Friday, December 5, 2014

Norton Vs Ali: Who was the Greater Boxer?

Legends are made and then they live forever. The recent death of Ken Norton at the age of 70 is the death of one such legend. Norton was suffering for 2 years from a variety of ailments and finally the boxer passed away on 19 September 2013. Norton was different from Ali. Whereas Ali dodged the draft by making incendiary statements like “The Vietcong don’t call me Nigger”. In contrast Norton served in the army from 1963-72. Ali converted to Islam; he was Cassius Clay earlier, while Norton struck to the roots of what he had been brought up as, a Christian.
The fights between Norton and Ali are the stuff legends are made off. In the first bout in 1973, Norton battered Ali and broke his Jaw. This is no mean feat against a boxer of the caliber of Ali, who had won the world heavyweight boxing title 3 times. Ali was confused with the tactics of Norton and lost the fight on points. In two other fights Ali won, but on points though many felt the real winner was Norton. Why, this happened? The fact is that the powers that be in the boxing world had decided that Ali must be champion and thus Norton had to lose. All the same Norton and Foreman are bracketed with Ali. We must bear in mind that if Norton and Foreman were not there would Muhammad Ali be as great? Norton won 33 out his 42 bouts and that is feat by itself. He was ailing during the last 2 years and finally father time took its toll and Norton is no more. But he has done enough to be remembered as a great fighter, a man who broke the Jaw of Ali and almost beat him in subsequent encounters. He packed a vicious punch