Yes Mi Irieites,
Sadly to say that we just lost another legend in boxing history; Ken Norton (Aug 9, 1943- Sept 18, 2013).
A few months ago while the Pulse were in Las Vegas, we were scheduled to meet Leon Spinks, which did actually materialise. However, there was also a schedule to meet Ken Norton. Unfortunately he had other commitments out of town that day, so what was gonna be a tremendous photo shoot never took place. That would have been with us standing in between the second and third guy to have beaten my hero, Muhammad Ali. Now this moment can be created in my dreams.
There had been so much rumours floating around at the time on how Ken managed to make that fight happen with Muhammad, back in 1973. That was the year of upsets too, ’cause it was also that year Joe Frazier got annihilated by George Foreman, down on “The Rock,” a place better known as Jamaica.
Come to think of it, Norton and Frazier had a similar, awkward, yet unique fighting style. Both boxers had a fighting stance that had their arms slightly crossed and were always pushing forward towards the opponent throwing power punches from the most bizarre of angles; a style that must obviously have had Ali wearing his “padded thinking cap.” After all, he did lose to both these guys.
Ken Norton, who had just turned 70 before he died, I would say, had the best physique in his era. It was the kind of physique one sees when viewing a Michelangelo sculpture. No doubt, it would have been a contributing factor for him getting the leading role in the film “Mandingo.”
Ken, if you wrote a book out there, I want to read it. I am sure there are quite a few more events and issues where you must have broken the mold.
Maximum raspect to all friends, fans and family… R.I.P!!