My friend and colleague Lowell Cohn and I are a couple of old boxing nerds. We love to talk about boxing from the 1950s and ’60s.

Lowell called me the other day and told me he watched the Floyd Patterson-Henry Cooper fight from 1966 on YouTube, and how good Patterson looked — and this was years after he had been stopped by Sonny Liston (twice) and Muhammad Ali and was on yet another comeback trail. I had previously watched the Patterson-Cooper fight on YouTube, and Lowell and I had a fine talk about Patterson, one of the most interesting, conflicted and vulnerable of fighters.

Then I told Lowell I had just watched the Patterson-Pete Rademacher fight on YouTube. The fight was in 1957, Patterson was heavyweight champion and Rademacher, an Olympic champion, was making his pro debut — as challenger for the heavyweight title. Unique. And weird.

I told Lowell that it was an interesting fight, surprisingly so, and that Rademacher didn’t fight like a novice — and for good reason. He was some six or seven years older than Patterson and had close to 80 amateur fights.

Lowell, being a boxing aficionado, watched the Patterson-Rademacher fight on YouTube and reported back, saying Rademacher started out good, knocking down Patterson in the second round, but ran out of gas and that the fight should have been stopped sooner than it was — in the sixth round.

Patterson was always a supremely well-conditioned athlete, and it showed.

If you’ve got a passion for such a small niche as 1950s and ’60s boxing, it’s nice to have a friend who just so happens to share that niche.

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  1. Willamina Nick

    In the Rademacher bout, Patterson almost had to jump to hit Rademacher in the head, and did so often. Patterson was giving up something like five inches in height and a ton of weight. Rademacher was big, slow, lacked stamina and would never have beaten Patterson.

    August 26th, 2011 12:43 pm

  2. How Good Was Sonny Liston? | The Boxing Magazine.com

    [...] Marciano never fought one that wasn’t old”Di Smoke Gaan But Di Fiyah Bun – Joe FrazierWhere have you gone, Pete Rademacher? #et_pt_portfolio_gallery { margin-left: -15px; } .et_pt_portfolio_item { margin-left: 21px; [...]

    December 9th, 2011 4:00 pm

  3. Vince Boswell

    I attended church with Pete in Medina, Ohio back in the ’80s. He was an interesting fellow who developed a “one-wheeled motorcycle” that he would ride in parades. He was more well known for the motorcycle than for his gold medal. The gold medal is the real story. This was long before the Miracle on Ice and should be called the Miracle in the Ring. In today’s terms it would be as if our top amateur was fighting Wlad Klitschko and won!!!

    July 27th, 2012 7:44 pm

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