Son of Hall Of Fame Boxer Ken Norton Is As ‘Tough As Nails’

Ken Norton Jr. was the first NFL player to win a Super Bowl ring in three consecutive years, but being a champion is something that was instilled in him at a young age.

Seattle Seahawks Defensive Coordinator Norton Jr., who is also the son of former heavyweight champion Ken Norton Sr., watched The Spinners perform at a Seattle jazz club during his bye week with his wife, Angela. Norton Jr. shared in a recent interview with ESPN that The Spinners, an R&B group, represented something much more.

Before Norton Sr. defeated Muhammad Ali – which was the beginning of his Hall of Fame boxing career – he was an unknown fighter and single father to Norton Jr., barely making it by.

When boxing would take Norton Sr. away, he would drive his son 2,000 miles east — since he couldn’t afford plane tickets — to leave him with his grandparents in Jacksonville, Illinois. They’d listen to none other than The Spinners.

“It was just me and Dad at that time,” Norton Jr., 55, told ESPN. “It was really, really special.”

Their struggles would end when Norton Sr. faced Ali in 1973. He entered as a massive underdog.

Photo: Sports Illustrated

But he had proven boxing fans, experts and bettors wrong when, by the end of their 12-round bout, he had broken Ali’s jaw and won via split decision.

Norton Sr. took home a $50,000 payday – the most in his career at that point.

He became a world champion after the WBC declared him as one, following Leon Spinks vacating his title.

Norton Jr. never got to see an actual boxing match of his father’s; Norton Sr didn’t want his son to see him get punched in the face nor did he want his son to get into the sport.

Now, roughly 50 years later, Norton Jr. is a three-time Super Bowl champion and NFL defensive coach.

He does, however, face criticisms because of a rough 3-7 Seahawks record. But aside from the record, the team has allowed the seventh-fewest points, showcasing that, despite the record, they are one of the league’s better defenses.

“He’s tough as nails,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.

“Kenny is a fighter and he’s lived that life with his pops. He took a lot from that and it’s part of his makeup, it’s part of who he is and what he’s all about. He never strays very far from that.”

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More