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On This Day In Boxing History by Harold Bell

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In 2007, legendary syndicated radio talk show host and fly jock Tom Joyner called me “A little known Black History fact!”  

October 30, 2019, marks the 45th anniversary of The Rumble in the Jungle.  On this date in boxing history, Muhammad Ali stunned the boxing world with an 8th round knockout of the undisputed and undefeated Heavyweight Champion of the world–George Foreman in Zaire, Africa.

On November 3, 1974, Muhammad Ali returned to New York City to make more sporting history when he called me.  I was a little known talk show host in Washington, DC, but still Ali invited me to come to New York City for an exclusive one-on-one interview, making me the first Afro-American/Negro/Black/Colored/”N,” to ever be invited to interview an undisputed reigning Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World one-on-one.

Why me? Because Muhammad Ali had not forgotten a promise he made to me in Chicago before leaving for Africa and what is now known as “The Rumble in the Jungle!”

When I hit the airwaves with The Original Inside Sports in 1972, the format changed the way we talk sports in America and now around the world. I was the first talk show host to successfully blend sports and politics into a radio talk show format.

I am the reason talk show host Jim Rhome is worth 75 million dollars, NFL/CBS host James Brown is worth 10 million dollars. In the meantime, the likes of ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith will be trying to negotiate a 10 million dollar contract for the year 2020 and ESPN’s Mike Wilbon formerly of the Washington Post is now earning 6 million dollars. The common denominator, they all copied my Original Inside Sports talk format–unheard of before 1972.

Mike Wilbon and the legendary late Gary Mays aka “The One Arm Bandit” during a  celebration of Black History Month in DC.

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