Re: Ken Norton's potential Title Reign
Norton would have defended against Shavers within a year or two and got KO'd.
It's that simple.
Norton thought he could beat the limited Shavers and would have been even more confident of doing so had he been champion. A badly faded Ali had beaten Shavers, Holmes had, Lyle had, Quarry had. So had Ron Stander and Bob Stallings, arguably Jimmy Young too.
Norton would have walked into the Shavers trap.
Of course it's worth speculating whether or not Norton could have coaxed Ali into a 4th fight had they both been title-holders in late '78 and through '79.