Ken Norton Sr., a former heavyweight boxing champion who defeated Muhammad Ali in 1973, then lost in the rematch later that year, died Wednesday at a hospital in Arizona where he had been undergoing rehabilitation since suffering a stroke last year, according to his friend and manager Patrick Tenore. Norton was 70 and had congestive heart failure.
Norton broke Ali’s jaw in their initial fight, then lost at the Inglewood Forum in the rematch. Ali defeated Norton again in a decision at Yankee Stadium in New York in 1976.
In 1978, Norton won the World Boxing Council heavyweight championship when Leon Spinks chose not to fight him. He lost the title to Larry Holmes that June.
Norton finished with a record of 42-7-1 and 33 knockouts. He later went on to an acting career.
One of his sons, Ken Norton Jr., was a star linebacker at UCLA who played for the Dallas Cowboysand San Francisco 49ers in the NFL and now coaches for the Seattle Seahawks.
A star at third base for the Portland Beavers from 1957-60. Freese was all-Pacific Coast League in 1958 and 1959, hitting .305 and .319, respectively, both team highs. He also led the ‘58 Beavers in home runs, with 35. George’s athletic career began in Wheeling West Virginia, where he lettered in football, basketball and track. From there, he went on to Pitt, where as a freshman in 1944, he was starting quarterback. He served in the Air Force until 1946, and when discharged, he received a scholarship to West Virginia University, where he lettered in 1946-1947 as an all star quarterback. He was involved in professional baseball for 26 years, with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Hollywood Stars, LA Angels, and Portland Beavers. The 6-0, 190-pounder coached for the Chicago Cubs, scouted for years and worked as a minor-league manager.