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.