28.09.05 - By Jim Amato: I recently had someone comment on an article I did a few years back on why I thought Ken Norton should not be in the Boxing Hall Of Fame. On this occasion the person who contacted me agreed with me. Over the years I have had a fair share of negative responses. So I thought that I would take a moment to reconsider my position..
I thought Norton fought one of his best fights against Quarry. To me that was not the best Jerry Quarry. The Quarry who out slicked Ron Lyle would have beat Norton. Lyle would have beat Norton too. I believe Kenny knew that. That is why Norton-Lyle never took place.
I thought Norton won the third fight with Ali. He did not get enough credit for his aggression and his body work. Still that was an old and faded Ali. I thought Jimmy Young's counter punching earned him the call over Ken but as usual, Jimmy got screwed. Norton's best fight was his hairline loss to a truly great fighter, Larry Holmes. At that point Larry was beginning to peak and Norton was beginning to slide from the elite layer of heavyweight contenders. I feel that Larry would have stopped Ken in a rematch but there was no need for that. Earnie Shavers took care of that when he destroyed Norton in one round.
I recall watching Norton hanging on for a draw against the tough and spirited Scott LeDoux. I recall his barely pulling out a decision verdict against Tex Cobb. Then came Gerry Cooney and I wince just thinking about that one. That was a brutal kayo. All I can say is OUCH !!!