In 1956, at age 21, Floyd Patterson became the youngest boxer to win the title of world heavyweight champion and then, later, the first ever to lose and regain it. Here, acclaimed author W.K. Stratton chronicles the life of 'The Gentle Gladiator' - an athlete overshadowed by Ali's theatrics and Liston's fearsome reputation, and a civil-rights activist overlooked in the who's who of race politics. From the Gramercy Gym and wild-card manager Cus D'Amato to a final rematch against Ali in 1972, Patterson's career spanned boxing's Golden Age and included an Olympic gold medal. This powerful tribute to an invisible champion who fought his way to the top of a kckdown world, carrying many of the hopes and fears of the battle for civil rights, draws upon interviews with the fighter's friends and boxing contemporaries to provide the definitive account of his remarkable life and career.
W.K. Stratton is the author of Backyard Brawl, Chas-ing the Rodeo and Boxing Shadows. He has written for many publications, including GQ, Sports Illus-trated and Outside. A long-time student of boxing, Stratton trains at a gym alongside top professionals and amateurs.