Ron Harris (Posted January 23, 2022) 

Photo Credit:  Amy Wescott

Atlantic City, NJ – Boxing is hard enough with two arms, but it is impossible with one arm.  That is what World Boxing Council featherweight champion, Gary Russell, Jr tried to do when defending his title against the WBC number one contender, Mark Magsayo (24-0). Magsayo becomes the WBC champion with a majority decision over Russell.  The judges scored the fight, 114-114, and 115-113, 115-113 in favor of Magsayo.   Russell, making the 6th defense of his title, said he hurt his shoulder about two weeks ago. “I believe I have a torn tendon in my right shoulder.  I haven’t competed in almost two years.  This is what true champions do. I wanted to step into the ring and display my superiority regardless of the injury.”

Magsayo, from the Philippines, towered over the shorter Russell and looked more like a welterweight instead of a featherweight.  In round 3 or 4, Magsayo hit Russell on or near the injured shoulder and made Russell buckle in pain.  He stayed on his feet, but never used the right hand for the remainder of the fight.  Russell is a southpaw, and he tried his best to win the fight with his power hand.  Many experts at ringside had Russell winning rounds by staying away from the much taller Magsayo and landing his left flush on Magsayo’s face.  Russell is not a hard puncher, and the new champion was never phased.  Russell is known to have perhaps the fastest hands in the sport, but he was never able to land any two-hand combinations that he is famous for. 

“Yes, I know that I hurt him in the third round.  I hit him with a good shot so that’s why he got hurt.  I took advantage of it because he was only using one hand,” said Magsayo.  “This was my opportunity to follow through.  My coach was telling me to use good combinations and follow through.  He said this is your chance to become a champion and now I am a champion.”

Russell had not fought in close to 2 years.  He said he wanted to fight, but several would be opponents backed away from fighting him.  It is very hard to stay sharp for those many months with nobody firing real bullets at you.  Russell trains his younger brothers, both undefeated, along with his father, Gary Russell, Sr.  Russell, Sr has had some health challenges recently and the family is still mourning the lost of their youngest son. 

The always confident, Russell was not down after suffering only his second defeat against 31 victories.  “I gave him a boxing lesson.  I gave him a boxing lesson the whole way through.  I hit him clean whenever I wanted to.  I couldn’t use my right arm, but I was still able to throw effective shots.”

It is hard to figure out which judges like ring movement and defense or if they like the more aggressive fighter.  Magsayo was chasing Russell in every round.  Gary ducked out of harms way all night long, but at least two judges ruled in favor of the more aggressive Magsayo.  Thus, a new champion was crowned at the Borgata Casino and Spa in Atlantic City.  The place was packed, which could mean the once proud boxing city of Atlantic City may be making a comeback.   



Antonio Russell Wins Tough Majority Decision over Alexandro Santiago

Ron Harris (November 27, 2021)

Las Vegas, Nev. – The question posed to the fighting Russell family is when World Boxing Council featherweight champion Gary Russell, Jr will get back in the ring to defend his title. The word is he will fight at the beginning of 2022. In the meantime, Gary Jr’s brother, Gary Antonio Russell keeps climbing up the bantamweight division in hopes of a title shot, maybe next year.

Antonio, from Capitol Heights, Maryland, got by a rugged fighter from Mexico the other night at the Park MGM Hotel in Las Vegas with a majority decision over Alexandro Santiago, 25. The judges scored the fight, 95-95 and 96-94, twice. This was the toughest fight of Antonio’s career. He improved his record to 19-0 and went 10 rounds for the second time in his career. He is currently ranked number 2 by the World Boxing Association. Although Russell had a towering height advantage over Santiago (24-3-5), he still had to keep the shorter fighter off him. “I gave myself about a C- on this fight,” said Antonio. “It was some missed opportunities. He was a rugged little fighter. He had no choice but to try to make the fight rough. I was displaying my jab a lot, keeping him at the end. He is a short guy, and I was conscious of the head butts that happened in my last 2 previous fights.”  His last fight lasted on a few seconds before the ref stopped the fight and ruled it a no contest. “I wanted to keep it clean and get some rounds in.” Head butts occur many times when a southpaw fighter is fighting an orthodox (right-handed) fighter. Santiago is 5’ 3”.

The crowd booed the decision of the judges. Professional judges can see what the people in the stands can’t see. Because a fighter is aggressive, does not mean he is landing effective punches. Defense is apart of the judges ruling. Santiago pressed Russell from the 4th round on, but he ate some clean shots from Antonio along the way. “He got some good shots in. Nothing hurt me or anything. It wasn’t so much of what he did, it was me on defense and missing some opportunities,” recalls Russell. Thus, his grade of C-. “I should have pressed him earlier in the fight and maybe the outcome would have been different,” said Santiago through an interpreter. Santiago was fighting in Las Vegas for the first time.

“People may look at this performance and think I am not ready for a title shot, but I know I am ready. I just hope one of the champions gives me a shot,” said Russell.

