One of the great boxing attributes that made him “The Greatest”….an attribute that is very difficult to measure….cuz it has to do with “heart” and “mental and physical toughness”….qualities that Muhammad Ali had extra doses of…as this video so aptly proves….for Ali was was fighting with a broken jaw during the 11th and 12th rounds of his 1st fight against a “super” heavyweight boxer in Ken Norton….seen at the start of this video. Can you imagine taking that kind of punishment with a broken jaw….a full-blown Norton right-hook….then a fully-loaded over-hand right….both direct hits by the powerful Norton.
Can you say “mental toughness”….Ali is still throwing punches to win the fight with 23 seconds left by the only way he can….a knockout. After watching these last two rounds of their first fight…a true Sportsphile who knows that Ali is fighting with a broken jaw….will never question if Muhammad can take a punch or how tough he was.
Now, when you get to the 2nd Ali vs Norton fight….you really get to see one of the truly great heavyweight boxing matches that wasn’t a championship….as Ali vs Frazier II…is the only other one that comes to mind that rivals this fight. I can truly say without any reservations….that these three absolutely “rough n tough” fights between Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton are absolute proof positive of why Ali was legendary….and why Norton was a “super” heavyweight boxer during the golden age of boxing.