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Richard Steele remembers Ken Norton

norton-steele300 “We met in North Carolina at the All Marine Corps Championship in 1963. We both won our divsion. Ken was a heavyweight and I was a middleweight. We then went to California to get ready for the 1964 Olympic Trials, we both lost. We continued to fight amateur on the west coast. I got an honorable discharge in 1965 and turned pro in 1966 in Los Angeles. I was training under the legendary trainer Eddie Futch and one day he asked me if I knew Ken Norton and I said yes we boxed for 4 years in the marine corps together. Eddie asked me what I thought of Ken and I told Eddie that he was a hell of a fighter. Eddie said he has been asked to train Ken Norton. So once again we were on the same team. Although I was much smaller than Ken, Eddie always liked me to spar with him. After about a year under Eddie’s tutelage we were sparring and Ken knocked me down – I got back up and finished the round and said that was the first time I had been knocked down. I then realized not only was Ken twice my size but had learned more than I had. So that was the last day we ever sparred! –Richard Steele

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