What changes could Ken Norton have made to fare better against big hitters?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by ThatOne, Feb 25, 2022.

  1. ThatOne

    ThatOne Well-Known Member Full Member

    Jan 13, 2022
    Please discuss. Thank you.
  2. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 16, 2019
    I think that Ken Norton could have shored up his defensive skills by being more of a boxer, kind of like Archie Moore, who had a crab like defense like Norton did. Ken might want to box against punchers, or use his punching style against light fisted boxers.
  3. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    I don't know if he could've.

    Possibly kept his weight down, retaining his quickness when he was in the low 200's. Instead of lifting weights, bulking up, I won't call him muscle bound but he lost some hamdspeed. This probably would apply more to his later KO loses to Shavers and Cooney.

    Being knocked out by 1973 George Foreman is something that was inevitable if you happened to be a heavyweight boxer in the 70s. It doesn't necessarily suggest a bad chin. Just Norton was human.
  4. Reinhardt

    Reinhardt Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Oct 4, 2016
    Ken had to come forward to be successful, once he had to back up he was in trouble. Whether he could have learned that skill , I don't know, you are what you are.
  5. Rollin

    Rollin Active Member Full Member

    Nov 17, 2021
    Don't fire Eddie Futch. Period.

    Ken himself admitted he would be at least a 1/4 more or a fighter if he never fired Eddie, and that it was the biggest mistake of his professional career. Furthermore, his second team believed Kenny needed positive reinforcement instead of criticism, while Futch had an old-school no-nonsense attitude and demanded discipline. Ken proved times again he needed the latter.

    How did Norton lose Ali-Norton II (granted, he still had Futch in his corner in this one): he tried to bob and weave an go all Frazier on Ali instead of following the game plan from the first fight. Eddie said as much. He failed to follow his corner and payed the price. Lesson learned, except there is the fallout with Futch and he never gets the chance to finish his product. Norton still gets a razor close decision that could be his with different judges. Afterwards a different trainer took over, which worsened the tactical aspect of Norton's game. Futch wouldn't tell Norton to ease on Ali in the 15 round of their rubber match, the very round that lost it for Ken because his trainer told him to play it safe. Regarding the three infamous losses:

    1) George Foreman. Both in their prime and Norton has to face one of the best versions of Foreman the world has ever seen. No shame in losing to this expertly drilled and fully determined killing machine. Nonetheless, Ken failed to follow the plan of boxing Foreman when he realized he can't establish his jab (disarming and pressuring his opponent was Foreman's forte) and decided to trade power punches. There wasn't much he could do, but going berserk was not a wise tactical decision either. I can't see it happening with Futch.

    2) Earnie Shavers. Norton was never well prepared nor determined after the Ali-Norton III, only breaking the habit for Holmes fight since Larry made it personal. Otherwise, he was faded. Worse yet, he decided it's either him or Shavers and there is no point in boxing. His corner somehow didn't persuade him to simply fight a cerebral fight he was capable of fighting. Again, can't see it happening with Eddie.

    3) Gerry Cooney. Shot to bits. Nuff said.

    Bottom line is, Futch would by Ken admission help him technically, and in my book, would hold him on a tighter leash as well. Ken might not lose motivation with him in his camp as well.
  6. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Boxing Addict banned Full Member

    Mar 26, 2011
    That's it exactly his ,"back foot in the bucket style," meant he was clumsy backing up ,and always going to be in trouble against aggressive ,come forward punchers.
  7. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Boxing Addict banned Full Member

    Mar 26, 2011
    Good post!
  8. rodney

    rodney Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jun 16, 2006
  9. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Boxing Addict banned Full Member

    Mar 26, 2011
  10. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 30, 2014
    Excellent post except for one thing I can't agree "Norton tried to go all Frazier on Ali", Norton was as good as he ever was against Ali. Ali was just better than him on that night. Futch himself even said after the first bout (which interestingly he along with Frazier scored a draw) that Norton would've never beat the Ali of three years prior.
  11. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Boxing Addict Full Member

    Mar 23, 2019
    I have to agree, Ken was firing on all cylinders that night. It's just that Ali felt he had a lot to prove and showed it...that might have been the last time he showed flashes of his former brilliance. It's actually a really good fight to watch from a tactical level. I know many people feel Ali pulled it out in the 12th but I disagree, he was the overall more impressive fighter that night.
  12. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    He seemed to be open to uppercuts and clubbing rights. Maybe improve his defense against those ?
  13. OP_TheJawBreaker

    OP_TheJawBreaker NOBODY hit like that guy! Full Member

    Jun 23, 2021
  14. NoNeck

    NoNeck Pugilist Specialist Full Member

    Apr 3, 2012
    Lots of steroids and bulk up to 250.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2022
    cross_trainer and ikrasevic like this.
  15. HolDat

    HolDat Well-Known Member Full Member

    Sep 25, 2020