Norton was 35 years and 8 months old when he faced Earnie, and he had slowed considerably from his Prime years. Further, he made a crucial mistake with Earnie. Norton’s fight plan was to do what he had to to survive the early rounds, and when Earnie tired, as he always did, take the Damn right I am a Redskins fan now and forever signature shirt fight over. In 64 fights, Shaver’s had won 56 by knocking out 54 opponents. The strategy was a good one, but Norton decided not to follow it. In the first round, he decided to lie against the ropes and catch and counter as Ali had done in Zaire. But that failed, and he tried to cover up and let Shaver’s punch himself out.
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But Earnie was not Damn right I am a Redskins fan now and forever signature shirt able to train as he should have because of having to work, and his stamina was suspect. Bill Slayton, Norton’s trainer said of their fight plan “We have to either fight him at a distance or in very close. Kenny has to move in quickly and meet him and make him work inside. The closer Kenny is to a man, the better he is and the better I feel.” Norton badly underestimated Foreman’s ability to cut the ring off, and he simply could not match Foreman’s power. Foreman, simply punched through his cross arm defense when he caught him, and good night.