Ken Norton has died

Reply Wed 18 Sep, 2013 08:34 pm
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 1,507 • Replies: 9
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Reply Wed 18 Sep, 2013 09:12 pm
Good guy, very strange boxing style...
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Reply Wed 18 Sep, 2013 09:18 pm
He was a tough son of a gun.
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Reply Wed 18 Sep, 2013 09:32 pm
Oh my. This was unexpected (at least to me)


Ken Norton, who fought three memorable fights with Muhammad Ali, breaking his jaw in winning their first bout, then losing twice, and went on to become the World Boxing Council heavyweight champion, died Wednesday in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson. He was 70.

His death was confirmed by his son Ken Jr., an assistant coach with the N.F.L.’s Seattle Seahawks and a pro linebacker for 13 seasons, The Associated Press said. Norton had been in poor health for several years after sustaining a series of strokes, The A.P. reported.

Norton defeated Ali on a 12-round split decision in 1973 to capture the North American Boxing Federation heavyweight title. Norton was an exceptionally muscular 6 feet 2 and 220 pounds but a decided underdog in that first Ali fight.

“Ali thought it would be an easy fight,” Norton’s former manager, Gene Kilroy, was quoted by The A.P. as saying. “But Norton was unorthodox. Instead of jabbing from above like most fighters, he would put his hand down and jab up at Ali.”

Kilroy said that after the fight, Norton visited Ali at the hospital where he was getting his broken jaw wired, and Ali told him he never wanted to fight him again.

But the second bout in their trilogy came six months later when Ali came back to win a narrow split decision. Ali retained his World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association titles when he defeated Norton on a decision in their final bout, at Yankee Stadium in September 1976.

(article continues at link above)
Reply Wed 18 Sep, 2013 09:46 pm
RIP Ken Norton. You were one hell of an athlete and Hall of Fame fighter.

I saw Norton fight Foreman. I saw his (Foreman) uppercuts repeatedly lift Norton off his feet - like a wood chopper upper cutting the tree trunk, if you've ever seen that. Lifted Norton off his feet?! For some reason, Norton avoided and eared heavy hitters after that fight with Forman.

The fights with Ali were great theater.
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Reply Thu 19 Sep, 2013 10:09 am
The way that introductory sentence of the story reads, it was Norton who suffered a busted jaw, when actually Norton broke Ali's jaw. Ali then won close decisions in the last 2 fights. I was an Ali fan and felt that Norton was the overall better boxer in the entire series and Ali was "phoning it in".
Reply Thu 19 Sep, 2013 10:23 am
Being a big follower of Ali and boxing in those days, I respectfully disagree with your phrase 'phoning it in'. I think Ali just couldn't dial up the number... due to rust maybe ... or whatever that could have prevented him from training to the max as he had been doing in his past.

I also give Norton some credit for confusing Ali's defenses. Norton's technique was a puzzle to Ali with his assets of power plus that unorthodox cross-arm style.

UI read somewhere that Ali's broken jaw allegedly occurred when Ali was flapping it and trying to taunt Norton, who was all business in the ring.
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Reply Thu 19 Sep, 2013 10:53 am
Furthermore...quotes from Ali about Norton (these quotes dispute my previous foggy remembrances):

" ... But though he lost two in a row to Ali, Norton proved his win was no fluke. Ali had to work to earn it.

"Never trained more than three weeks for Liston, never trained more than three weeks for Frazier," Ali told Sports Illustrated's Mark Kram before his second bout with Norton. "Been up here now 14 weeks."

When the fight, held in Inglewood just six months later, was over, Ali left his customary trash talk behind, at least for an honest moment with Philadelphia Daily News reporter Tom Cushman.

“Ken Norton is the best man I’ve ever fought," Ali said. "He is better than Joe Frazier, Jerry Quarry, Sonny Liston—any of them.”

Norton would go on to challenge George Foreman for the world championship in 1974, and his 1978 bout with Larry Holmes is widely considered one of the greatest heavyweight fights ever. But despite all his accomplishments, it was never better than that magical night he tussled with, and beat, the best in the world."

Whether or not...Ali was just spinning the current-day press to massage Norton's ego to make him over-confident, Ali said it. Not so sure at that time whether Ali's ego was geared towards that end. He was a ...no ..make that...THE ... master at spin.
Reply Thu 19 Sep, 2013 11:41 am
I think none the less of Ali. He was a great fighter and "rust/",, maybe it was a bit of rust, but I recall the second Norton fight an Ali looked , TIRED .
Reply Thu 19 Sep, 2013 12:13 pm
I just took an online refresher course on Norton and his contempo heavyweight rivals and fights. Ali afterward admitted in that fight (their first) to being tired and slow and initially be uninformed and underestimating Norton's skill and dangerosity.

In the second fight, Ali (to himself) knew better to underestimate Norton. I just think he was not able to prepare conditioning-wise like he did in his early years. Too many distractions. Whereas Norton, even after his fighting years ended, still looked like Greek sculpture.

See the link below..for one of the greatest of all time displays of heavyweight boxing (Round #15 Holmes-Norton)

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