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The Bee from Danville, Virginia • Page 41

The Bee from Danville, Virginia • Page 41

The Beei
Danville, Virginia
Issue Date:

The Bee: Donvilk Wednesday, September 29,1976 3j All Wins On Decision ALI CONNECTS Challenger Ken Norton moves back after being hit by a right hand punch from heavy welghfchampion Muhammad All, right, in the middle rounds of their title fight in New York's Yankee Stadium Tuesday night. (AP Wirephoto) Dressing Room Ken Norton NEW YORK (AP) "I was robbed," declared Ken Norton. else can I say?" The muscular Norton, his face unmarked but for slight puffiness around the eyes, sat on a stool in his dressing room at'Yankee Stadium and fought back the tears. "I know I won it, you know I won it, I think even All knows I won jt," he said.quietly. "But he didn't win at least not according to referee Arthur Mercante and judges Barney and Harold Lederman. They all scored Tuesdaynight's fight in favor of heavyweight champion'Muhammad Ali. Norton could not believe it. Jfe was crying when he entered his dressing room, and was still visibly upset when newsmen were finally admitted some 30 minutes later. "The. fight speaks for itself," Muhammad All NEW YORK. (AP) The thought crossed his mind-whether to retire as the world heavyweight champion or to risk it all once more. It's a decision Muhammad Ali says he will not face frivolously. He was not in a frivolous mood Tuesday night after scoring a narrow, l-round decision over challenger Ken Norton at Yankee Stadium. "Ill be thinking about it," Ali said. "But I got so many people that I represent. I want to retire with this title." Ali's face was marked, his voice was quiet and his demeanor a glaring contrast to that of only a few moments ago when he had cursed Norton, berated and taunted him, and once spat at the "Age will get me if ,1 don't. his lower body as he lay on his back on a training table in his locker room. Many of the questions was asked dealt with the outcome of he fight, booed by many fans who thought Norton had wrested the crown from Ali. "Sure, I won the fight," Ali said. "Ill settle for any kind of victory. "He hurt me only one time. hit me in the ribs. But none of the face shots hurt. "I was gonna fight all night," Ali said. "Norton was probably in better shape than me, but I had the will. I was thinking of my brothers and sisters out there--some of them white but most of them black--and when I think of family out there, it makes me Ali was asked any-real animosity between'he and Norton. "No," Ali said. "I like him. didn't Ali asked reporters. "The flat-footed fight I wanted to fight didn't go the way I thought it would Norton was staying too close to me. Norton burned himself out in the earlier rounds, and that's why I had more left at the end. "He took more hard shots than me, but the shape he was in surprised me." Ali also spent some time comparing Norton with other men he has fought. "Norton's a lot harder to hit than Joe Frazier," Ali said, "but I'd do better against George Foreman than Norton would. "I can still beat George Foreman." Norton said. "1 outfought him would have completely. I wasn't even breathing" hard. I've worked harder in the gym. "I won at least nine or 10 rounds. I didn't think there was any question about that. 1 knew he was hurt two or three times and he never hurt me. "From beginning to end, I won the fight." He didn't get the decision, however, and he charged it was a matter of money. "It was those New York judges-they 'were thinking of the money," he contended. "If Ali wins he fights Foreman and that's big money, right? "Well that shouldn't happen. I should have a rematch first. That should be mandatory." All three officials gave the 15th round to Ali, and that proved decisive. Mercante scored it 8-6-1, both judges ft-7. "I thought I was far ahead," Norton said. "And even if it was close, I didn't think he did enough to win the 15th. All he did was dance around--big deal." Norton had said before the bout he thought he had no chance of getting a decision in a close fight against Ali. "I outfought him completely," he said. "The only thing I didn't do was knock him out. And because of that, he's still the champion." stop," Ali had brother of. anything wrong before this his-job." The 34-year-old Ali'spent the first eight rounds flat-footed, trying to slug it out with three years his lost. "I didn't stay up late at night. I didn't fool around. 