Ken Norton vs. Jose Luis Garcia (1st meeting)

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Garcia handed the 16-0 Norton his first professional defeat

Ken Norton 207 lbs lost to Jose Luis Garcia 188 lbs by KO in round 8 of 10

  • Date: 1970-07-02
  • Location: Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Referee: Dick Young

"Jose Luis Garcia, 188, a 5-1 underdog, knocked out previously unbeaten heavyweight Ken Norton, in the eighth round of a scheduled 10-rounder Thursday night. Garcia, Caracas, Venezuela, in a gutty performance put the heavier Norton on the deck in the first round and staggered him in the fifth and seventh rounds. In the eighth, Garcia floored Norton again with 15 seconds left. He got up again, and Garcia put him down again just as the bell rang. Norton stumbled to his corner and collapsed. He couldn't even crawl back to his corner and referee Dick Young ended the bout." - United Press International


  • Norton had Garcia's left eye swollen and bleeding by the eighth round.
  • Dr. Bernard Schwartz, examining Norton between rounds eight and nine, indicated he would have stopped the bout before the ninth round if referee Dick Young had not.
  • Olympic Boxing Club Matchmaker Don Chargin wired an offer to Sonny Liston immediately after this bout attempting to make a Liston-Garcia match for August at the Olympic.
  • Norton discussed in his autobiography, Going the Distance, that after he was defeated by Garcia he was given a book that changed his life, Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. He then went on a fourteen fight winning streak that lasted over three years and culminated with his victory against Muhammad Ali.
  • Norton avenged his loss to Garcia five years later by knocking him out in the fifth round of a scheduled 10-round bout in St. Paul, Minnesota.