Ken Norton in the 1940s

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by InMemoryofJakeLamotta, May 14, 2024.



  1. InMemoryofJakeLamotta

    InMemoryofJakeLamotta I have defeated the great Seamus Full Member

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    So Norton turns pro on December 31 1939. Does he dethrone Joe Louis? Does he become HW champion after the retirement of Joe Louis by beating Charles or Walcott? Is he knocked out by Elmer Ray, Lem Franklin or Buddy Baer?
     
  2. HistoryZero26

    HistoryZero26 Member Full Member

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    He is top 2 for sure. Maybe at time Buddy Baer challenges him he probably doesn't.

    Later on HW will slowly morph into bloated LHWs and Nortons career could go a long time because of this. Maybe just maybe he lasts to fight Ali in Moores place. Loses a competitive decision. Sometimes the more things change the more they stay the same.
     
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  3. Ney

    Ney Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Norton would never get near beating Louis. That’s a terrible match for him.
     
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  4. Stevie G

    Stevie G Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Ken would have had a good shot at beating any 1940s heavyweight with the exception of Joe Louis. Joe would have stopped Ken early.
     
  5. Kid Bacon

    Kid Bacon All-Time-Fat Full Member

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    I think Kenny does very well in the 40s. Only pre WWII Joe Louis would be clearly superior.
    Actually, I think Kenny has a very good chance of beating a post WWII Joe Louis.
     
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  6. PRW94

    PRW94 Active Member Full Member

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    Kenny Norton ain't in the same solar system as prime Joe Louis, he would get plastered and it might very well be Foreman redux. 1947 forward, he would be competitive against Louis.

    Against others ... he would absolutely be a contender and win his share but there always struck me as being an air of inconsistency around Kenny, that he just wasn't destined to ever reach his full potential and I think it would be the same then as in the 1970s.

    He's the one man who for whatever reason was Ali's kryptonite, sometimes in a way that seemed even more so than Frazier, and his rep gets inflated a bit because of that although I was a huge fan in real time. Maybe I'm babbling but I'm not prepared to say that he would for sure wipe out the rest of the heavyweights of that era even if he should.
     
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  7. HistoryZero26

    HistoryZero26 Member Full Member

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    In a division that usually lacked a clear solid number HW 2(the Baer bros being the closest thing) I am somewhat confident that Norton would be that number 2.
     
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  8. PRW94

    PRW94 Active Member Full Member

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    I am confident that he SHOULD. I am not confident that he WOULD. And of course we'll never know for sure.
     
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  9. InMemoryofJakeLamotta

    InMemoryofJakeLamotta I have defeated the great Seamus Full Member

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    You think he beats Walcott and Charles?
     
  10. RockyJim

    RockyJim Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Norton gets stopped by any big puncher no matter when he fights....1930's...1940's,,,1950's...into the 1960's...
     
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  11. PRW94

    PRW94 Active Member Full Member

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    Peak Walcott and Charles? Nope. Although he would have the decided physical edge, That’s the reason for my hesitation at “Norton would wipe them all out.” I think in one of your polls I picked Walcott over him and said Walcott had the potential to make him look ridiculous,

    Some of my personal biases with Norton are coming out in this thread. I was a MASSIVE Norton fan in real time. But Kenny disappointed me. A lot.

    The man had as many physical tools as anyone who ever stepped in a ring and what happened that afternoon in San Diego in 1973 sealed his legend for all time. There were the other two Ali fights that were memorable. There was the Holmes fight where he shone.

    But what else did the man do that made him so historically memorable? Foreman slaughtered him. Frazier would have if they’d fought. Shavers and Cooney did when he was old but stylistically wrong for them at any point in his life.

    What’s his other big signature accomplishment? Quarry, who’s horribly overrated here?

    I fall into it myself, I have the guy 25-30 (it’s early and I can’t remember exactly) on my own ATG list. But I think sometimes we get ahead of our skis with him because of what he was capable of doing, and because of the Ali trilogy and everyone thinking he won in Yankee Stadium. Maybe he should have but someone really with the “it” that gets you from potential to actual results would have left no doubt.

    And should anyone really consider Norton to be in the solar system of someone like Ali just because he gave Ali fits for some reason?
     
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  12. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo VIP Member Full Member

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    If he were trained by a similar trainer to Eddie Futch he’d be a regular contender who would win some and lose some. Without a Futch-Like trainer he’d get lost in the murderers row list of mostly forgotten names. Also part of what made him successful in real time was that he was an elite athlete his whole life who excelled in multiple sports. If he were a professional fighter in the 1940’s then who knows what sports opportunities would have been available to him when he was growing up in the 20’s and 30’s due to racial segregation
     
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  13. Ney

    Ney Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Interesting points.
     
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  14. guilalah

    guilalah Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Ken could throw wrenches into boxer-engines while delivering fair sting. I think Norton might do well against Louis, until Louis starts doing well with Norton. Which (unfortunately for Ken) would happen sooner than sixteen rounds ......
     
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  15. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Ken Norton was a big puncher, we found that out on the afternoon of March 31 1973 when he decisioned Muhammad Ali in San Diego California, breaking Ali's jaw in the process. But Norton had a big weakness, he could not take it from bigger punchers like prime George Foreman, Jose Luis Garcia, Earnie Shavers and Gerry Cooney although the last two named opponents came at the tail end of his career.
     
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