Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by diehard2294, Sep 18, 2013.
He was 70 years old..RIP
Sorry to hear of this.
I still remember his fight with Ali.
It seems he never really received the credit he deserved as a fighter.
Norton was a tough guy. Gave Ali a harder time style wise than anyone (Frazier included). Had a much harder time against guys who fought moving forward.
His fight against Holmes was one of the best heavyweight title fights I have ever seen.
He was pretty messed up after his car accident, and I know it impacted him the rest of his life.
I'm glad that he and his son patched things up before he died.
I can still remember gathering around a 36" TV set, our entire family (and that's a lot of folks), watching Norton and Ali. In those days, you could watch fights on regular TV and it was a big deal. You would have the whole neighborhood in front of the TV watching Championship Heavy Weight fights.
He was a great fighter and I enjoyed watching him. Always gave you a great fight.
RIP Kenneth Howard Norton Sr.
I went to that fight in Vegas back in 78 it was at Caesars Palace. What a great fight that was. I knew it would be a great fight because Holmes had a style similar to Ali. Holmes had Norton in trouble in the 13th round and appeared he might put him down but Norton survived and the fight ended in a split decision in favor of Holmes.
Back before home pay per view was around they showed a lot of great fights in free TV. Only the real mega championship fights like Ali vs Frazier did they show on closed circuit TV. Nowadays they show just about every fight worth watching on pay per view. The first and second Ali/Norton fights were shown on free TV. One of the best fights I ever saw which was also on free TV was George Forman vs Ron Lyle back in 1975. That was a 5 round knockdown drag out. They took turns putting each other on the canvas with Forman finally outlasting Lyle. You can checkout a lot of these fights on YouTube.
Heck, i saw most of those fights but I should take your advice and just take some time and rewatch them. Good ide KJJ.
They show the complete fights on YouTube. Below is Norton vs Forman for the heavyweight championship back in 1974. Forman had pummeled Joe Frazier just over a year earlier and Norton had beaten Ali almost exactly a year earlier which set the stage for this fight. Forman was the most feared fighter on the planet at that time after what he did to Joe Frazier. Norton usually the aggressor in his fights retreated from Forman respecting his power but ended up getting pulverized in the second round.
As tough as Norton was for Ali, he was absolutely destroyed in some big fights.
Foreman, Earnie Shavers and Gerry Cooney all crushed him within two rounds.
Norton couldn't take a real good punch and the fighters you mentioned who crushed him were all punchers. Both Shavers and Cooney handled Norton with ease but were both beaten by Larry Holmes who out boxed them. Shavers lost to Ali and to Jimmy Young who couldn't punch but was an excellent boxer. Forman's only 2 losses before his decade long retirement were to Ali and Jimmy Young. Styles make fights Norton and Joe Frazier's style gave Ali real trouble but Forman had no problem with either one of them. In second Frazier/Forman fight (below) Frazier changed his style and tried boxing Forman he even attempted the Ali rope a dope. He lasted almost 5 rounds in the second fight before being crushed again.
Yeah, but I watched that Shavers/Holmes fight and truth be told, Holmes should have lost that fight. Shavers had him out on his feet in the earlier rounds. Literally, could have pushed him over had the round been allowed to continue but, they stopped that fight, just as Shavers was ready to knock Holmes out. A piece of tape had come undone from the glove of Shavers, around the wrist. Really had no impact at all on the fight but they stopped the fight and had Shaver's corner retape the glove. That gave Holmes time to regroup, he managed to survive the round and went on to beat Shavers in the later rounds. Shavers was notorious for punching himself out in the later rounds and that's exactly what happened. Shavers was a big, powerful guy but those punches he throw took as much out of him as the ones he received in the fights.
Holmes should have lost that fight, truth be told. That's what wrong with Boxing IMO. Way too much influence on decisions and many times, questionable.
Shavers was a dangerous fighter who had great power. He almost put Ali down in the 2nd or 3rd round of their fight. He rattled Ali with clean right hand which made Ali's legs look like rubber but he survived and got Shavers to punch himself out. I believe that right hand Ali took from Shavers is one of the punches that helped put Ali in the condition he's in today. A lot of those power punchers like Shavers and Ron Lyle would punch themselves out. I use to be a huge boxing fan back in the 70's, 80's and early 90's but lost interest once Tyson faded. There were so many great fighters during the 70's and 80's besides the heavyweights like Sugar Ray Leonard, Hearns, Hagler and Duran. I use to attend fights in Vegas all the time.
