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    1973 Ken Norton NABF Heavyweight Championship Belt Awarded for Defeating Muhammad Ali. It took ninety minutes for a doctor to wire Muhammad Ali's jaw back together on the evening of March 31st, 1973, surely a period of painful rumination for the former Heavyweight Champ who had just surrendered his belt to a longshot underdog who had just supplied "The Greatest" with the second of his five career defeats. In many ways the result had been a sobering reflection of Ali's improbable 1964 defeat of Sonny Liston to earn his own first belt, stunning the gambling world far more than the man left with his hand raised at the end of the bout. Norton would explain to the press clamoring for an interview with the new Champ, "I knew I would beat him because mentally I felt that way and my whole camp felt that way. I felt at that time I could've beat Godzilla."

    Though Ali would avenge the split decision loss six months later, and claim the three-bout series with another victory in September of 1976, the first Ali/Norton bout, known to history as "The Broken Jaw Fight," remains unquestionably the most highly regarded of the three. The opinion has as much to do with Ali's incredible bravery in soldiering on after his jaw snapped just two rounds into the twelve-round contest as it does in Norton's brilliant, unexpected performance. Ali's Hall of Fame trainer Angelo Dundee had wanted to stop the fight after the second round, but Ali was insistent. "He said, 'No, I can beat this sucker. He won't touch my jaw,'" Dundee remembered. But Ali had been wrong as Norton punished the Louisville Lip to begin his six month reign as North American Boxing Federation Heavyweight Champ.

    Presented is the ultimate symbol of this historic bout, the Championship belt presented to Norton for his jaw-snapping defeat of Muhammad Ali. It would be foolishly optimistic to imagine that we might ever see the Heavyweight boxing ranks return to the level of greatness witnessed during the decade of the 1970's, an era populated with giants of the sport like Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Norton, and Holmes. Almost never has the opportunity arisen to own a belt belonging to one of these Hall of Fame legends, and none has been directly attributable to a more memorable bout.

    The majestic symbol of boxing's highest achievement is crafted from heavy gold-colored metal and red leather, the former crafted into images of crowns, boxers, and a soaring eagle. A small photographic portrait of the new Champ appears at center, ringed by the words "N.A.B.F. Heavyweight Champion 1973." Text above reads "Champion-Ken Norton defeated Muhammad Ali via 12 round decision for the Heavyweight Championship of North America N.A.B.F. March 31, 1973, San Diego Sports Arena, San Diego, CA, USA." Some wear is evident to the edges of the golden plates and the leather, but nothing which causes any significant distraction. The back of the belt is autographed by Norton in 10/10 black sharpie.


    More information about Muhammad Ali.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2010
    5th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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