RIP: Ken Norton (1943 – 2013)

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LAS VEGAS , NV — Former heavyweight champion Ken Norton, died Wednesday according to his son norton_ali_t607at the age of 70.

Famous for defeating Muhammad Ali by split decision in their first meeting 1973 (after breaking Ali’s jaw) lost 6 months later in a rubber match. They met for a third time on Sept. 28, 1976, at Yankee Stadium with Ali narrowly winning to retain the belt.

“He’s been fighting the battle for two years,” said Gene Kilroy, Ali’s former business manager. “I’m sure he’s in heaven now with all the great fighters. I’d like to hear that conversation.

Norton, the 1978 WBC champion, lost in his first title defense after an epic, 15-round bout vs. Larry Holmes in June of 1978. It’s considered one of the greatest fights of all-time.

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