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Former heavyweight boxing champ Ken Norton, the second man to defeat the great Muhammad Ali, has passed away at the age of 70.

His son, Ken Norton Jr. confirmed his passing to the AP,recently, saying his father has been in poor health for the last several years after suffering a series of strokes.?"He's been fighting the battle for two years," he said. "I'm sure he's in heaven now with all the great fighters. I'd like to hear that conversation."

Norton beat Ali in their 1973 heavyweight bout, breaking his jaw and sending him to the hospital. Though Ali would tell him he was tough and never wanted to fight him again, they'd step into the ring for a rematch?six months later, and Ali came out on top in a split decision.

The boxing greats would meet for a third and final time in September 1976 at Yankee Stadium, and Ali narrowly won to keep his heavyweight title.

"Norton is the only heavyweight champion never to win the title in the ring, and boxing fans still talk about the bruising battle he waged with Larry Holmes for the title in 1978," writes ESPN.com. "But it was his first fight with Ali that made the former Marine a big name and the two fights that followed that were his real legacy."

Norton was declared champion by the WBC in 1977, when Leon Spinks decided to fight Ali in a rematch instead of facing him. In June 1978, he fought Holmes in what many boxing fans consider one of the most epic heavyweight bouts of all-time. He lost after 15 rounds... and was never able to regain the title.

He finished his boxing career with a record of 42-7-1 and 33 knockouts.

Cheapest NIKE Classic Cortez Mesh Kids Shoes Purple White GDO1349 VTTOOPH