Former heavyweight champion boxer, Ken Norton died Wednesday, Sept. 18. He was 70-years-old and had been living in Arizona for the past few years. Norton had been in poor health after suffering a series of strokes.
He is the second person ever to beat Muhammad Ali, defeating him in 1973 for the heavyweight title. Norton almost beat Ali in two other fights, including one where he broke Ali’s jaw and sent him to the hospital for the night.
He remains the only person to hold a boxing title without having to fight for it, after Leon Spinks chose not to fight Norton, thus forfeiting the title to him. Norton’s fight with Larry Holmes for the heavyweight title on June 9, 1978 remains one of the most epic fights ever according to many.
Norton finished his career with a record of 42-7-1 and 33 knockouts. After his boxing career ended, he pursued an acting career appeared in several movies, such as “Mandingo”. Norton also became a commentator at fights.
Norton was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992, as well as voted by Ring magazine as one of the top 25 heavyweights of all time (No. 22 overall).