Author Archives: Sunni Khalid

Mayweather-McGregor Is Bigger Than Boxing

Who do you like? Mayweather or McGregor? A recent visit to two vastly different gyms in Oakland, California, revealed a range of stark emotions and hardened viewpoints, from Floyd is crafty/arrogant/unbeatable to Conor is out of his depth/brash/stands an underdog’s chance. By and large, the rooting for either fighter did not seem to turn on […]

Before Mayweather-McGregor, there was Ali-Inoki.

More than a year in the making, the fight pits perhaps one of the greatest boxers of all time against one of the leading mixed-martial artists. Despite the hype, there is no title at stake, but perhaps something more important is — namely, bragging rights, not only between the two verbose combatants, but also between their rival fan bases: traditionalists favoring the “Sweet Science” and the growing legion of mixed-martial arts enthusiasts.

Although Mayweather-McGregor is boxing match between foes representing two different martial-arts styles, it immediately prompts comparisons to a bout that occurred 41 years ago, more than 5,500 miles from Las Vegas. That’s when arguably the world’s most famous man participated in a sporting spectacle that tarnished his legacy and almost cost him much more.

It happened June 26, 1976, when world’s heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali took on Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki in a glorified exhibition that was billed then as “The Martial Arts Championship of the World…”

Muhammad Ali at a crossroads: out of the ring and out of the army.

Leigh Montville outlines Muhammad Ali’s allegiance to the Nation of Islam in the new book “Sting Like a Bee: Muhammad Ali vs. the United States of America.” (Charles Harrity/Associated Press) By Sunni M. Khalid June 23 Sunni M. Khalid is a former foreign correspondent currently writing a book on modern Egypt. In “Sting Like a […]

Gerald J. “Jerry” Bender (1942-2017)

Last week, I lost another one of my mentors, Jerry Bender, who passed away in Los Angeles. Jerry was simply one of the most brilliant men I have ever had the privilege to meet. I was among one of many he mentored, not only about Angola and Africa, but about life. I will miss his […]

May 1, 2017 — Muhammad Ali: What Might Have Been

The first anniversary of the death of Muhammad Ali roughly coincides with the 50th anniversary of his refusal to be inducted into the US Army — the event that really transformed the boxer into a global icon. It also dramatically altered his trajectory as both a public figure and a fighter. As interesting as Ali’s life became during and after his three-and-a-half year exile from the ring, perhaps the most intriguing question is what he may have became if his career had not been interrupted.

Muhammad Ali vs. Sunni Khalid, February 11, 1980…

My younger brother, Paul Lee, managed to unearth some of 37-year old CBS video of the White House press conference where I confronted former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. Close by Ali was Jeremiah Shabazz, a longtime “handler” from the infamous Nation of Islam (NOI) Mosque No. 12 in Philadelphia, as well as a member of […]

Ambassador Gayletha B. Brown (1947-2013)

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/gayleatha-brown-obituary?pid=1000000164381930 Ambassador Gayleatha B. Brown Passed Friday at the JFK Medical Center in Edison NJ. Born in Matwon, West Virginia, she had been a resident of Metuchen for 37 yrs. formerly of Edison. Ms. Brown was a United States foreign service officer and ambassador for over 30 yrs. She attained her BA and Ma honor […]

Said S. Samatar (1943-2015)

One of my great mentors was the late Dr. Said S. Samatar, a brilliant scholar and source of encouragement in all of my journalistic endeavors. “Abo” guided much of my professional and personal involvement in Somalia and all things Somali. He was insightful, generous, warm and witty. I will miss my conversations him dearly.

The Undefeated, February 8, 2016 –Will Raiders remain in Oakland or are they destined for the desert?

“Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.” – Kahlil Gibran

The great Lebanese poet was not a fan of the Oakland Raiders. Gibran died long before he could set foot inside the crumbling, cavernous relic that is the Oakland Coliseum. Nonetheless, Gibran was a lover, who knew the joys of a love fulfilled, and then, finally of a love unrequited. And so, the romanticist would probably have felt quite at home, rubbing shoulders among Raider Nation as they witness what could be the longest goodbye in the history of professional sports…

Ten Years On- Remembering My Grandfather

<a href=”http://kentridgecommon.com/ten-years-on-remembering-my-grandfather/”>http://kentridgecommon.com/ten-years-on-remembering-my-grandfather/