In 1967, I first met Muhammad Ali on the campus of Howard University with hundreds of students hanging on his every word as he talked about the Vietnam war and racism in America. The rest is community and sports talk show history. 1972-was the debut of my radio talk show “Inside Sports” making me the first American black to host and produce my own radio sports talk show in Washington, DC. Seven years later I met Ali’s close friend R & B legend Lloyd Price and Rahman Ali in Cleveland, Ohio. Rahman was Ali’s only sibling. We were all there for a charity boxing exhibition for Children’s Hospital featuring The Greatest. Entered Don King: Ali made him the first black promoter in the history of boxing. Don said to me, “Stay close baby we are going places.” Famous last words.
Sugar Ray Leonard, Don King and Larry Holmes participate on the Inside Sports Boxing Roundtable heard on WYCB Radio in Washington, DC.
“Deal or no deal-No Deal” I am returning a $10,000 check to Don King because he didn’t keep his word. I remembered the advice his “Right Hand” and his close confidante Connie Harper gave me when he first arrived in New York City from Cleveland. She said, “Don’t take any money from DK unless you have earned it.” When I had earned it he gives me a $10,000 ‘Pimp/Welfare Check.’ Best advice ever!
In 1973 Muhammad Ali made me “The Chosen One.” He invited me to sit on the Mountain Top next to him while he held a press conference with the media. In Chicago, in the summer of 1974, the champ invited me to fly to Zaire, Africa for a one on one interview. I said, ‘No’ to the invitation. I was scared to fly across the ocean. Ali stunned the world when he knocked out the undisputed and undefeated heavyweight champion George Foreman in the 8th round on November 30, 1974. Five days later he returned to the U. S. from Zaire. On his arrival in New York City, he called me for the first interview as he had promised.