Former heavyweight boxing champion Ken Norton Sr., known famously for beating Muhammad Ali in 1973 and also as the father of former Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl champion linebacker Ken Norton Jr., reportedly died on Sept. 18 from congestive heart failure. He was 70-years-old.

According to reports, Norton died at a hospital in Arizona Wednesday where he was rehabbing from a stroke suffered last year.

Norton rose to fame in ’73 after breaking Ali’s jaw on his way to stunning victory, earning the nickname, “the jaw-breaker.” He later lost to Ali in the rematch, and they also fought a third time in 1976 in New York at the old Yankees Stadium, where Norton again lost to Ali a second time.

Norton was awarded the WBC heavyweight champion in 1977 after Leon Spinks turned down a title defense against him. He was named “Fighter of the Year” in ’77 by the Boxing Writers Association of America, and was later inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1989; he retired with a 41-7-1 record.

Norton’s son is now the linebackers coach for the Seattle Seahawks.


Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor