Ken Norton (b.1945 - ), American-born heavyweight boxer
Ken "The Black Hercules" Norton was a good heavweight contender for the title in the late 1970s. He was an ex marine and is well known for his win over Muhammad Ali although many felt Norton was hard done by in their two other bouts. In the first bout Norton broke Ali's jaw in the early rounds and went on to win a Unanimous Decision. The other two bouts, Norton lost on points. Norton also fought George Foreman and was stopped in two rounds. Then he was stopped by hard hitting Earnie Shavers in one round.
Norton nonetheless kept as a top contender. Following Leon Spinks victory over Muhammad Ali for the world championship in February, 1978, Spinks elected to fight a return bout against Ali rather than face Norton. The World Boxing Council, which had mandated a Spinks-Norton bout for their championship, withdrew its recognition of Spinks and, on March 18, 1978, made history by naming Norton its champion without benefit of a title match (the WBC stated that they considered Norton's victory over Jimmy Young as a 'retroactive championship match').
In his first 'defense' of the WBC title, Norton and new #1 contender Larry Holmes met in what many consider a classic fight. After 15 of what many consider brutal rounds, Holmes was awarded the title via split decision.
In 1981, Norton retired after getting knocked out in one round by Gerry Cooney. Retiring at age 33 with an overall record of 42-7-1, Norton went on to act in motion pictures until suffering an auto accident which resulted in temporary brain and permanent physical damage.