If you were Norton's Coach, What is your gameplan for his Fight with Earnie Shavers ???

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by OP_TheJawBreaker, Jun 25, 2021.

  1. salsanchezfan

    salsanchezfan Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Not sure Ken had the durability or style to ever make this more than a 50-50 proposition, but I'd rather he try to back up Shavers with that jab and smother his counter-efforts rather than try to just bomb him out. This probably means tweaking his defense because the cross-armed defense coupled with smothering the opponent means lots of opportunities for Shavers' uppercut.
  2. KasimirKid

    KasimirKid Active Member Full Member

    Jun 1, 2018
    In my experience watching Shavers, he had stamina issues, so I would build a plan for Norton based on that premise. Patience with a plan to step up the action after a few rounds and then gradually turning up the heat even more as the fight progressed. As for those who would counsel him to start out bombing, if Norton could come up with a strategy for coming out of the corner and catching Shavers by surprise with one early shot, then fine. But in the likely event that he missed with it, he then should have immediately fallen back into his long-term plan and bided his time. I admit that it is an open question as to whether Norton in 1979 had the stamina himself to carry out this plan, but he had gone 15 rounds with Holmes in a very close fight less than a year earlier so I don't see why he couldn't have have done it.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2021
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  3. Dubblechin

    Dubblechin Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    Ken Norton had a strong jab and it was good enough that he was able to match Holmes and Ali jab-for-jab over four fights.

    Against Shavers, though, he walked right out and went toe to toe with Earnie.

    If Ken circled and popped the jab for the first three rounds, he likely could've turned the trick.

    Earnie was never good at slipping jabs. He would just put his gloves up over his face.

    Earnie started quick against most, but he tended to slow down in the middle rounds and that is when a lot of guys who survived the early rounds against him got back in the fight and found success.
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  4. JabbaTheGut

    JabbaTheGut Member Full Member

    Sep 17, 2019
    Hit the body for five rounds but get in and out doing it, then go for the head and body in the late rounds. I believe Norton could've won that way by KO but maybe he was truly shot after Holmes.
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  5. choklab

    choklab cocoon of horror Full Member

    Dec 31, 2009
    Ken was always a bit of a plodder. But he could really jab. The first Ali fight, his jab bothered Muhammad..but Ken came to neglect it a bit after this.

    If I were Ken’s coach I would tell him to keep Ernie on the end of the jab, time it. control the distance with a good double jab And take the centre ring. Change direction. Change the distance. Work off the jab then attack when he can aiming to catch Earnie loading up and over reaching.

    This is all possible within the plodding style of Ken. He just needs to really dictate early.

    The shavers fight went all wrong for Ken, but it’s a fight Norton might have won.

    Earnie was so darn dangerous..but he was just as vulnerable too. A switched on Quarry exposed him just like a switched on Norton took out Dwayne Bobick, a fight that Norton was really up for.

    You just can’t give a guy like Earnie a punchers chance. Maybe Norton was a bit too casual that night and paid a price but you can’t knock Shavers for taking care of business. He kept the steam on once he tagged Kenny and took his chance with both hands.
  6. Lenny

    Lenny Member Full Member

    May 23, 2021
    Not fight him. Norton was a pro's pro.... but what happened every time he fought a puncher.? We all know they can punch but i am talking about those special guys who separate themselves from anyone else.....Management has to know better. Norton was a classy fighter but certain guys could walk right through him. Explain the fights with Ali and Holmes vs. Shavers and Cooney. The more i read, the more I listen. guiding the athlete to the right place or opponent is so important. Norton should have had better. Look at how handlers managed Mancini.....that was textbook.....
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  7. Kamikaze

    Kamikaze Afraid of Baboons... Full Member

    Oct 12, 2020
    Ken just couldn’t fight in his wheel house with that kind of pressure. Mental weakness was his down fall there he needed to halt Earnie’s steam as soon as he could and turn it into a boxing match.
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  8. Kamikaze

    Kamikaze Afraid of Baboons... Full Member

    Oct 12, 2020
    And how does he do that?
  9. OP_TheJawBreaker

    OP_TheJawBreaker No one hit like that guy! Full Member

    Jun 23, 2021
    He lost cuz he was being defensive, He was letting Shavers attacking him. If you look his fight with quarry He landed his punch first and Shavers was finished. But unlike Quarry, Norton is better at finishing opponents if he got his signature punch connected, Like I said, Shavers power indeed is a threat but if He forced shavers to shell up and back up& hit him with combinations I still believe he could KO Shavers
  10. djanders

    djanders Boxing Addict Full Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    IMHO: A slugger/puncher was all wrong for Norton. His only real winning move against hard slugger/punchers, such as Foreman or Shavers or Liston/Wilder (if they had been around then) was not to fight them, unless he or his people thought the money was worth the probable loss. Kenny was a really good fighter, but not great...certainly not great enough to overcome the style problems a good, or even fairly good, puncher/slugger could present to him.
  11. Dubblechin

    Dubblechin Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    I don't know. Holmes could punch (he stopped just about everyone first time around). Ali could punch (he stopped Foreman, Frazier, Lyle, Liston, Quarry, etc.). Quarry could punch. Bobick could punch. Norton fought guys who were very good punchers. But once he got hurt bad against Foreman and Shavers, he didn't really have the skills to kill time until he recovered.

    Lots of guys beat Shavers. His win over Norton was an upset for a reason. Ken just fought the absolute worst fight. If you jabbed Earnie, he stopped punching and put his gloves over his face.

    The jab was the key. But Ken just covered up, backed up to the ropes, started hooking with Shavers, and it was over.

    Norton's manager, Bob Biron, had surgery for a brain tumor a couple months before the Shavers fight, never recovered, and died at the end of '79. Norton initially retired after Biron died, but decided to come back.

    That may have had something to do with his terrible fights that year, since he basically didn't have the manager he had throughout his career because he was dying.

    He definitely could've fought smarter against Shavers.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2021
  12. daverobin

    daverobin Well-Known Member Full Member

    Oct 30, 2015
    I would tell him fight him in the Center of the ring / no laying off the ropes counterpunching Earnie / middle of the ring using a stiff jab and a very straight right hand / and pushing Earnie backwards during clinches - so Earnie has less Leverage going backwards on his right hand - also bang Earnie to the body / hit Earnie on the arms / elbows /
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  13. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    Perhaps. I think Shavers would always have been a dangerous fight for Norton
  14. choklab

    choklab cocoon of horror Full Member

    Dec 31, 2009
    I don’t think it is as simple as that. Norton was too good a fighter to always lose to a certain style of fighter.

    shavers himself was quite vulnerable. In these situations it’s more a case of who gets off first rather than one style always being the answer.

    The way Norton tore after Bobick was no different to the way Quarry tore into Shavers.

    if Norton got the upper hand first..Earnie could have been toast.
  15. Reinhardt

    Reinhardt Boxing Addict Full Member

    Oct 4, 2016
    Yep, with all this talk of what Norton should have done the fact is Shavers stormed out of his corner and attacked Norton from the git go and Norton retreated ending up on the ropes. As everyone knows Norton couldn't fight backing up so maybe he should have stood his ground and threw overhand rights. The results might have been the same but if he had nailed Earnie he could have hurt him like Quarry did.
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