After Muhammad Ali was awarded the decision victory over Ken Norton at Yankee Stadium in September 1976,
he took a much needed vacation, overseas to Europe.
In October of 1976, while in Istanbul, Turkey, Muhammad Ali announced his temporary
retirement from boxing.
At the same time, Teddy Brenner, President and Matchmaker of MSGB
(Madison Square Garden Boxing) were attemting to stage a bout between the
then unbeaten 'White Hope' Duane Bobick and the champion.
Madison Square Garden was attemting to get an agreement and signed contracts to stage a fight
in February 1977 at the famed arena.
In the meantime, Teddy Brenner was also in contact with Bob Biron, Ken Norton's manager in
San Diego, California.
Brenner was hoping that if the Ali vs. Bobick championship bout fell through,
Norton would sign on to fight Bobick for the vacant championship.