Floyd Patterson on Losing (1962)

“It’s not a bad feeling when you’re knocked out. It’s a good feeling, actually. It’s not painful, just a sharp grogginess. You don’t see angels or stars: you’re on a pleasant cloud. But then this good feeling leaves you. You realize where you are, and what you’re doing there, and what has just happened to you. And what follows is a hurt, a confused hurt – not a physical hurt – it’s a hurt combined with anger; it’s a what-will-people-think hurt; it’s an ashamed-of-my-own-ability hurt. And all you want then is a hatch door in the middle of the ring – a hatch door that will open and let you fall through and land in your dressing room instead of having to get out of the ring and face those people. The worst thing about losing is having to walk out of the ring and face those people.”

(Excerpted from King of the World by David Remnick)

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