Heavyweight professional boxing is the king of sports and one of the boxers who is recognised as the greatest is Muhammad Ali.  He was born a Christian, but converted to Islam, despite this for  reasons unknown he was the darling of the American masses. Ken Norton on the other hand was a hard working boxer, who some rate as a better boxer than Ali, but sadly the powers that be never gave him due recognition.

There were  three heavyweight title fights between Ali and Norton. These are epic fights and all three perhaps would have gone in favor of  Norton, but the result which has come down is 2-1 in Ali's favor. The first time the two met was in 1973. It was a bruising fight that went the full 15 rounds and Norton was the winner on points. More important he broke the jaw of Ali  in a flurry exhibition of power hitting. It was no mean feat to break the jaw of the man who was world heavyweight boxing champ  three times. No boxer in history has ever won this title three times, but Norton stopped Ali.

The two met twice again and Ali was declared the winner.  The last fight disheartened Norton as he felt that he was the legitimate winner. The fights were scored 8-7 in  favor of Ali by the judges, but independent observers were convinced that Norton was the winner on points. why was Ali declared the winner?  Boxing is a billion dollar sport and a loss for ali would have meant at least 2 billion dollars going down the drain. In the last fight Ali was the world champion and it was a title fight. The powers that were then in the boxing world had decided that Ali must win and so it was ensured that he won. 

Ali and Norton never met for another fight. perhaps in another fight  the true worth of Norton would have emerged.  Still Norton made a name for himself and the boxing world will remember him for ever as the boxer who bruised Ali badly. 

Norton died in 2013, leaving behind memories of his epic fights with Ali. One must remember that Ali is great because of Ken Norton, whose name like that of george Foreman will forever be linked with Ali and his greatness.Lastly could Ali have been great without fighting Ken Norton ? Let's not forget that Ali called Norton the best fighter he ever faced.


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