Oh yeah. It's really a shame that Boxing has seen such decline. In addition to the guys you named of that era, Arguello, Hearns, Pryor, Mancini, Pacquiao, Sanchez, Whitaker, Taylor, Holyfield (before he became a heavy weight), Ceasar-Chavez, I mean there were tons of them and that's without the Heavyweights.
That one punch didn't make Ali as he is today.
It's the 118 rounds he fought AFTER the Thrilla In Manila, not to mention the beatings he took in training for fights (he would do rope-a-dope for the majority of sparring, and let his sparring partners tee off on him to "toughen up" for his fights). Ali never knocked a person down again after he fought Richard Dunn in 1976. He got beat up pretty good by Shavers (in fact Teddy Brenner, the matchmaker at Madison Square Garden, where the fight was held, refused to stage another Ali fight at the Garden after that fight), Spinks in the first fight, and especially Holmes. The fact that he was allowed to fight against Holmes at all was criminal, and he even had one more fight after that against Trevor Berbick.
The 30 for 30 film about the Ali-Holmes fight was awful to watch. Highlights what a tragedy that whole event was.
It's funny, in a sad kind of way, that Ali fought early in his career like a guy who was afraid of getting hit, and once he found out that he could take a punch, he fought like a guy who would outwill his opponents.
I'm not saying the "one" punch from Shavers made Ali as he is today I'm saying it was one of the many punches that contributed. Ali is in the condition he is today due to the accumulation of punches he took later in his career including during the Thrilla in Manilla. After the Forman fight Ali started entering fights in not the best of shape figuring he would allow opponents to punch themselves out and he would take the decision by coming on strong in the end. He wasn't training properly all he did was lay on the ropes and allow fighters to hit him so they could punch themselves out. It was a few months after his loss to Leon Spinks in 1977 that I started noticing his slurred speech. He appeared tired and listless on the Dick Cavett show talking about his upcoming rematch with Spinks.
Cavett commented that he seemed more relaxed than usual. It was after that interview that many started claiming Ali was punch drunk. When asked about it he would scoff and say he simply had mellowed out. He would joke about being punch drunk he was in denial. Saw an interview with Ali's doctor Ferdie Pacheco and he said prior to Ali's fight with Holmes that Ali failed a reflex test. He said he knew Ali wasn't right and wanted them to cancel the fight with Holmes but it was such a big event with so much money involved they wouldn't. I attended that fight it was sad to watch.
Stallone had the best line about that fight.
He said, "It was like watching an autopsy being done on someone who was alive."
I had a roommate in college who would go off about the Jimmy Young/Ali fight every time boxing was
mentioned... He was beside himself on how Ali "won" that fight.
Ali won that fight off his reputation and the fact that Jimmy Young couldn't punch. Jimmy Young was an excellent boxer/tactician but he had little punching power. He only had 11 knockouts in his 34 wins. He hit Ali a lot but his punches had no affect on him. Had he been able to shake Ali with a shot that might have influenced the decision in his favor. Young also retreated a lot in that fight which was his style of boxing and moving. The fighters who beat Ali came after him they were the aggressors.
It's amazing how "big" boxing matches were back in the 70's and prior. I remember being in 6th grade and debates we had on the Ali/Frazier 3. Everyone would be talking about a big upcoming bought or reminiscing about a past fight. The fighters would appear on "Wide World of Sports" because everyone watched WWS... It was an amazing era to live through.
You don't find that level of excitement for boxing any more.
I got hooked on boxing leading up to the first Ali/Frazier fight in 1971. Everyone at school was talking about the fight and I started seeing interviews with Ali and Frazier and it got me real interested in the upcoming fight. I remember sitting in my room listening to round by round reports of the fight on the radio. From 71 until the mid 90's I was a huge boxing fan. I had boxing magazines all over the place but after Tyson lost to Buster Douglas in 1990 I started slowly losing interest in the sport.
Tyson was in decline and there wasn't that many great fighters out there anymore. The money had gotten so big and the corruption in boxing was getting worse. Fights were being stopped quicker and quicker and some looked fixed. The last fight I watched was the second Tyson/Holyfield fight where Tyson bit Holyfields ear which resulted in the fight being stopped. I completely lost interest in the sport after that. There's clearly not the level of excitement in boxing today like it was years ago.