Muhammad Ali Vs. Ken Norton III Go The Distance, Ali Walks Away with Unanimous Decision Win In World Heavyweight Title Fight — September 28, 2021 (This Day In Boxing History)
The 1970s saw boxing’s greatest, most vicious heavyweight showdowns, and Muhammad Ali versus Ken Norton III was one of them.
Ali (56-6, 37 KOs) capped the trilogy fight against Norton (42-7, 33 KOs) with a unanimous decision win for the WBC and WBA world heavyweight titles, which some fans still dispute to this day.
Ali and Norton were old rivals at this point. “The Battle of Broken Jaw,” the two’s first matchup, ended with Norton winning the split decision and Ali being sent to the hospital with a fractured mandible.
Ali insisted on an immediate rematch and went on to win via split decision, though Norton’s powerful jab and counterpunches showed a problem for the former champion.
In Ali-Norton III, Norton nearly had the victory in the bag, but Ali seemed desperate for the final win, battling until the final round.
“I won at least nine or ten rounds. I was robbed,” Norton said after the fight.
“I had just enough to win. I know I’m the winner,” Ali said afterwards.
This was the biggest payday in boxing history up to that point, generating $6 million for Ali.