R.I.P. Ken Norton

Legitimately beat Ali in his prime. Broke his jaw. Great heavyweight.

Yes, and as much as I liked Ali, Norton was an admirable fighter. You couldn’t dislike the guy. The fight against Holmes was epic. I watched that fight on TV and the 15th round was unlike anything I had ever seen before. The back and forth was something the WWE would be proud of. Yet, these two were really banging each other.

Norton was a great heavyweight boxer but he fought at a time where there were some really great heavyweights.

Here’s a nice piece on Norton:


As SY said, R.I.P.

Ddamn! I remember watching him fight back in the '70s, during the great heavyweight era. He was amazing, tons of power in both hands.

RIP Mr. Norton.

Made a Damn Fine Motorcycle.

For the youngsters who weren’t around at the time, and for us older folks who just have a distant memory, here’s the 15th round (the whole fight is at there, in excellent quality video and audio, but I linked right to the start of the 15th round).

Man, that’s a lot of flashbulbs.

Ken Norton, star of Mandingo.

He also boxed.

Norton’s son, Ken Junior (from whom he was estranged for many years), is the answer to one of my favorite sports trivia questions.

Who is the only man to play for the winning team in 3 consecutive Super Bowls?

Ken Norton Jr. was a linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys (with whom he won two straight Super Bowls) and the San Francisco 49ers, with whom he won a 3rd straight Super Bowl ring.

Yes, he was something else back in his prime, a helluva physical specimen. I can still picture the pizza place from which we watched him fight Holmes in '78, so stunning was the bout it’s indelibly etched in my mind. I cheered on Ken Jr. for a few years and am glad to see they were finally able to set their differences aside.

I don’t remember where I heard this story, but it was a credible source.

Some guy on the Mandingo set: Wow, that’s quite a physique. You play any ball?
Norton: Nah, I’m just an actor.

I’m ashamed to say that I was such a big Ali fan that I resented Norton for beating him, so I was glad when George Foreman just destroyed him. It was a bizarre fight — Norton looked like one of those dummies that falls down and bounces back up after you hit it, because he would be headed for the canvas and then bounce off the bottom rope so Foreman could hit him again. Never saw anything like it before or since.