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Former Heavyweight Boxer Ken Norton Dies

posted 19 Sep 2013, 07:16 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 19 Sep 2013, 07:17 ]

Ken Norton, who broke Muhammad Ali's jaw in a 1973 fight, dies at the age of 70.

LAS VEGASNEVADAUNITED STATES (FEBRUARY 18, 2012) (REUTERS) -  Former heavyweight boxer Ken Norton, who broke Muhammad Ali's jaw in a 1973 bout, died on Wednesday (September 18) at the age of 70.

Norton started boxing in the United States Marine Corps and turned professional after his discharge in 1967.

In 1973 he broke Ali's jaw during their first fight, claiming the North American Boxing Federation heavyweight title in a split decision over 12 rounds.

Ali's camp said his jaw broke early in the fight, but Norton told a Reuters correspondent at a boxing convention inCancunMexico, more than three decades later, that a punch thrown in the 11th round caused the fracture.

Ali narrowly won a split decision in a rematch nearly six months later and held on to his heavyweight title in a bruising third encounter in 1976.

Norton won a heavyweight title elimination tournament in 1977 and was subsequently declared champion by theWorld Boxing Council. He lost the title in 1978 in an epic 15-round fight with Larry Holmes.

Norton retired from the ring in 1981, ending his career with 42 wins, seven losses and a drawl he had 33 knockouts.

The former boxer then became a commentator and actor.

His son, also Ken Norton, played in the National Football League with the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers and now coaches the Seattle Seahawks.