Ken Norton, the former world heavyweight champion who gave
Muhammed Ali all he could handle in the 1970s, is currently
recovering in hospital after suffering a stroke.
The American, who turned 69 today, is in a stable condition but
cannot currently speak and is having to be fed through tubes.
Norton has a glittering career between 1967 and 1981, winning 42
of 50 contests.
He first shot to fame in March 1973 when he broke the jaw of Ali
in a fight for the NABF title and picked up a surprise split
decision victory over the man consider by many to be the greatest
of all time.
He would face Ali twice more in his career but was on the wrong
end of verdicts both times, although their third meeting in 1976
was highly disputable.
Norton was crowned as WBC champion in 1978 after defeating Jimmy
Young in an elimination contest. Leon Spinks was the title holder
at the time but he was stripped for fighting Ali rather Norton, the
number one contender.
He hung up his gloves in 1981 after losing to Gerry Cooney.