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Ali moved to the left and relied almost solely on his jab later in his career because he couldn’t throw the right hand but maybe four times tops per round.Calcium deposits in his knuckles made punching with the right too painful. It’s incredible that he was able to work with limited capabilities after the comeback. Ali did, however, score repeatedly with the right hand lead against Norton because Norton’s head movement was awful. And there are many photos that documented how Ali snapped Norton’s head around. Norton’s advantage was his awkwardness. He scored with looping overhead rights that were good for dramatic effect but did not hurt the champ. The fight was only close because Ali, in his stubbornness, refused to dance. (some say he couldn’t dance anymore) Norton could not cut the ring off when Ali danced and he couldn’t set-up the looping overhead right. Norton was a game fighter but he wasn’t a skilled boxer.

Posted February 17, 2013 9:18 am 


I watched all 3 bouts Norton won all 3 anyone who dosn’t agree is a fool

Posted August 24, 2012 10:06 am 

Dr. Bill

A case could be made that Norton won all three fights with Ali. The second fight was very close, however, and I don’t think one could call Ali’s win there a robbery. The third fight was a robbery, and the first fight almost was – it was not as close as the scorecards made it out to be. Norton’s weakness was that he did not have a great chin, and so was not very good against real sluggers – but Ali was not a slugger, and Norton simply outfought him in the first and third meetings.

Posted August 23, 2012 2:39 pm 


Why don’t you actually provide some evidence for Liston being 41 years old by that time,because thats not even a date most conspiracy theorists are stupid enough to go by.

Posted August 14, 2012 7:28 pm 


Kenny, if you are right, Sonny Liston was 39 years old when he beat Floyd Patterson the first time. It seems that it would have been quite newsworthy, beating Jersey Joe Walcott’s record of being the oldest man to win the title at age 37. That also means Liston didn’t make his pro debut until he was near 29. I know he spent a couple years in jail, but still – something doesn’t add up.

Posted August 13, 2012 2:52 pm 


Kenny Weldon: you cannot be correct when you say that Sonny Liston had a 24 year old daughter when he fought Muhammad Ali the first time. According to the record book, Liston was 32 at the time; he would have had to been 8 years old when he became a father, highly unlikey. Even if you tacked on 5 years to Liston, he would have been 13 when he became a father. Possible, not likely.

Posted August 13, 2012 11:57 am 

hardest era

top respect to all the old time heavyweights chin up

Posted August 13, 2012 10:42 am 


There simply wasn’t any outstanding young heavyweights of any size, strength, and skill during the 1960’s… Don’t say Ernie Terrell because he had no power.. Even little Thad Spencer beat Terrell up.. There was nobody in the 60’s like Norton, Holmes, or Lyle, who could test Ali, or had a good chance to beat Ali. Nevertheless, very small heavyweights like Karl Mildenberger, Doug Jones, and Henry Cooper put real good leather on Ali, but lacked the size, strength, or power to put him away …. In the 1970’s Ron Lyle was actually beating Ali on points when the fight was stopped for no particularly good reason. Lyle had been doing all the fighting and Dundee was screaming at Ali. Lyle said in the 11th he was trying to get Ali to expend some energy and open up, so he could get a better look at Ali’s chin. Lyle was 100% clear headed when the referee stopped the fight, angering the hell out of Lyle who immediately followed the referee around the ring shouting at him.

Posted August 13, 2012 2:26 am 


Spot on.

Posted August 12, 2012 4:42 pm 

the voice of reason

Absolutely norton won these fights – styles make fights and he had ali’s number no doubt about it. You must remember that Ali was a multi million dollar enterprise back then and it wasnt in anyones interests that he should lose.

Posted August 12, 2012 3:57 pm 


It’s good to see all of the honest opinions on this site. I agree nicolas, that J. Young won the Norton fight also, but it was a dandy. I try to discuss boxing with some of my older co-workers and they all claim that Ali was the greatest and never got a gift decision. Of course most of these guys could not name 3 heavyweights today, or even 10 heavies of the past. They all make predictions on up-coming fights, but have never even seen 90% of the fighters in question. What is it about the sport of boxing where everybody thinks they’re knowledgeable. You don’t see this with other sports. If someone knows absolutely nothing about basketball, they usually stay out of the conversation, but with boxing everyone claims expert status. Only on ESB does anyone have the guts and temerity to say that Ali was not the best, and even quite a bit overrated. I applaud the honesty.

