Anyone Give Norton A Chance Against Vitali??

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Fergy, Nov 2, 2020.

Who wins?

  1. Klitschko?

  2. Norton?

  1. dinovelvet

    dinovelvet Antifanboi Full Member

    Jul 21, 2012
    Who is the world class fighter you are referring to?
  2. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    I presume that Norton meets this definition?
  3. sweetsci

    sweetsci Well-Known Member Full Member

    Jan 22, 2008
    If he had four belts to choose from, Ken Norton would've certainly won some "title bouts".

    Multiple "world titles" confuse even hardcore boxing fans.
    choklab likes this.
  4. choklab

    choklab cocoon of horror Full Member

    Dec 31, 2009
    I don’t disagree with you. Ken had better all round attributes. But he was a sucker for a right hand..backed into the ropes looking to counter once he couldn’t force somebody back... which I think played into the hands of bigger punchers with longer arms. Klitschko had a good understanding of distance. All his power was right at the end of his punch. With kens back to the rope, Vitali can still reach Ken at a distance that Ken can’t reach Vitali.

    by hitting Norton on the chin with long right hands.

    Again, I agree with you here. In comparison to Ali, young and Holmes (three men Norton was unable to impose himself to any dominant extent against in real life) Vitali leaves much to be desired. However, Vitali was bigger than all three, durable, game, a long limbed powerhouse with unusual accuracy. A real handful. With a dangerous punch.

    And this works both ways. Ken was not successful in imposing himself on Foreman or Shavers or convince enough against Young, Holmes or Ali when it really counted. Of course he did get one decision over Ali but most agree that neither clearly imposed themselves over the other seeing as they were such close fights that were highly disputed.

    I agree wholeheartedly that Ken was a better boxer than Vitali. But I don’t think it will help by the time he retreats to the ropes as soon as he cannot impose dominance over a taller, hard hitting fighter who for all his ungainly coordination was surprisingly accurate from long range.

    I never said it did.

    and Shavers. And Fireman.

    sanders success against vitali owed largely to having faster hands than Ken Norton, longer reach than Ken Norton. Being an unconventional southpaw.

    have you watched that fight? Many say Ken was fortunate the referee decided to stop the fight. Middletons long range boxing and pace seemed to baffle Norton throughout the fight.

    I am not saying you are wrong to suggest Norton competed at a vastly superior level. I am just disagreeing with you that he beats Vitali. Chiefly because he couldn’t win fights of that magnitude when it mattered. Yes, he beat Ali one time when Ali was not the champion. It was close and so were the other two fights with Muhammad. Nothing much between them. There is an argument that each bout was a draw. Yet Noton had an edge in youth that didn’t play out as an advantage in their last fight. Which is telling.
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  5. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    I disagree. Vitali wasn't a pressure fighter. He was quite happy to try and take charge at ring-center. But he isn't going to manage that against Norton, who is more than capable of improving on Chris Byrd's effort.

    You'd perhaps do well to remember that Byrd was able to back Vitali up.

    That isn't out-smarting Norton though, is it?

    You might as well be clear and simply state that Vitali has a puncher's chance.

    In other words, Vitali was big - which he was but he simply didn't have the skills to go with the size.

    Also - whilst VK is heavy-handed, his power is overrated. There's only so much power a boxer can generate from throwing arm punches.

    That Norton competed at that level on even terms with Ali, Young and Holmes, should suffice for a head-to-head. Plus, he actually does have the win against the Greatest Heavyweight of All-time - so, it doesn't really work both ways.

    Norton proved he could push the envelope. Vitali didn't.

    Vitali does not have anything anywhere near such a win or even a losing performance to compare with Norton's best. In a head-to-head, the performances are what matter, regardless of the W, L or D.

    This seems to pretend at least a couple of things:
    1. that Norton wouldn't be throwing anything at Vitali.
    2. that Vitali took full advantage of his height and reach.

    But you seem all too keen to focus on Ali/Norton 2 and 3.

    I was referring to the period in between these two bouts, which is what you seemed to be referring to, in the comment to which I replied.

    A 38-year-old part-timer in Sanders was not faster than Norton. He did not have a longer reach than Norton and him being a southpaw had little to do with it, either. All Sanders had to do is attack Vitali, in order for the latter to become disorganized.

    Yes, I have - Norton was comfortably ahead on the cards, at the time of the stoppage.

    You do not know that Norton "couldn't" win fights of "that magnitude".

    I'd also suggest that beating Ali was an enormous win, given what Ali would go on to achieve, after his loss to Norton.

    You overestimate the edge Norton had in youth over Ali.

    You underestimate the gap in class between Norton and Vitali.

    Perhaps more important, however, is that you think a Norton/Vitali match would carry the kind of enormity of a Norton/Ali match. I really don't think they compare.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2020
  6. choklab

    choklab cocoon of horror Full Member

    Dec 31, 2009
    The main issue I have with Norton is that Lennox Lewis really struggled to maintain a dominant position with Vitali. I think, ken struggled to find a dominant position in even his best fights. Yes they were against superb fighters of a much higher echelon to herbie hide and co but for any real certainty I would like one commanding performance at high level to go on. One where he was really able to control a good fighter because here, to overcome a giant long puncher he needs to utterly control and impose himself as the boss man at ring centre and really dictate in that role. I didn’t see that from ken. He reacted to a situation and responded. But he wasn’t dictatorial at all and he would need to be here. As Lennox Lewis had to. He really struggled to find that position to beat big Klit. And that’s what Ken has to do here. It’s a big ask in my opinion, whilst still accepting the step up in class of fighter Norton is for vitali.

