Author Archives: Sunni Khalid

The Undefeated, November 8, 2018 –The “Other Willie” And The Early San Francisco Giants

San Francisco is in mourning. Last week, news broke of the passing of Willie McCovey, the Giants’ Hall of Fame first baseman, whose amiable presence remained a fixture at AT&T Park for the last 20 years. Apart from his on-field exploits over a 22-year career, 19 spent in a Giants uniform, McCovey’s name became synonymous […]

The real life “Dora Milaje”

Moviegoers are breathless with anticipation as the awaiting the opening of the Marvel blockbuster “Black Panther,” arriving at theaters this weekend. While much of the fanfare is naturally focused on the title character, “T’Challa,” and his fictional African homeland of Wakanda, there’s also significant excitement about the roles portrayed by Kenya’s Lupita Nyong’o as “Nakia […]

The Undefeated, December 5th, 2017 — From Africa to the NFL FROM AFRICA TO THE NFL More native-born and first-generation Africans are playing in a league that is globalizing not only its fan base, but also its talent BY SUNNI KHALID December 5, 2017 Leave it to America’s Team to start a global revolution. On Aug. 8, 1970, the Dallas Cowboys were playing their […]

The Undefeated, August 29th, 2017 — 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 […]

The Undefeated, August 29th, 2017 — 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…”

The Washington Post, June 24th, 2017 — 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) 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 […]