Posted August 12, 2012 3:39 pm 

Kid Blast

R.I.P.Michael Dokes who just passed away.

Posted August 12, 2012 1:16 pm 


Ken Norton was a great fighter and did very well in the ring. However one thing I remember about the guy was that he was bit gun shy he didn’t like to mix it up as much as others did especially late in his career

Posted August 12, 2012 9:21 am 

Da UnKnown Comic

Heeeeere come the Ali excuses. Smh. The guy lost man.

Posted August 12, 2012 9:00 am 

Swedish Boxing Fan

Yeah I have also always believed the 3rd fight with Ali vs. Norton was a robbery and that Ken Norton should have won that decision with out any doubts. Ali got some very clucky fight endings after he won the world title from Georgwe Foreman in 1974. Not that Ali was bad but he was almost wiped out by journyman Chuck Wepner, was a lot hurt by Ron Lyle and Earnie Shavers and only won becouse those two hard hitters run out of gas/ bad cut and he was so lucky in the final round against Joe Fraxier in the 3rd fight as well. Ali was DEAD tired and could not even stand while Joe Frazier had one round left in his body but his good eye was so swollen he could almost not see a thing and the fight is stopped in favour to the DEAD tired Mohammad Ali who almsot fell right away when he tried to stand so there you have that, FRazier could have knocked out Ali and won the fight if they had let him out just a minute or 2 and it would be his victory. Ali was not that great as a world champion fighter after he fought George Foreman but still he manged to keep it up and win – with a big portion of luck in the late round. I can’t help it but feel sorry with Lyle, Norton, Shavers, Frazier for falling short against Ali when its clearly they who fought better then Ali in those fights and still lose in the end. George Foreman wanted motre then anything a rematch against Mohammad Ali but Ali ducked him for 2 1/2 years and when it could happen Foreman lost to Jimmy Young and then he had enough and retired.

Posted August 12, 2012 8:13 am 


Get well Kenny. A great and underrated fighter.

Posted August 12, 2012 8:10 am 


David Haye is very fast, very skilled, has unbelievable physical strength and conditioning, and is a tremendous puncher… Haye would have had cross armed Norton out in 2 rounds and would have beaten the defensively porous Ali to death… The K’s are great heavyweights, but I’d like to see Haye get another shot one of them. He came away badly outpointed and out worked by Wladimir, but was completely unhurt, not at all beaten up, and claimed he couldn’t train effectively because of his toe injury… Yeah, it sounded pretty lame but I believe in 2nd chances.

Posted August 12, 2012 5:28 am 


Norton beat ali twice

Posted August 12, 2012 5:03 am 


There was so much hype and BS around Ali back then that you had to knock him out to get a draw. Frazier battered him to get a clear UD but Ali and his fans still claimed that he won. I thought that he may have just won the second fight with Kenny Norton but Norton won 1 and 3 without a doubt. Jimmy Young beat Ali comfortably also but lost to the judges.
Ali was a great fighter against slow guys but he couldn’t deal with speed. Even when he was young people like Sonny Banks, Doug Jones and Henry Cooper gave him fits.

Posted August 12, 2012 4:14 am 


I’ve said it many times: Norton = most underrated HW in history. I hope he pulls through this and has many happy years to come.

Posted August 12, 2012 12:51 am 


I remember watching all 3 fights. Ken Norton won all of ’em. This was that era when Ali was given many gift wrapped fights. I was an Ali fan, but there were these latter day fights that really turned real fight people off of Ali. The 2nd 2 Norton fights were among them. The Jimmy Young fight was another. Anyway hope the best for Ken as he is a nice man

Posted August 12, 2012 12:22 am 


Let’s not get carried away. Norton is not fighting hard, he is lying there being taken care of by a bunch of doctors and nurses. Norton defeated Ali three times but only got credit for one victory.

Posted August 11, 2012 11:21 pm 


We’ll be praying for you Kenny! :smile:

Posted August 11, 2012 11:01 pm 


I couldn’t agree more! The 60’s version of Ali was unbeatable! I also see the 60’s version of Ali stopping Norton late!

