Tracy Harris Patterson carries the name of a famous boxer in
Jul. 08, 1995
RENO, Nev. (AP) _ Tracy Harris Patterson carries the name of a famous boxer into the ring on Sunday. So Eddie Hopson says he will defend his IBF junior lightweight championship against a guy named Tracy Harris.
``He says he'll leave with my title. I say he'll be leaving with a headache,'' Hopson said. ``He has the name. Take away Patterson, he's Tracy Harris. Who's he?''
The comment found its intended mark with the challenger, the adopted but currently estranged son of former heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson.
``When somebody disrespects you like that, it's going to bother you,'' he said. ``Tracy Harris and Tracy Patterson are the same guy. He'll see that when I whack him out. The name helped me, but I can fight. I'll make him pay for that.''
Patterson, 52-3-1 with 37 knockouts, held the WBC super bantamweight title for two years and four successful defenses before losing it last Aug. 26 on a 12-round decision to Hector Acero. He has two victories since moving up from the 122-pound class to fight at 130.
Hopson is unbeaten in 26 fights, half of them by knockout. He will be making his first defense of the belt he won April 22 with a seventh-round knockout of Moises Pedroza.
``Whoever climbs to the top of the mountain is the greatest,'' Hopson said. ``I refuse to lose this fight. I feel more relaxed. I feel my whole life, my whole game, has gone to a higher level.''
For Patterson, 30, a victory over the 24-year-old champion would not only give him his second title, it would help vindicate his decision to manage his own career. The elder Patterson refused to relinquish his managerial duties while staying on as his son's trainer and the two haven't spoken for three months.
``I miss having him around,'' the fighter said. ``He chose for whatever reason not to be around. I have to respect that. I hope he respects what I have to do.''
Patterson, who now is being trained by Tommy Parks, is an 11-5 underdog going into Sunday's fight at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.