« BACK TO TMZ TMZ

Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Ken Norton

Ex-Heavyweight Boxing Champ Dies at 70

9/18/2013 5:02 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
R.I.P.

0918_ken_norton_sernior_sr_died_Dead_dies_article_gettyFormer heavyweight boxing champ Ken Norton -- who had 3 classic fights with Muhammad Ali -- died today in Las Vegas ...according to his son.

Norton had been in failing health for several years after a series of strokes.

Norton defeated Ali -- breaking his jaw in the process -- during their first non-title fight in 1973. They faced each other in the ring two more times ... with Ali winning both.

Their last battle was the 1976 classic held in Yankee Stadium (below).

0918-norton-ali-getty
Norton was awarded the WBC Heavyweight title in 1978, when reigning champ Leon Spinks refused to give Norton -- the top contender -- a shot at the belt.

However, Norton lost to Larry Holmes a few months later ... in his first defense of the belt.

His boxing career began while he was serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in the mid to late 60s -- and he was a 3 time heavyweight champ in the Corps.

Norton's son said his dad was in hospice when he died today. He was 70 years old.




0919_remembering_ken_norton_footer

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!

Around The Web