Ken Norton vs. Randall (Tex) Cobb

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Ken Norton 218 lbs beat Randall Cobb 226 lbs by SD in round 10 of 10


  • Cobb, the WBC's 9th-ranked heavyweight contender, had a record of 17-0 with 16 knockouts.
  • Norton, who had retired the previous year, was fighting for the first time in 15 months. He had a record of 41-6-1 with 33 knockouts.
  • In his previous fight, which took place on August 2, 1980, Cobb stopped Earnie Shavers in eight rounds. Incidentally, Norton worked as the color analyst for the TV broadcast.
  • The fight was billed as "The Battle of the Jawbreakers" as Cobb had broken Shavers' jaw, and Norton was best known for breaking Muhammad Ali's jaw in 1973.
  • The Associated Press reported:
Former heavyweight champion Ken Norton, fighting on instinct and fortitude in the final round, pounded out a close split decision over younger, bigger and undefeated Randall "Tex" Cobb in a late Friday night bout. Norton, wobbly kneed and exhausted from countering Cobb's devastating left jab, barely stumbled to his corner at the end of the ninth round. But he summoned enough strength to batter the equally tired and lumbering Cobb with a series of uppercuts in the center of the ring and capture the 10th and deciding round. The younger fighter was in complete command of the first three rounds, punching his left fist into Norton's face at will while the older fighter sought the ropes and attempted to cover up. Cobb appeared to have Norton in trouble but lacked the speed to land consecutive lefts and rights to the dodging veteran. Norton, his left eye already swelling, began using his superior boxing skill and speed in the fourth round, knifing between Cobb's upraised gloves with a series of scoring counter punches. In that round, Norton landed his only direct blow and caused a trickle of blood to drip from Cobb's nose. Norton said be knew the fight was dead even going into the final round and realized he had to have a superior effort to sway the judges' final decision.

Newspaper Articles

  • "Ken Norton Meets Jawbreaker Cobb" Associated Press, November 7, 1980 [1]
  • "Norton Decisions Cobb" Associated Press, November 8, 1980 [2]