A Lesson in Manliness From Ken Norton

Ken Norton Vs Randy Stephens - 1978

This bout took place on national TV on the Marine Corps Birthday in 1978. Ken Norton joined the United States Marine Corps in 1963. Norton said, "I believe the Marine way of life and thinking was the genesis of positive thinking for me." Norton discussed this bout in his autobiography, Going the Distance. Norton had Stephens out on his feet. He was staggered and about to go down. Norton could have thrown at least two more devastating punches. Instead, he watched Stephens slowly sink to the canvas. If anyone deserved a sportsmanship award in boxing, it's Norton for this little bit of humane treatment in a rough sport. Norton was a man. After the fight, Stephens' manager thanked Norton for showing some class and letting up on his boxer. This illustrated what my dad taught me: "You don't kick someone when they're already down", which of course, is an extremely low class move.

Norton played fair and square with people and was a class act, something my dad always taught me by modeling it. It's not manly to downplay people or to take cheap shots at them. Only insecure people pull this stunt to appear big and important, but they demonstrate clearly to those around them just how small they really are. 

Norton was a credit to boxing and one of the true gentlemen of the sport.

Watch Ken Norton show some class at the 9:27 mark of the above video.

[Ken Norton-Randy Stephens Fight Page @ BoxRec]


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