September 18, 2013
Former boxing champ Ken Norton dies at 70
By The Sports Xchange
Former heavyweight champion Ken Norton died Wednesday at a Las Vegas care center, according to media reports citing comments by his son.
Norton, who fought Muhammad Ali three times, beating him once and losing two other times, was 70, his son said.
Norton had suffered several strokes and had been in poor health in recent years.
Norton's first fight with Ali came in 1973, when he not only beat Ali by a split decision in a non-title bout in San Diego, but also broke Ali's jaw in the process with a single punch.
The pair had a rematch six months later and Ali turned the tide, beating Norton, also in a split decision.
They met for a third and final time, in a heavyweight championship bout in 1976 at Yankee Stadium, and Ali beat Norton by a narrow decision.
Norton won the World Boxing Council heavyweight championship in 1977, but his reign was short lived as he lost in June 1978 to Larry Holmes in a fight that went the full 15-round distance.
Norton's career record was 42-7-1, with 33 knockouts. After he retired from the ring, Norton went into acting as well as broadcasting.
He was nearly killed in a car crash in 1986, but recovered.
His son, Ken Norton Jr., played in the NFL for 13 seasons, and is now an assistant coach for the Seattle Seahawks.