Historical story

Muhammad Ali:The surprising defeat, the broken jaw and the legendary admission

This time Muhammad Ali entered the ring with the confidence of a world champion. It was the third and last fight he would fight with Ken Norton, the boxer he had derogatorily called an "amateur" three years before, a description that would eventually cost him a surprise defeat, but mostly with a broken jaw.

But now things were different. Muhammad Ali had already taken his blood back, he had made it 1-1 and now their open accounts would be closed for good on a day like today, September 28, 1976.

At Yankee Stadium in New York, the now 34-year-old Ali would face the one-year-younger title contender in a match that was controversial from the first punch to the last. Both would leave the ring standing and so it would be up to the judges to decide which of the two would leave with the championship belt. And he, unanimously, would be Muhammad Ali.

"I won at least 9 to 10 rounds," Norton would later say bitterly. "I was robbed." And Muhammad Ali himself, however, will say in an interview a month later that "I believed that day Norton beat me. But the judges gave the fight to me. I am grateful to them".

On July 27, 1979, Muhammad Ali will announce his retirement, regret it, return to the ring - as a bad version of himself - and finally, on December 11, 1981, he will hang up his gloves for good.

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