Ken Norton knows something about the entertainment factor as a veteran of two roles on the silver screen, in Mandingo and Drum, and he thinks Jimmy Young is something less than exciting.
Norton was asked today if he thought Young was a "bore" with his style in the ring.
"Frankly," Norton said in this entertainment capital of the world, "Yes."
"He makes you look bad while he's looking good. But I don't mind looking bad if I'm winning.
"Young is talented. He is a spoiler, a clinger. He jabs, counter with his right over your jab and holds. He figures on me tiring, then stepping back and becoming aggressive."
How does Norton hope to stop Young from hitting and holding in their 15-round bout here on Saturday night?
"I am going to try to discourage him from holding by bringing up short uppercuts at he reaches in from the outside to hold. It will be a very difficult fight because he is very elusive with his head. But I don't think he can hurt me.
Norton was reminded that Young has said he will "hang up my brains if I get beat by a mechanical man like Norton. He throws dumb stuff and I am not going to be standing there taking it."
Norton's ego was not scuffed by Young's remarks, he said. "I don't care if he calls my punches 'dumb,' as long as they land on him."
"If I go out there basically to try to show him I am smarter than he is, I won't be concentrating on my fight.
"I know it is up to me to make the fight: he won't."
Predictable was the question of how he expected to beat Young, who decisioned and knocked down George Foreman, who knocked out Norton in two rounds.
"What can I say?" Norton said frankly. "But look at it this way - I beat Muhammad Ali (in the first of their three bouts) and Ali beat Foreman and Young.
Ali found Young's head hard to hit. When Ali got close to hitting him in the head, Young ducked his head outside the ropes.
"I feel I can outsmart Young, outbox his and all the while put pressure on him. I can go 15 rounds. But it has to be a decisive margin I win by, as I see it, because I don't have much faith in the ring officials in close fights anymore (alluding to the decision he thought he was robbed of in his last bout with Ali).
"Besides, a decisive victory would help to generate negotiations for a title fight with Ali. That's my motivating factor. I really think Ali will fight the winner of this bout."
The last reference was to a report that Top Rank, Inc., the New York closed circuit television promotional firm, has Ali engaged to fight the winner of a bout here or at the Ivory Coast in February between former Olympics champion Leon Spinks and Alfredo Righetti of Italy.
"I hope Ali will honor his word to fight Saturday night's winner," Norton said.
He (in fact) made this fight. He said he was too old to fight both of us again, that we should fight, then he would fight the winner.
"How would I get Ali in the ring, if he doesn't want to fight me? By the help of the media, and the people, Ali is a proud man. He won't be able to stand people saying he is afraid of me."