Posted August 11, 2012 10:59 pm 

Pistol Pete

Norton fought the 70`s version of Ali the one that was stripped of his title and when he got his license back his legs were gone .If one takes notice in this fight they will see that the only time Norton did well was when Ali was flatfooted and against the ropes.However, when Ali gets off the ropes and starts to move in the later rounds Norton wasn`t landing punches and he was frustrated by Ali`s movement. This shows that Norton did not belong in the same ring with Ali had Norton fought the 60`s ersion of Ali who could dance and move for an entire fight. The 70`s version of Ali lost his legs and ability to move he was flatfooted and so he was easier to hit.The 60`s version of Ali would have blown Norton away with his movement and kept Kenny off-balance and unable to get to him..

Posted August 11, 2012 10:53 pm 


Agreed…..he may not have ever “boxed a masterpiece”, but he certainly “punched a masterpiece” that night. lol. It’s a crime that Norton is not remembered in the same breath with the likes of Frazier, Ali and Foreman. Had he been rightfully awarded the decision, and by a relatively wide margin he would have officially beaten Ali twice. Ali probably would have sought a rematch and likely have been beaten yet again. Norton’s career fate was decided by 3 corrupt officials, Ali would never allow Norton anywhere near him again and Ken had to settle for being “awarded” the title based on his win over Jimmy Young when Neon Leon ducked him. Truly a shame because Norton was better than people remember him.

Posted August 11, 2012 9:31 pm 


Norton wasn’t capable of “boxing a masterpiece.” He was KO’d 5 times and had that cross armed defense. He was extremely vulnerable to punchers. Nevertheless Norton beat Ali 3 times on my cards because Ali was easy to jab, and easy to back up …. The only natural heavyweight (210 plus), who was a truly great boxer, who Ali ever fought was Holmes. Norton was a natural heavyweight who was a fair boxer, and that was good enough to beat Ali.

Posted August 11, 2012 9:00 pm 

Pistol Pete

Ali definitely won this fight.

Posted August 11, 2012 8:56 pm 


Thank you 3-D

Posted August 11, 2012 8:44 pm 


Good posts SANDMAN and UnKnown. You are both correct. Norton was robbed and any honest person will admit it. Get well Ken Norton

Posted August 11, 2012 8:14 pm 


For what it’s worth everyone knows that Norton broke Ali’s jaw in the first fight and beat him like a rag doll for 12 rounds, but the decision was split and the deciding judge had Kenny winning by only 1 point. Disgraceful!!!

Posted August 11, 2012 8:03 pm 


Correction…he accepted the fixed decisions with dignity.

Posted August 11, 2012 7:47 pm 


One of the worst decisions of all time, and has been noted as such by many publications and sports writers throughout the years. Boxing was considered “better off with Ali as it’s champion”. He wasn’t just the house fighter in America he was the house fighter of the world. If Norton had knocked him out they still would have found a way to give the fight to Ali. You would have had to kill the guy to win. Norton won all 3 fights and to his credit he accepted it with dignity. He couldn’t beat the big punchers, but he OWNED Ali, period. God bless Kenny, please get well.

Posted August 11, 2012 7:44 pm 


Da UnKnown Comi – Apparently somebody forgot to tell the Ring Magazine and the judges and referee Arthur Mercante that Norton didn’t win.

Posted August 11, 2012 5:10 pm 


Referee Arthur Mercante Sr, hands-down the greatest ref in history, scored the fight 8 rounds for Ali, 6 rounds for Norton and 1 even. It was a slow fight with close rounds and tough to judge who won certain rounds. It would have been a shame to see the title change hands on this fight, a unanimous decision. The previous 2 Norton/Ali fights ended in split decisions. To be honest, I would have had no problem if this fight was ruled a draw but Ali would have retained the title. There is the old adage that, “You’ve got to knock out the champ to win or score a shutout decision.” Norton was a little too cautious. A year and a half later, Leon Spinks beat Muhammad Ali on a split decision that none of the fans disputed. The Ring Magazine reported that “Leon Spinks took, yes TOOK the title from an undertrained, overconfident champ.” Ken Norton never did that.

Posted August 11, 2012 4:05 pm 


All the best wishes to Norton. Hope he pulls through.

Posted August 11, 2012 11:54 am 

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Ken Norton: He Boxed A Near Masterpiece Against Ali, Yet Somehow Came Up Short

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