Several outlets are reporting that former heavyweight champion Ken Norton has died at the age of 70.
Norton had been in poor health since suffering a stroke in 2012. He was perhaps best known for his three fights with Muhummad Ali, of which only one was for a major championship.
Norton broke Ali’s jaw in their first fight in San Diego, won by Norton via split-decision in March 1973. Six months later, that September, Ali won a split-decision over Norton at the Forum.
Ali was scored the winner over Norton in their third fight in September 1976 at Yankee Stadium. It was a controversial unanimous decision, one that enabled Ali to retain his two major title belts.
In one newspaper account the day after that third fight, Norton was quoted as saying he told Ali to his face he thought the decision was a poor one. Norton was asked what Ali’s reply was.
“What could he say? He knew I was right,” Norton said.