Here's the fight as I saw it.-Green are the round scores as I scored it, red is important text like a cut, great punch or knockdown.
Round 1- Both fighters waiting on each other and feeling each other out. Both fighters are popping the jab and Ali is moving a little. Norton traps Ali against the ropes and slugs away to his mid-section. Ali lands a nice right and is a little more effective. Ali's Round- 10-9
Round 2- Norton lands a nice left hook and a couple more punches. Norton is landing well to the body. Ken fires a little combination and Ali fires back. Norton doing real well this round and lands a nice right as the bell sounds. Norton's Round- 10-9 (19-19) even
Round 3- Ali lands a jab and gets on his bicycle for the
first time. He is landing the jab as he moves. Norton lands a decent body
shot, but Ali is controlling the ring here. Ali is jabbing real well.
Ali's Round- 10-9 (29-28) Ali
Round 4- Ali moving again, using the whole ring. Norton lands a nice right and pins Ali in the corner. Norton showing a good jab and lands another right. Ali isn't doing much this round and lands his only meaningful punch in the last 10 seconds of the round. Norton's Round- 10-9 (38-38) even
Round 5- Both fighters exchanging jabs, and very suprisingly Ken is getting the better of it. Ali lands a right hand but is still being stuck by the good Norton jab. Norton's Round- 10-9 (48-47) Norton
Round 6- Norton lands a big right,
the best punch of the fight. Another nice right from Norton, Ali
is trying to get started this round but is being outworked. Norton pressing
forward and out jabbing Ali.
Norton's Round- 10-9 (58-56) Norton
Round 7- Norton lands a nice right to the body in this
slow paced round. Ali strikes back with a couple little rights. Norton
still going to the body and is being countered by Ali.
Even Round- 10-10 (68-66) Norton
Round 8- Norton lands to Ali's jaw. Ali moving a little
and doing better, Norton is not punching much. Ali is moving around a lot
this round and doing a little more punching and landing.
Ali's Round- 10-9 (77-76) Norton
Round 9- Exchanging jabs in the middle of the ring. Norton
is firing to the body and lands a nice head shot. Ali lands a nice right
of his own and Norton covers. Norton lands a partial right and the partisan
Norton crowd roars. Norton has a nice combination sequence to end the round.
Norton's Round- 10-9 (87-85) Norton
Round 10- Nice jabs from Norton, Ali moves and gets caught
against the ropes. Norton landing shots as Ali moves backwards. Crowd is
going crazy as Norton wings punches, Ali is being outworked here again.
Norton's Round- 10-9 (97-94) Norton
Round 11- Ali on his toes looking to score, still missing
a lot. Fight speeds up and Ali is doing better this round. Norton misses
a right and Ali counters well, Ali is much more busy this round.
Ali's Round- 10-9 (106-104) Norton
Round 12- Ali on his bicycle again, Norton is jabbing and misses a big right. Norton landing more again and is the aggressor. Norton is landing good body shots and a right that stuns Ali. Good finish from Norton to take the round well. Norton's Round- 10-9 (116-113) Norton is my decision.
Official Decision in rounds- 5-4
7-5 Norton winner by split decision Ken Norton
Norton-S Dec 12
This was a monumental upset. The only person that wasn't shocked at ringside was Joe Frazier who said that Norton's style would give Ali problems after sparring with him for 5 years. Norton's trainer was Eddie Futch, who came up with the strategy to jab when Ali jabbed to throw off his timing. It worked well and Ken Norton became a big time member to the heavyweight picture. Norton would rematch Ali in his next fight and get a title shot soon after. Ali was upset and came back to the rematch in better condition for an opponent he had a lot of respect for now. This was the beginning to a beautiful rivalry that made 70's boxing what it was.