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This day in sports: Ingemar Johansson knocks out Floyd Patterson at Yankee Stadium

Floyd Patterson lies on the canvas after taking a knockout blow from Ingemar Johansson.
Floyd Patterson lies on the canvas after taking a knockout blow from Ingemar Johansson during their bout at Yankee Stadium on June 26, 1959.
(Associated Press)

“Toonder and Lightning” struck at Yankee Stadium in New York on this date in 1959 when Ingemar Johansson of Sweden knocked out Floyd Patterson in the third round to win the world heavyweight boxing championship.

Johansson, the European champion, entered the ring as a 5-1 underdog in a bout that was seen as little more than a tuneup for the champion Patterson, who had lost just one of 37 fights.

After boxing on even terms in the first two rounds, Johansson landed a powerful left-right combination that he nicknamed “Toonder and Lightning,” which sent Patterson to the canvas. The Swede floored Patterson six more times before the fight was stopped at 2:03 by referee Ruby Goldstein.

“When I hit him that first time in the third round I knew I had him,” Johansson said afterward. “The only trouble was I did not think it would take me so long.”

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On Friday, the Dodgers were set to start a three-game series with the Giants in San Francisco. The Angels were scheduled for a trip to Canada to start a three-game series with the Blue Jays at Toronto, Both games were postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andrew Friedman wouldn’t disclose the number of people who tested positive for coronavirus, but did say that at least one is a Dodgers player. He said none had “problematic” symptoms.

Other memorable games and outstanding sports performances on this date:

1910 — For the second year in a row, Hazel Hotchkiss wins the singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles at the U.S. Lawn Tennis Assn. championships at the Philadelphia Cricket Center in Chestnut Hill, Pa. Hotchkiss beats Louise Hammond 6-4, 6-2 on the outdoor grass court for the singles championship.

1961 First baseman Moose Skowron of the New York Yankees hits a three-run home run in the ninth inning that beats the Angels 8-6 before 18,870 fans at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. Ken Hunt’s 12th home run of the season off Whitey Ford gives the Angels a 6-5 lead in the eighth inning. Mickey Mantle hits his 23rd home run in the second inning.

1962 Earl Wilson of the Boston Red Sox pitches a 2-0 no-hitter against the Angels at Fenway Park. Wilson, the Red Sox’s first Black pitcher, also hits a home run with one out in the third inning against Bo Belinsky, who had pitched a no-hitter more than a month earlier against the Baltimore Orioles at Chavez Ravine.

1983 — Rusty Staub of the New York Mets ties the season record with his eighth consecutive pinch hit. Staub, 39, equals the 1958 mark established by Dave Philley of the Philadelphia Phillies when he singles to right field in the ninth inning off Philadelphia reliever Ron Reed in the Mets’ 8-4 loss at Shea Stadium.

1990 — Jennifer Capriati, 14, defeats Helen Kelesi 6-3, 6-1 in the first round to become the youngest winner of a match at Wimbledon. Her world ranking had jumped from No. 24 to No. 13 after she reached the semifinals of the French Open. At the All-England Club, Capriati is the youngest seed in Grand Slam history at No. 12.

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2005 — Justin Gatlin establishes himself as America’s fastest man when he wins the 200 meters in 20.4 seconds at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the Home Depot Center in Carson, a day after he wins the 100. He is the first since Kirk Baptiste in 1985 to sweep the sprints at the national meet.

2011 — Top-ranked Yani Tseng of Taiwan easily wins the LPGA Championship at Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y., by 10 strokes and, at 22, is the youngest player to win four LPGA Tour majors. Tseng closes with a six-under par 66 that gives her a four-round total of 19-under 269. She betters Se Ri Pak, who was 24 when she won her fourth major tournament.

2014 — FIFA bans Uruguay striker Luis Suarez from all soccer activities for four months after he bites defender Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s 1-0 win over Italy at the World Cup. The incident benches Suarez for the rest of the tournament and the start of the upcoming Premier League season with Liverpool. Suarez, who previously had been suspended twice for biting opponents, is fined $112,000.

2017 — Helmsman Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand wins the America’s Cup yacht title with a resounding romp against software tycoon Larry Ellison’s two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA. The New Zealanders win eight of the nine races in the waters of Bermuda’s Great Sound.

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Sources: The Times, Associated Press


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