George Foreman KOs Ken Norton This Day March 26, 1974
- George Foreman 224¾ lbs
- Ken Norton 212¾
- TKO at 2:00 in round 2 of 15
- Location: El Poliedro, Caracas, Venezuela
- Referee: Jimmy Rondeau
- World Boxing Council Heavyweight Title (2nd defense by Foreman)
- World Boxing Association Heavyweight Title (2nd defense by Foreman)
The fight was seen in over 70 countries.
The fight was shown on closed circuit television at 200 locations in the United States and Canada.
Foreman’s purse was $700,000, and Norton’s was $200,000.
Foreman was a 3 to 1 favorite.
There was a crowd of about 9,000 in the 13,500-seat arena.
The fight opened with Foreman stalking and Norton circling. Foreman hurt Norton in the second round and sent him crashing into the ropes. After taking a mandatory eight count, Norton again fell into the ropes, but Referee Jimmy Rondeau did not call it a knockdown. A series of power shots then put Norton flat on his back. He was able to beat the count of 10, but Rondeau stopped the fight. “His eyes were rolled up and he had turned his back on Foreman,” Rondeau said. “His corner was asking me to stop the fight, but I already had.”
Tex Maule of Sports Illustrated called the fight a “mismatch.”
The fight had originally been set for Caracas, Venezuela, on the basis that all taxes would be waived. But the night before the match, Hank Schwartz, vice-president of Video Techniques, the theater-TV outfit that beamed the fight out into the world, was handed a government memo saying that some taxes would be assessed. The next afternoon, Aldemaro Romero, who managed the Poliedro fight arena, assured Schwartz that the tax problem had been solved, that the Poliedro would put up a tax bond. The day after the fight, the government insisted on collecting 18 percent of the purses guaranteed to the fighters. To enforce the demand, Venezuelan authorities stopped the fighters at the airport and said they couldn’t leave the country until they had posted bonds for the tax money. Robert McClintock, United States Ambassador to Venezuela, was enlisted to mediate. Norton posted bond and was able to leave on March 29, but Foreman wasn’t able to leave until April 2. He was finally allowed to exit the country after paying $300,000 to the Venezuelan government. The fight became known as “The Caracas Caper.”
The 1998 Holiday Issue of The Ring Magazine ranked Foreman No. 4 and Norton No. 22 on the list The 50 Greatest Heavyweights of All Time.