'I didn't drink no coffee," Ali said. Ali had a towel dropped over didn't work. "I guess I surprised you when I came out dancing, TV Audience Pro-Norton By HANK IXHVENKRON AP Sports Writer Ken Norton said he was robbed and a spot survey of sites where his heavyweight championship fight with Muhammad Ali was shown on closed circuit television revealed support for his opinion. When the unanimous decision for Ali was heard at the Omni in Atlanta, booing overcame the cheers of the pro-Ali crowd of approximately 12,000. At the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island in New York, many of the near-capacity crowd of 9,000 felt Norton had earned the heavyweight title. "I can't believe the decision," said one spectator, "but I guess you can't take the title away-from the champion on a decision." Attendance was good throughout the nation, although beiow capacity at many sites and in general the report on picture reception was good. The major exception reported was at the Auditorium Arena in Denver, where the picture was lost at the end of the sixth round, came back on six rounds later and then worked sporadically from then on. Sgt. Earl McCall of the Denver Police Department reported 20 to 25 officers from the city's Special Services Unit were dispatched, "in case of a major disturbance." He said there were no arrests and no damage in the arena that he knew of. Wayne Marsh, 21, of Denver, who paid $20 to see the fight said the crowd was "upset, screaming, booing, yelling 'refund' when the picture failed, but that there were no fights. NEW YORK (AP) Muhammad Ali, the winner and still heavyweight champion of the world, will go into a huddle with himself during the next few days and ponder two alternatives affecting his remarkable ring career. At age 34, his skills diminishing, should he be content to retire on the negative note of his widely disputed 15-round victory Tuesday night over challenger Ken Norton? Or should he try for one last, glorious hurrah--a repeat triumph over the hard-punching George Foreman-with a guaranteed price tag that could reach $10 million? been thinking seriously of retiring," the weary champion said today, as he lay sprawled on a table in the visiting locker room at Yankee Stadium, admittedly hurting and his normally bombastic voice hardly rising above a whisper. "I've whipped everybody I should whip. I got more nothing to prove. I am the champion. I keep saying maybe I ought to quit and spend more time with my kids." Ali has five. Don King, the Rockefeller Plaza ring entrepreneur who staged multi-million-dollar promotions involving Ali in Zaire, Africa, and The Philippines, came into the hectic dressing room and sat beside the prone titleholder. They talked in low and significant whispers. "To enhance boxing's credibility, it is necessary now to call on the awesome punching power of George Foreman," King said. "He deserves another shot. I think an Ali-Foreman return bout would exceed any extravaganza yet staged in the boxing game." The big onetime Cleveland numbers king said he has been discussing prospects of such a fight with Herbert Muhammad, All's Muslim business manager, and he has been encouraged by the response. "I don't like to fix a figure but it could be a $10 million windfall for Ali and a big payday for Foreman," King said. "I have made contact with several foreign governments who are interested in the promo- tion--Turkey, Syria and Nigeria. Montreal, the Olympic capital, also is very interested." The prospective date is sometime within the next three months. Talk of a return bout with Foreman, whom he knocked out Oct. 30, 1974, in Zaire, quickened the interest of the somber Ali. "I say I been thinking about retiring," he hedged. "But maybe in a few days when my bade don't hurt so much and my hands don't feel so sore I will change my mind. So I don't want to make a snap decision right now." Meanwhile, less than 100 yards away, over in the dressing room of the baseball Yankees, Norton, the defeating challenger, was venting his frustration on all within ear shot. "I was robbed," he insisted. "I won 10 rounds, at least nine. The judges gave the decision to Ali because they see him making a lot of money for boxing." Judges Harold Lederman and Barney Smith each scored the fight 7 in rounds for Ali while referee Arthur Mercante had it 8-6-1. A majority of the newsmen--by random sampling-gave the nod to Norton. mA loud of roar of boos came from the pro-Ali crowd when the verdict was announced. Overrall, it was a heavyweight fight of little distinction. Here were two of the supposedly most powerful fighting men on earth--Ali at 221 and Norton at 217y2-slamming away at each other for 15 rounds and hardly making a