The Central Figure in the painting on the center pages of this issue was not an unfamiliar subject to Artist Russell Hoban when he painted the new world heavyweight champion after he defeated Archie Moore in Chicago last November.
For in 1953, Hoban, then a full-time TV art director, was spending all his spare time in boxing haunts like Stillman's Gym (Hoban illustrated A. J. Liebling's series, The University of Eighth Avenue, SI, Dec. 5 and 12, '55); was taking boxing lessons at George Brown's Gym (where Hemingway used to train when in town); and was painting portraits of the most likely fighters he could get to pose for him.
One was up-and-coming Floyd Patterson. "If you'd asked me to design a prototype of a champion, it would have looked," says Hoban, "the way Patterson looked then—quick and lean, like a race horse."
The early portrait, which meets the intimately critical standards of Floyd's wife, his mother and his manager, now hangs proudly in the Patterson home in St. Albans, N.Y.
For a description of what Hoban saw when he painted his latest Patterson portrait, see page 36.
The reception everywhere for the Hungarian Olympic athletes and coaches during their nationwide Freedom Tour, now drawing to an end, has been a heart-warming one. Fulfilling one of its purposes, the tour has resulted in a generous number of specific and suggested opportunities for their employment and resettlement. Some members of the tour have already been able to accept the jobs or scholarships which will do the most to make them at home in their new homeland. For others the right place still remains to be found.
Most of them, of course, will not move into American life through their athletic skills but through their other talents, some of which I was able to indicate to you in a "scouting report" in our Jan. 14 issue. Many of you wrote me in response to that with suggestions and proposals which have notably aided the resettlement of these courageous Olympians. Until the last of them is settled, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED will be glad to learn "of other possibilities from its readers, who have already shown their interest in this cause in which the highest values in sport join the fight for freedom throughout the world.
HOBAN'S PATTERSON, 1954