New Paltz:Former heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson died on Thursday at the age of 71 after an eight-year battle against prostate cancer and Alzheimer's disease. Patterson will go down in history as one of the boxing greats. He won an Olympic gold in 1952 as an amateur, and then as a professional became the youngest ever world heavyweight champion in 1956. He defended the title successfully four times before losing in 1959. Patterson will be best remembered for bouncing back from that embarrassment a year later to become the first boxer to regain the heavyweight title.