dent in each other's facade. After the skirmish, in which there were no knockdowns and no visible blood, Norton suffered a bump under his right eye. Both men were red and bruised from the pounding but virtually unhurt. Ali started out with a flatfooted, bore-in style as he promised, fell back on his familiar dancing routine in the middle rounds and held his own in some wild but futile hitting sprees at the finish. Norton slumped badly after dominating five of the first six rounds. Neither was a fighter in the Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Rocky Mareiano tradition. Norton unleashed the harder blows. Ali, with his nicking left, landed more often. But they were marshmallow shots that hardly ruffled an eyebrow. Boxing expects more blood and thunder from its heavyweights. "I outfought him completely," Norton said afterward, not attempting to restrain the tears of disappointment. "I thought I whipped him decisively in our first fight and won the second fight although the decision went to Ali. I think I won this fight by a bigger margin than either of the others." The 31-year-old Norton, a rugged, -picture athlete who towers 6 feet, 3 inches, broke Ali's jaw and won a decision March 31,1973 in San Diego but six months later lost by a slim margin because of a last round Ali rally. Both fights were non- title over 12 rounds. "I think I deserve another shot at Ali before he takes on said. "If he keeps fighting, he can't deny me another shot. The public wouldn't allow it." Norton complained that it is impossible to beat the popular champion by decision. "The crowd is so biased in his favor that you are behind him from the start," Norton said. "When you fight Ali, you've got to knock him out." This sentiment found no argument over in Ali's dressing room. "That's right," Ali said, ap- ply ing the analysis to champions in general and not to himself personally. "To win a man's title you got to take it away from him. You got to beat him decisively. Nobody will accept any of that Jimmy Young stuff." Fat and out of shape, Ali scored a 15-round decision over Young in Landover, last spring in a fight that a vast majority of watchers thought he lost. The judges elected to let Ali keep his title. The fight, the first heavyweight title bout in Yankee Stadium in 17 years, was a finan- cial if not artistic, success. It drew an announced crowd of 42,000, paying up to $200 for seats. The live gate apparently exceeded $3 million, breaking the alkime record of $2,658,660 paid by 104,943 to witness the second Gene Tunney-Jack Dempsey bout in Chicago's Soldier Field in 1927. Ali was guaranteed 16 million plus a percentage of all revenue over $9 million accruing from closed circuit TV sales and other ancillary monies. Norton received a million dollars plus expenses and other considerations. Co-promoted by Madison Square Garden and Top Rank. the fight also was beamed to 300 closed circuit locations holding 1.5 million seats in the United States and Canada plus 57 countries overseas. CBS paid a million dollars for rights to show the fight on home television at a later date. Then millions of other fans will be permitted to make their own judgments about who won the fight. Some may feel, as did many observers at ringside, that more action and more violence could have been found outside the stadium where hundreds of teen-agers became unruly and 1,000 off-duty policemen demonstrated in support of a salary drive. When the fight hundreds tried to storm, the ring and to be restrained by policemen with nightsticks. Ali taunted Norton before the first bell, sneering and seeking to arouse the challenger with insults. He shook his fist in Norton's face and once said, "You're a crazy nigger." He sauntered around the ring in his flowing white raising his hands to the crowd and bellowing, "I will destroy you." Several times in the early rounds the referee admonished Ali to "quit talking and fight." AIRPORT SUPERMARKET PRICES GOOD MON. SEPT. 27, THRU SAT. OCT. 2, 1976. QUANTITY RIGHTS RESERVED 1355 South Bpston Rd. 793-8355 OPEN 7 A.M.-CLOSE 10 P.M. 99 JESSE JONES Sausage. 12 oz. GWALTNEY BONED AND TENDER BUFFET HAM PICNICS SIRLOIN TIPS FRESH PORK ROAST DAWN TIP ROAST CHUCK JESSE JONES TIP STEAK FRANKS MARTHA WHITE PLAIN SELF RISING 4 9 BRAWNY- ASSORTED TOWELS FLOUR 89 HYDE I'ARK TOILET TISSUE HYDE PARK PINTO BEANS DOGFOOD KKLLOGGS SUGAR SMACKS i I TOMATOES FIRM GREEN CABBAGE APPLES BANANAS POTATOES FRIHIN PET 79c TEA BAGS CT. 59 I I I A HI I I I I I I BISCUITS riw. 4 49 I I i I 79c NEWTONS 79

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