    A template for what Ken has to do would be what Tim Witherspoon did to Jorge Gonzanlez...but I cannot be as certain ken can quite dictate like that.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2020
  7. dinovelvet

    dinovelvet Antifanboi Full Member

    Jul 21, 2012
    Prime , quick and explosive Lewis struggled to maintain a dominant position over Frank Bruno because Bruno had a hard stiff jab.

    Lewis struggled briefly to maintain a dominant position over Vitali because he was slow as a sloth , old , unmotivated and plodded forward.

    Norton was nothing like that version of Lewis who Vitali failed miserably to keep at a distance.

    By your rationale , Norton would have a harder time against Frank Bruno.
    Man_Machine likes this.
  8. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Nov 24, 2005
    Norton wins.
    Vitali Klitschko never beat anyone good. I give him credit for his come back from that 4 year lay-off but he never beat anyone good. And he wasn't the kind of puncher you'd expect Norton to slip up against.
    dinovelvet likes this.
  9. choklab

    choklab cocoon of horror Full Member

    Dec 31, 2009
    No I think Norton should beat Bruno. But Ken would not beat Sonny Liston.

    you make a great point about the jab being problematic for Ken..until Frank gassed that is. Liston would not gass.
  10. choklab

    choklab cocoon of horror Full Member

    Dec 31, 2009
    I recognise this is a key point. If it wasn’t for the shattering losses to Foreman and Shavers and the lack of a really controlling performance over a good fighter I couldn’t give Vitali even a prayer of winning.
  11. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jun 9, 2010

    It is a big ask and trying to achieve absolute certainty is a fool's errand.

    However, I think you are using inappropriate benchmarks and match-winning criteria, without looking at the context and details. For example, the Lewis/Klitschko bout.

    There's no accounting for just how far Lewis had drifted from his best or for just how poor his conditioning was, going into that fight. The quality of the boxing was so lacking that it is difficult to see how Lewis struggling had more to do with Vitali than it was a situation of Lewis' own making.

    That Vitali himself looked ragged, from round 3 onward, the little defense he had unraveling doesn't help me towards a conclusion that one fighter was taking control over another. It was a slugfest - in which Vitali came off worse.

    The notion that Norton was unable to gain a dominant position in fights seems a bit of a strange comment; especially, when you look at the level of the opponents he was having to compete with, in Ali, Young and Holmes. Vying for position against fighters with good footwork and control of distance is not the same as struggling to find position. Vitali presents no such challenge.

    Norton getting blasted out by Foreman and Shavers is collectively another benchmark you use, which seems to imply Vitali was capable of doing the same.

    Firstly, Vitali was no Foreman. He was not as explosive or as aggressive or as able to cut the ring off, as Foreman. Foreman was blasting people out as a matter of course and had not long done just the same to an undefeated Frazier. It is not an anomaly.

    The Shaver's loss came at the tail end of Norton's career. He was all but totally done by this point and, again, Shavers was an explosive fighter, committing everything to his power from the opening bell. I just don't see this bout as a useful indicator.
    dinovelvet likes this.
  12. rodney

    rodney Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jun 16, 2006
    Give us a break. Norton has no chance at all. Don’t think he would last a couple rounds
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  13. choklab

    choklab cocoon of horror Full Member

    Dec 31, 2009
    Lewis was coming off the two key wins that on paper cement his place in history. Including Vitali, on paper, the last three names on Lewis’s record, Rahman, Tyson and Klitschko..all stopped..are the best wins Lewis ever had. NoBody was talking about Lewis coming to the end after the Tyson fight. Nobody.

    Lewis was with Manny Steward. Are you saying Steward permitted Lewis to go into the ring unprepared against the kind of tall heavyweight Olympian Manny always scouted for? He knew all about the Klitschkos before anybody else did. No way he would have put his name to allowing Lewis to take either of the klit brothers lightly.

    Not many fighters put Lewis under that much pressure. Mavrovic had been able to subject Lewis to fighting at an uncomfortable pace which effected the poise and composure Lewis usually enjoyed. But he was not made as desperate as he was against Vitali...though the boxing was just as bad if you remember. So this is an example of the Steward version of Lewis producing a lower standard of boxing when sufficiently effected by the opponent. As was the case with Vitali.
    BCS8 likes this.
  14. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 30, 2014
    Very interesting to see you making a case for Vitali considering you seem to have an agenda against more contemporary boxers.
    George Crowcroft likes this.
  15. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    Whether Lewis' last three bouts were his best three wins, is a matter of opinion.

    As for "Nobody" talking about Lewis retiring, after Tyson... ...that's just plain wrong. Lewis was indeed contemplating retirement in 2002. One needed only to have read the papers at the time to know this.

    The only thing preventing him from retiring, at that stage, was the promise of more big money coming from a Tyson rematch.

    I'm not sure what you are trying to suggest, here.
    Lewis had a contractual obligation to fulfill, whether Manny Steward liked it or not.

    There's no comparison between the performances put on by Lewis in the Mavrovic and Vitali bouts, respectively. Lewis looked miles better against Mavrovic and boxed very well against an opponent, who turned out to be teak tough.

    Lewis won a wide decision.

    No. This is an example of a Lewis, just short of his 38th birthday, who hadn't fought in over a year, who was under-trained and no longer mentally in the game, paying the consequences, in terms of his performance, but still winning the fight.