Just How Great a Heavyweight Was Ken Norton?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by RulesMakeItInteresting, May 12, 2019.



  1. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Member Full Member

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    This seems at times contentious due to his being the victim of some terrifying knockouts. But I can't see compiling a top fifteen list excluding this great fighter.

    What are your feelings on the subject?
     
  2. Chuck1052

    Chuck1052 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Ken Norton was a fine fighter, but probably not a great one. While doing quite well in bouts with Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes and Jimmy Young, Norton could not cope with the hard punchers in the heavyweight division. As a result, he had to be matched carefully.

    - Chuck Johnston
     
  3. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    2-1 vs Ali on fair scorecards. Almost beat a prime Holmes. Did not match up well vs punchers. A similar resume in comparison to Joe Frazier.

    Had Ali vs Norton 1 been 15 rounds, Norton likely gets the TKO.

    I view him as a top 25 ATG heavyweight.
     
  4. Webbiano

    Webbiano Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    This is only hypothetical and quite cynical, but if you take away the Ali fights his resume isn’t really that impressive
     
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  5. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Member Full Member

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    I have Norton winning the first and third Ali fights and scoring a draw on the second, and I doubt I'm alone on all of that.
     
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  6. klompton2

    klompton2 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Norton is beyond overrated based on stylistically giving Ali problems. Beyond that his resume is paper thin. Hes the only HW champion to never win a title fight and the fight he won that they used as justification for handing him his paper title (Young) could have easily gone the other way. He should have never made it into the HOF. Hes an average fighter that made his name giving a great fighter problems. Even his fight with Holmes hes given way too much credit for. Im always mystified at people who think that was a back and forth war. There were mayb a handful of rounds in which Norton gave the injured Holmes problems but a good ten or more of those rounds Holmes was well in control and outboxed Norton. Its just that people remember those exciting rounds more than the others. Hes overrated in my opinion.
     
  7. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    Paper thin resume? Average fighter? Really?

    Wins over Ali likely twice makes the resume a good one alone. Then there are wins over Quarry, Young, Bobbick ( Rated #5 at the time ), Stander and an averaged loss to Garica. You do think Norton won the 3rd Ali fight, correct? I don't want to put any words in your mouth. You can clarify.

    In truth, Norton looked better than Joe Frazier vs. Quarry and Stander and has a close resume to Frazer.

    Did I mention Norton lost a very close match to Larry Holmes? Holmes won 10 rounds of the 15 rounds you say? Few would agree with that. It was a close fight.

    Norton fought Ali 3x, Holmes, Foreman. This is 5 fights vs three top 10 all-time heavyweights. For sure, like you said his resume is paper thin.
     
  8. BCS8

    BCS8 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Norton was a very good fighter that posed some difficult stylistic questions to greater heavies, the same as lesser fighters than him could pose equal problems to him through their attributes.
     
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  9. SuzieQ49

    SuzieQ49 Officer Full Member

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    Quarry was in dreadful shape and arguably washed up when he got in the ring with norton

    There is no debate Frazier fought the much better version of Quarry in 69
     
  10. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    I would not say Quary was in dreadful shape. Quarry was 29 , two years ago he beat both Lyle and Shavers. Norton blitzed him impressively and beat him better than Frazier did. I do agree Quarry was better in 1969, though with his mind you never really know. Quarry should have boxed Fraizer. He opted to slug. Stupid tactics. Norton gave Quarry no chance to box or slug. Watch it.

    After the loss, Quarry beat Zanon, who probably ranked at one point and fought Holmes in a title match.
     
  11. robert ungurean

    robert ungurean Богдан Full Member

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    BS
    Quarry was shot and completely out of shape to boot. He didn't belong in the ring that night against Norton.
    Norton lost to Young let's be honest.
    Holmes beat Norton clean.
    I like Norton. Liked his style but it is what it is.
     
  12. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    Shot fighters do not beat contenders, Quarry did after the loss. Norton made him look bad.

    I disagree Holmes vs Norton was close.

    Jimmy Young made it hard on himself to win rounds due to his defensive style.

    " Through the early rounds Norton pressed his savage body attack, with Young trying to slow him down with jabs. In the third Norton pounded two punches to the body and then caught Young on the chin with a short, savage hook. Young staggered back, shaking his head. Later he said it was the only punch that had really hurt him. The attacks ebbed and flowed; seldom were both fighters at rest.

    Through the first nine rounds Norton kept boring in and scoring to the body; Young kept surviving, but also scoring with jabs, right-hand leads and occasional flurries. Then Young switched his attack and became more aggressive. He opened up with heavier guns. Well, heavy guns for him. He was in command from then through the 14th round, and it was at that point that Ali, who was in the front row, leaped to his feet to scream, "I don't want to fight Norton again. Beat him, Young! Beat him!"

    In the corner
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    told Norton that he needed to win the 15th round. Across the way Young's people figured they had the fight locked up.
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    , Ali's trainer, had sent word that he thought Young was out in front. "I always did go for a boxer," Dundee said later.

    Storming out, Norton picked up his attack to the body. Young went to work on the head. With so much at stake, neither dared to pause. For the full three minutes they banged each other about the ring. Then it was over. Norton had won the last round."

    Sounds like Norton won the fight in the first nine rounds , and the last ( On the cards ), with Young doing well from rounds 10-14
     
  13. Reinhardt

    Reinhardt Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Norton is probably a #20 all time great,
     
  14. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    Norton didnt give Ali problems. He beat him at least 2 out of 3. He beat Young who was a good contender at the time. The Quarry win was mostly name recognition.

    Kenny Norton fought alot of good fighters. Even some great. Overall I rate him as very good, very skilled heavyweigbht. Not quite great though that is subjective but perhaps if he had come along 5 years later he may have. been the cream of the crop.
    Norton was an intelligent boxer and person....he had class. One thing that was cool was the way Ali and Norton interacted. They had a sporting rivalry and they were good friends. Nothing nasty and that was because of Kenny Norton. He had a swag Ali couldn't even fuk with.

    Im more of a fan now after reading his autobiography. It's not a great book but when he had that car accident I don't know just how extremely damaged he was. He suffered like I wouldnt wish on my worst enemy.
    He had to fight to live and learn to talk again every bone broken. Among other things talked raspy after that cause of the accident ironically folks assume it was from boxing .

    In about 2 years he was able Function and get around. He showed his champions heart in that situation. If you read the account of his injuries it will humble you.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  15. Vince Voltage

    Vince Voltage Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Norton beat Ali all three times in my opinion, and got robbed of his full legacy. Foreman was always going to hold the trump card against him, but anyone else during that time would have been fair game, including Shavers and Cooney, whom he fought after essentially losing his spirit after all the close losses.
     

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