Just How Great a Heavyweight Was Ken Norton?

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


  1. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Do I put Norton above certain champions? Hell yeah! Would you compare Seldon, Witherspoon, Douglas, McCall, Johannsen, or Thomas to Norton? I certainly wouldn't.
     
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  2. juppity

    juppity Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Norton was a great natural athlete. Norton said one of the biggest regret in boxing was never lifting weights. A fighter who definitely would have benefited from modern sports science.
     
  3. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Well-Known Member Full Member

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    He even wrote in an early how-to book that lifting would inhibit both one's speed and stamina, and make a person stiff.

    To an extent I believe this, too...and I know for a fact Dundee prohibited that.
     
  4. juppity

    juppity Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I read the same book. However Norton said this post career.
     
  5. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Well-Known Member Full Member

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    LOVE that book! I was sixteen back in '84 when I read it, and that was the book that first taught me how to step in with the jab.

    Ironic, because the jab was Norton's most underused, at times extremely impressive punches. He's one of those fighters who would have had a championship earlier had he incorporated that punch far more imo.
     
  6. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Actually, I need to find that book again...
     
  7. juppity

    juppity Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Norton was a late starter to boxing and only had 20 odd AM fights. He did extremely well in his era considering the AM background of Ali , Frazier and Foreman all Olympic Gold Medalists.
     
  8. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

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    If anyone could be a great fighter with a major train flaw it was Norton. He has size, speed, reach, conditioning, athleticism, defense, a terrific jab, very good two handed power .. he gave three amazing fighters, Ali, Holmes and a prime Jimmy Young, the fights of their lives .. that said , we all know that Norton was suspect able to freezing up when backed up by a big puncher and it resulted in losses to Garcia, Foreman and Shavers in decisive fashion .. it is not just that Norton lost to those men but the way he lost .. fast, decisively, showing a severe deficit in his skill set that to me kenos him from being an all time great ... the flaw was significant ...
     
  9. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Well-Known Member Full Member

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    This is a good argument imo. Norton was completely blown away by Foreman...however, so was Joe Frazier, (twice) and he makes the top ten ATGH lists regularly.

    There are also people Ken could have fought and mysteriously didn't (Frazier...not sure what happened there, and I'm probably forgetting a couple others). I always wondered if perhaps Ken learned something sparring with Joe (or vice versa) that ensured a pro matchup would never happen
     
  10. robert ungurean

    robert ungurean Богдан Full Member

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    Is this the Al Bernstein book on how to Box that used pics of Norton throughout?
     
  11. robert ungurean

    robert ungurean Богдан Full Member

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    What does it matter that Quarry was ONLY 29. He started boxing when he was 7. When his Dad controlled camp he instructed full 100% sparring fights with no headgear.
    Zannon was kicking the crap out of a fat Quarry with nothing left but a punch. That punch finally caught Zannon in what the 9th? and Zannon chose not to continue. Quarry retired again if memory serves me correct until he needed money again.
    The brain disease was most likely taking form by the Norton fight.
    Just a bad example to use here on your part. That's all I'm trying to say.
     
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  12. klompton2

    klompton2 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Quarry knocked Norton out cold in sparring in the Main Street gym in 1970 while Norton was preparing for Garcia. Later two different LA promoters tried hard to match Norton and Quarry several times and it was always Norton who avoided that fight. The idea that Norton should get credit for beating a fat out of shape coked up Quarry years later is laughable when we can use Norton's age as an excuse for his later losses. Its similarly laughable to claim that Norton was robbed in the third Ali fight (or even worse the second) yet state with absolute confidence that Norton beat Young. Give me a break. Young beat Norton more convincingly than Norton beat Ali in either of their last two fights. Lets talk about how old Norton was against Cooney and Shavers and ignore that when Norton fought Ali their third time Ali had WAY more miles on his odometer against WAY more threatening competition WAY more consistently than Norton ever did. Of course Norton's KO losses are brushed aside as saying everyone could lose to those punchers but its ignored that Norton was dropped and hurt badly several times throughout his career or in sparring and not by legendary punchers. Look, the facts dont lie, the guy had a glass jaw and thats why he froze against bangers. There seems to be a bizarre double standard for Norton.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  13. robert ungurean

    robert ungurean Богдан Full Member

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    I didnt know about the sparring session. Learned something new today!!!
    I just dont like when people no matter who they are give credit to Norton for beating this version of Quarry. Quarry by this point was done and should not have been in a ring. The people he trusted to look out for him ....well I wont even go there.
     
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  14. Glass City Cobra

    Glass City Cobra Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Id say you could definitely make a case for him being top 25 if not 20.

    H2h as long as its not a brutal savage iron chinned puncher he can give a lot of guys problems. Easily top 15 if it becomes a technical boxing match.
     
  15. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Well-Known Member Full Member

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    You know that might be exactly it, thank you.
     
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