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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.




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27 COMMENTS

No Avatar
1.

WhatThe    

RIP Champ!

337 days ago
2.

bagladey    

RIP, and my condolences to his family.

337 days ago
3.

MoraMore    

may your soul rest in peace. your family will be in my prayers!

337 days ago
4.

Truth    

SO WHEN IS MIKE TYSON GOING... HE'S NEXT. #TRUTH!!

337 days ago
5.

PowerBlue    

Love Ali, but Norton won that third fight in '76... R.I.P.

337 days ago
6.

Nat Turnher    

R.I.P. Mandingo, your pounding of Susan George in that film will always be remembered .

337 days ago
7.

bigC    

My condolensces to the Norton family. Ken lived next door to my Dad in Laguana Nigel and you couldn't askfor a nicer neighbour, a total gentlemen. Rest in Peace Ken, you were a class act.

337 days ago
8.

Criss    

Boxers don't usually live too long.

337 days ago
9.

charl62089    

Sad day in Boxing. .great day in heaven!

337 days ago
10.

Coldhardtruth    

A great boxer, an american patriot who served his country and all around champion. May you rest in peace.

337 days ago
11.

JimC    

Norton was the man. Unassuming, no fat mouthing. My kind of Champ!

337 days ago
12.

dale12    

Godspeed Mr. Norton, your son, Ken Norton Jr. was also a warrior for the SF 49ers.

337 days ago
13.

manbearpig    

rip- champ.

337 days ago
14.

HRH Prince Michael    

During one of the toughest era's of the heavyweight division, Mr. Norton was a stand-out.
A tough military-veteran, who made the great
Archie Moore's "Crab" defense, his own.
My condolences to the family, friends, and many fans of Mr. Norton.

May The True and Living Yahweh, rest the soul
of Mr. Ken Norton.

337 days ago
15.

Arcadia Rink    

RIP MY long time hero and champ.

337 days ago
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