Difference between revisions of "Ken Norton"

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== External Links ==
== External Links ==
*[http://www.sdhoc.com/awards/hall-of-fame/boxing/ken-norton/] San Diego Hall of Champions' page about Ken Norton
*[http://www.sdhoc.com/sport/boxing/ken-norton ] San Diego Hall of Champions' page about Ken Norton
*[http://www.usmc-mccs.org/sports/hof/2004-norton.cfm] Marine Corps Community Services: Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame's page about Ken Norton
*[http://www.usmc-mccs.org/sports/hof/2004-norton.cfm] Marine Corps Community Services: Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame's page about Ken Norton
*[http://www.wbhf.org/] World Boxing Hall of Fame
*[http://www.wbhf.org/] World Boxing Hall of Fame

Revision as of 12:22, 9 February 2013

Ken Norton
Class of 1992
Modern Category
Hall of Fame bio:click
World Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee

Name: Ken Norton
Birth Name: Kenneth Howard Norton
Born: 1943-08-09
Birthplace: Jacksonville, Illinois, USA
Died: 2013-09-18 (Age:70)
Hometown: San Diego, California, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 6′ 3″   /   191cm
Reach: 80″   /   203cm
Boxing Record: click

Manager: Bob Biron
Trainers: Eddie Futch (1968-1973), Bill Slayton (1973-1981)

Ken Norton Gallery

Kenneth Howard Norton is a former WBC Heavyweight Champion from Jacksonville, Illinois. He is best known for his trilogy with three-time World Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali.

Born on August 9, 1943, Norton was an outstanding athlete at Jacksonville High School. He was a member of the state championship football team and was selected to the all-state team on defense as a senior in 1960. His track coach once entered him in eight events: He placed first in five events and second in three. As a result, the "Ken Norton Rule" was instituted in Illinois high school sports, which limits participation of an athlete to a maximum of three track and field events. After graduating from high school, Norton went to Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) on a football scholarship and studied elementary education.

Norton started boxing when he was in the United States Marine Corps. He compiled an amateur record of 24-2 and won the All-Marine Heavyweight Championship three times. Norton turned professional in 1967. He developed a style similar to Archie Moore - using a cross-armed defense. Norton attributes the motivational book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, as being very inspirational for him during his boxing career. Norton discussed in his autobiography, Going the Distance, that he was given Think and Grow Rich after he suffered his first boxing defeat to Jose Luis Garcia in 1970 and it changed his life. He then went on a fourteen fight winning streak, including an upset victory over Muhammad Ali by split decision to win the NABF Heavyweight Crown in 1973. (Ali's only loss coming into his first bout with Norton was to Smokin' Joe Frazier and Ali would later go on to defeat George Foreman to regain the heavyweight title in 1974). Norton fractured Ali's jaw and became the second boxer to defeat "The Greatest" in his pro career. They fought again six months later, and Ali beat Norton by a 12-round split decision.

Norton fought George Foreman for the World Heavyweight Championship in 1974. Foreman stopped Norton in the second round to increase his record to 40-0 with 37 knockouts. In 1975, Norton avenged his 1970 loss to Jose Luis Garcia with a 5th round knockout.

In 1976, Norton fought Ali for the third and final time. Ali retained the World Heavyweight Championship when he defeated Norton by a controversial 15-round unanimous decision. The January 1998 issue of Boxing Monthly listed Ali-Norton III as the fifth most disputed title fight decision in boxing history.

In 1977, Norton knocked out previously unbeaten Duane Bobick in one round and beat Jimmy Young in a 15-round split-decision in a WBC title-elimination fight. With the win over Young, Norton became the mandatory challenger for the winner of the upcoming fight between Ali and Leon Spinks. Spinks defeated Ali for the World Heavyweight Championship, but instead of making his first defense against Norton, Spinks chose to have an immediate rematch with Ali. As a result, the WBC stripped Spinks of the title and awarded it to Norton by virtue of his victory over Young.

In his first title defense, Norton lost the WBC title via a 15-round split decision to Larry Holmes in 1978. The September 1998 issue of The Ring listed the final round as one of the "12 Greatest Finishes of All Time." Holmes-Norton is ranked as the 10th greatest heavyweight fight of all time by Monte D. Cox, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization. Larry Holmes said that his bout with Norton for the world heavyweight championship was his toughest fight in a 2009 interview on ESPN SportsNation. Holmes went on to become the second longest reigning World Heavyweight Champion in the history of boxing, behind Joe Louis.

Ken Norton once said "In boxing, and in all of life, nobody should ever stop learning!" [The Ring Magazine, Sept. 1976].

