"There is so much hate, so much contempt inside people," Floyd Patterson once said, "that they hire prizefighters to do their hating for them."
What occasioned these remarks was a merciless and hateful beating at the hands of Muhammad Ali, whom Patterson had made a point of calling Cassius Clay.
"What's my name?" asked Ali, who exceeded Patterson by at least 15 pounds on the scales and nine inches in reach. Each question seemed to elicit a new volley of jabs and slashing right hands. "What's my name?"
Ali tried his best to prolong Patterson's agony and humiliation. But, finally, the bout was finally stopped in the 12th round. That was November, 1965.
And now, 46 years later, with the news that Joe Frazier has died at 67 of liver cancer, I find myself sorting through the makeshift boxing library on my shelves. The Patterson quote about fighters being proxies for haters -- never more true than when Frazier fought Ali -- is found page 62 of Mark Kram's masterful "Ghosts of Manila."...