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National Press Club Luncheon Speakers

Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton, August 27, 1976

Image: Photo of Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton
Muhammad Ali (left) and Ken Norton (right), August 27, 1976. Photo by Stan Jennings. National Press Club Archives

Muhammad Ali (1942-2016), considered the greatest heavyweight champion in history by many in the boxing world, engaged in a verbal sparring match at a National Press Club luncheon on August 27, 1976, with his upcoming opponent, Ken Norton (1943-2013), one month before Ali successfully defended his title in their third and last bout together. In the joint appearance, Ali displayed many of the features that he often employed to define his public image. Ali taunted Norton with wit, rhyme, and braggadocio, promoted their upcoming fight with showman techniques, made news by championing a civil rights cause, and even delivered a serious lecture to the skeptical press on Islamic religious themes. Norton, considered by many to be one of Ali’s toughest foes, stood firm when Ali tried to rile him, yet remained in the background as Ali monopolized the spotlight through the sheer force of his engaging personality.... More [PDF; 99 KB]

Timings (hh:mm:ss)

Introductions: 00:00-08:58
Speech: 08:58-39:05
Q & A: 39:06-01:02:54

Topics of the Talk

  • Lawsuit Against NAACP for Organized Boycott in Mississippi: 12:07-17:33
  • Muhammad Ali’s Promotion of the Sport of Boxing: 40:42-47:35
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  Home >> National Press Club >> Ali & Norton
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  March 11, 2022
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