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Ingemar Johansson

1959

Johansson used a young Cassius Clay -- who later became Muhammad Ali -- as a sparring partner for his heavyweight championship fight against Floyd Patterson in 1959 at Yankee Stadium. The result: Johansson sent Patterson to the canvas a total of seven times in the third round to claim the belt and become the first Swedish boxer to hold the title.

Johansson's hold on the title didn't last, as he lost a rematch with Patterson a year later at the Polo Grounds in New York. Still, Johansson (26-2, 17 KOs), became a hero in his home country after the fight, working in movies and promoting fights. He continued boxing until his retirement in 1963.