Posts tagged Ken Norton

Classic KOs: George Foreman vs Ken Norton

by Gautham Nagesh

George Foreman won the heavyweight championship by knocking Joe Frazier down six times over two rounds in a dominating performance in January 1973. Foreman then needed only two minutes to dismiss the unworthy Jose Roman that September in his next fight, making his March 1974 defense against Ken Norton in Caracas, Venezuela his first true test as champion.

Norton earned the title shot by splitting a pair of fights with Muhammad Ali the previous year, breaking Ali’s jaw in the process. Considered one of the few heavyweights capable of matching Foreman’s awesome size and power, Norton’s tight defense was expected to pose problems for the towering Texan. It didn’t work out that way.

siphotos:

Muhammad Ali punches Ken Norton during their 1976 fight at Yankee Stadium. The two fought twice in 1973, splitting the fights, before the ‘76 rubber match. Ali slugged his way to a unanimous decision in 15 rounds. Norton’s own coaches believed their fighter had a comfortable lead heading into the 15th and advised Norton to stay away from Ali, which he did, possibly giving the fight away. After the bout, even Ali admitted he thought he had been beaten. (Jerry Cooke/SI)
GALLERY: The Best of Muhammad Ali

I’ve had the honor to meet Norton in recent years, but never Ali. Both are warriors, but their present conditions are sad reminders of the price that fighters pay.

siphotos:

Muhammad Ali punches Ken Norton during their 1976 fight at Yankee Stadium. The two fought twice in 1973, splitting the fights, before the ‘76 rubber match. Ali slugged his way to a unanimous decision in 15 rounds. Norton’s own coaches believed their fighter had a comfortable lead heading into the 15th and advised Norton to stay away from Ali, which he did, possibly giving the fight away. After the bout, even Ali admitted he thought he had been beaten. (Jerry Cooke/SI)

GALLERY: The Best of Muhammad Ali

I’ve had the honor to meet Norton in recent years, but never Ali. Both are warriors, but their present conditions are sad reminders of the price that fighters pay.

siphotos:

Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton exchange blows during their 1973 fight in San Diego, the first of their three bouts against one another. Ali would wind up losing a 12-round decision after Norton broke his jaw early in the fight. (Neil Leifer/SI) 
SI VAULT: Ali looking for revenge after broken jaw against Norton (4.23.73)GALLERY: Tribute to Muhammad Ali | Ali’s Greatest Fights

siphotos:

Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton exchange blows during their 1973 fight in San Diego, the first of their three bouts against one another. Ali would wind up losing a 12-round decision after Norton broke his jaw early in the fight. (Neil Leifer/SI) 

SI VAULT: Ali looking for revenge after broken jaw against Norton (4.23.73)
GALLERY: Tribute to Muhammad Ali | Ali’s Greatest Fights

Mayor Adrian Fenty and former heavyweight champ Ken Norton

Mayor Adrian Fenty and former heavyweight champ Ken Norton