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Ali Norton Trilogy One Of Sports Most Memorable

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The Ali-Norton trilogy is also the most frequently cited example of an old boxing truth: that no matter how good a fighter is, there is almost always somebody out there who has his number, someone who will always give him fits. With Pacquiao, it has been Marquez; with Ali, it was Norton. In the words of Ali’s trainer, Angelo Dundee, “With that lurching, herky-jerky, splay-footed movement of his, you just couldn’t time him.”

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Norton broke Ali’s jaw in the second round of their first fight, but Ali refused Dundee’s entreaties to halt the contest. Instead, he battled on, only to lose a close split decision, the second defeat of his career. There were those who thought Ali’s career was effectively over: “It was the end of the road, as far as I could see,” Howard Cosell opined.

 

Ali hyped those doubts for the rematch. “Is he still the fastest and most beautiful man in the world?” he asked rhetorically of himself. “Or is he growing old? I took a nobody and created a monster.” Ali, in better shape than he was for the first fight, opened an early points lead, but the powerful Norton hauled himself back into the contest. Ali dug in his toes in the final round, outslugging his opponent to win the decision — which, again, was split….. Read More

 

Muhammad Ali versus Ken Norton March 31, 1973: San Diego Sports Arena, San Diego Sept. 10, 1973: The Forum, Inglewood, Calif. Sept. 28, 1976: Yankee Stadium, New York

 

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