fighting in the ring. “When I get hit, I know how it feels. I can deal with it, or sometimes I can’t–not too good–but I do know me. But my son Tracy, he gets hit, I don’t know what goes through his mind. I don’t know how hurt he is and all those things bother me.” He then talks about his son’s boxing technique and states that Tracy is a slow starter, which keeps Patterson nervous throughout the first round. Patterson then begins to talk about how he came to know Tracy and ultimately adopt him. Patterson saw a lot of ability in Tracy and took him under his wing.
09:03Copy video clip URL Patterson goes into more detail about how he came to know Tracy. The boy would hang out around Patterson’s gym “like he had no place to go,” and Patterson adopted him after his mother moved away. Patterson says that Tracy is a very quiet individual.
12:07Copy video clip URL When asked if he saw himself in Tracy, Patterson solemnly responds, “I saw more of myself in him than in myself, believe it or not.” He talks about Tracy’s lack of confidence and quiet demeanor. He also talks about his wife and her ability to bring things out of Tracy. Patterson goes on to talk about explaining to Tracy that despite his success, he hasn’t changed or become big-headed. Patterson also talks about being brought up in Brooklyn, New York in a poor family. Patterson got into a lot of trouble as a child and was ultimately sent to a boarding school. “It was there that I really learned confidence and got a foothold on life, you know: a destination to become something, a desire.” He goes on to talk about getting in to boxing and being trained by legendary boxing trainer Cus D’Amato.
17:54Copy video clip URL Patterson talks about his trepidation over becoming a boxer. “I don’t want to be special. When I go to the movies, when I go to Coney Island, when I go places, I want to laugh like everybody else. I don’t want everybody looking at me. So it sort of gave me a complex in a sense that I could no longer be a part of everyone because everyone was looking at me, which makes me special and I don’t want to be special.” Patterson continues to talk about his anxiety over being a celebrity. “What I’m saying is that people make you important, but it’s how you feel about yourself which is most important. They look and see me: ‘There’s Floyd Patterson!’ I look in the mirror and I see me and I’m still me… nothing special.”
20:11Copy video clip URL Tape ends.