Boxing Factoids

  • The 1998 Holiday Issue of The Ring ranked Norton as the 22nd greatest heavyweight of all-time.
  • Norton received the Boxing Writers Association of America J. Niel Trophy for "Fighter of the Year" in 1977.
  • Norton, a proponent of motivational author Napoleon Hill's writings (e.g. Think and Grow Rich as noted above and Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude by Hill and W. Clement Stone) also received the "Napoleon Hill Award" for positive thinking in 1973.
  • Ken Norton was twice voted "Father of the Year" by the Los Angeles Sentinel and the Los Angeles Times in 1977.
  • Norton appeared in popular TV series (such as The A-Team in a 1983 episode and Knight Rider in a 1986 episode), acted in approximately twenty motion pictures, worked as a television and radio sports commentator, and was a member of the Sports Illustrated Speakers Bureau until suffering temporary brain and permanent physical damage in a near-fatal car accident in 1986. It left him with slow and slurred speech.
  • The character of "Apollo Creed" in Rocky was initially going to be played by Norton. However, when he pulled out, Carl Weathers was selected.
  • His son, Ken Norton Jr., became a star linebacker in the National Football League, winning Super Bowl rings with the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers. He is now the linebackers coach at the University of Southern California.
  • Autobiography: Going The Distance: The Ken Norton Story
  • 1989 inductee into the World Boxing Hall of Fame
  • 1992 inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame
  • 2004 inductee into the United States Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame
  • 2008 inductee into the WBC Hall of Fame
  • 2011 inductee into the California Sports Hall of Fame


What the mind can conceive, the body can achieve.

Whatever you do in your life, always go the distance.

Age is a state of mind.

The most important thing to remember for you youngsters out there with an interest in sports or boxing in particular is to get your education.

Everyone in life should have a goal and they should try and complete it. And if you don't reach it, keep trying. Never give up. By trying, the person wins.

Of all the titles that I've been privileged to have, the title of 'dad' has always been the best.

-Ken Norton

External Links

  • [1] San Diego Hall of Champions' page about Ken Norton
  • [2] Marine Corps Community Services: Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame's page about Ken Norton
  • [3] World Boxing Hall of Fame
  • [4] Ken Norton's page at Fanbase
  • [5] California Sports Hall of Fame
  • [6] Ken Norton's page at the Cyber Boxing Zone
  • [7] A Lesson in Manliness From The Ex-Marine: Ken Norton, The Art of Manliness

Reference Sources

  • [8] Norton named top 1977 boxer, AP, Feb. 28, 1977
  • [9] Ken Norton Thinking of Retirement - If he doesn't get a rematch with Ali, September 30, 1976
  • [10] No. 1 Contender, 1978 N.Y. Times News Service
  • [11] WBC Backs Off on Ali Demand
  • [12] Ali-Spinks Winner Must Face Norton, AP, December 2, 1977
  • [13] Norton-Young Bout May Be for the Title, The Milwaukee Journal, Nov. 5, 1977
  • [14] Norton deserves shot at heavyweight title, by Peter Maas, March 22, 1978
  • [15] The Jim Murray Column, 1973 Los Angeles Times
  • [16] Ken Norton Is Now Fighting Back: Former Champ Is Learning to Talk Again After 1986 Car Accident, 1987 Los Angeles Times
  • [17] The Man Who 'Whupped' Muhammad Ali, Ebony (magazine) June, 1973
  • [18] Ken Norton-Former Heavyweight Champion Of The World Seeks The Truth, 2010 ED MAGIK TV
  • Autobiography: Going the Distance, Norton, Ken; et al. (2000). Sports Publishing, Champaign, IL
  • Biography: Believe: Journey From Jacksonville, Norton, Ken; Hennessey, Donald, Jr. & Amodeo, John (2009). 1st World Publishing, Fairfield, IA
  • The Ring Magazine [page 43], September, 1976
  • [19] Norton: Nobody to Somebody, UPI, April 2, 1973
  • [20] The New Champion, AP, March 20, 1978
  • [21] Norton Has Philosophy Of Success, AP, July 28, 1973
  • [22] Hypnotist Aided Norton - Confidence Key To Upset Of Ali, AP, April 2, 1973
  • [23] The man who broke Ali's jaw is in Meridan, Record-Journal, November 15, 2008
  • [24] Rocky the Movie: The Kenny Norton Story of the Real Apollo Creed? by Joseph de Beauchamp, Boxing News - Saddo Boxing
  • [25] He's Punching Out [article on Norton's retirement] The Miami News, Sept. 25, 1979
  • [26] Ken Norton Jr. helps father overcome crippling injuries, AP, October 4, 1986
  • [27] Ken Norton | Dictionary.net
  • [28] Positive attitude key to Norton's boxing, AP, March 27, 1975
  • [29] Ken Norton: Now He's Fighting For Children, Will Grimsley, AP Special Correspondent, November 10, 1979.
  • [30] Doghouse Boxing news wire article by Don Smith, October 12, 2012

Preceded by:
Leon Spinks
WBC Heavyweight Champion
1978 Mar 29 – 1978 Jun 9
Succeeded by:
Larry Holmes