Ken Norton, Former Heavyweight Champion and Occasional Actor, Dies at 70

Originally posted on Variety:

Former heavyweight champion Ken Norton, who beat Muhammad Ali and then lost a controversial decision to him in Yankee Stadium, died Wednesday at a local care facility in Arizona. He was 70 and had been in poor health for the last several years after suffering a series of strokes.

Gene Kilroy, who was Ali’s former business manager, says he’s sure Norton is “in heaven now with all the great fighters,” and Kilroy would like to hear that conversation.

Norton broke Ali’s jaw in their first fight, beating him by split decision in 1973 in a non-title fight in San Diego. They fought six months later, and Ali narrowly won a split decision.

They met for a third time on Sept. 28, 1976, at Yankee Stadium and Ali narrowly won to keep his heavyweight title.

Norton appeared in the notorious 1975 film “Mandingo.”

During the 1980s, Norton made a number of…

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