Photo credit:  Sean Michael Ham

Ron Harris, retired college administrator, coach, broadcaster, Internet and TV sports producer and host. Former radio host of a live call-in show.  Extremely close to the sports landscape in the Washington, DC metro area. Former radio sports reporter, covering MLB, college sports, major boxing events and much more.





Mayweather to Return to The Action

Having gone 49-0 through his professional boxing career, Floyd Mayweather seemingly retired after his one-sided 2015 victory over Andre Berto. However, the lure of another bumper payday by taking on UFC fighter Conor McGregor in a boxing encounter proved too rich to ignore, especially given the minimal risk the bout posed to his undefeated record.

And another showdown of a similar nature is now on the cards, as ‘Money’ has signed a deal with a mixed martial arts company to face kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in Japan on New Year’s Eve.

The format and many other aspects of the fight remain unknown but don’t be surprised to see it more Marquess of Queensbury Rules than anything else.

What can be pretty much guaranteed is that Mayweather will be paid handsomely again, given that Japan is something of an untapped market.

It’s clear that the 41-year-old would be willing to step into the ring with anyone if the purse and rules are right and here are five names who could be linked with a Floyd Mayweather fight in 2019.

Five more fights Floyd could make in 2019

  1. Gennady Golovkin

Unlikely, but if Mayweather did decide to test himself against an elite boxer again, there are arguably no bigger names available than Triple G.

This would provide Mayweather with a serious payday and Pretty Boy Floyd has already beaten Saul Alvarez in the past, who earlier this year edged a tight majority decision over GGG. However, Mayweather would seemingly need to step up to middleweight to take such a fight and Golovkin is one of the biggest punchers in the sport.

Facing a bigger man with obvious knockout power is not something that is likely to appeal to Mayweather in his current position.

Golvkin vs Alvarez


Golovkin could be a tough customer for Mayweather to take down.

Click here to read our boxing betting guide

2. Terence Crawford

In terms of nullifying the strengths of his opponent, thinking on his feet and remaining unbeaten, Crawford is almost the modern-day Mayweather. He is 34-0.

Welterweight is the division where Mayweather was most at home during his career and Crawford is the current WBO champion at 147lbs.

It would be a good chance for Mayweather to prove that he’s still the man, even into his 40s, but taking on an experienced unbeaten fighter at the peak of his career at the age of 31 is likely a hazard Floyd will want to avoid.

He arguably did the same previously with Manny Pacquaio. Talks began over a possible fight in 2009, with the pair eventually squaring off in 2015 when the Filipino star looked a shadow of his fast-paced, pressurising previous best.

3. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Given both men’s reasonably recent victories over McGregor, albeit in different forms of contact sport, the obvious next showdown is for them to face each other.

The fight should hold appeal to Mayweather as it is sure to generate PPV sales, while Nurmagomedov is probably a weaker boxer than McGregor. He is much more of a wild puncher, with his superior strength in UFC being in terms of takedowns and wrestling.

Mayweather’s technique and skill can expose Khabib’s careless striking and a victory should be secured much quicker than the 10 rounds required to see off McGregor.


Khabib has won all 26 fights he has partaken in while never losing a round, but can Mayweather shatter his record?

4. Michael B. Jordan

There are opinions that the upcoming Nasukawa fight is nothing more than an exhibition. Why not go one better and fight the actor who played the lead role in the sports drama film Creed?

Jordan is sure to have gained some boxing knowledge through his training to play the part, revealing that he boxed for “three or four days a week” during the build-up.

However, a tweet from Sylvester Stallone showing a video of Jordan getting knocked out during training suggests he still has plenty of work to do.

5. Sergio Ramos

Mayweather is something of a marmite boxer, liked and appreciated by many. Loathed by numerous others. But should he will almost undoubtedly fulfil the role of good guy if a fight was ever set up against Real Madrid defender Ramos.

The Spaniard has made a habit of the dark arts in football, from playing a part in Mo Salah’s Champions League final shoulder injury to stamping on Raheem Sterling in the recent showdown with England.

Many football fans would pay good money to see hatchet man Ramos get his comeuppance in the ring.


Maryam Naz




Maryam is a female football writer, who grew up playing a wide variety of sport. She slowly became converted as a lover of football around the age of 10, and her interest in it drove her to pursue it not only physically, but also academically. In her first year of college she cemented a placement at the Independent, whom she worked for before branching out to Premier League-accredited sites like the female-led ‘Offside Rule’ blog and RealSport. She studied English at University alongside this, and is now a digital copy-writer and editor, specializing in sports journalism.

Nicholson, Outlaw, Fox shine at Bowie St.

Ron Harris

Special to The Sentinel

Bowie – In front of an overflow crowd last Saturday, at the second boxing card at Bowie State University, promoted by Shabazz Brothers, Demond Nicholson, defended his United States National Boxing Super Middleweight championship with a picture-perfect right hook to the jaw of Fernando Castaneda in round 2 that knocked him out. 

Nicholson (20-3) a Laurel native, come out with a crisp and stiff jab and displaying the confidence of a fighter with a championship belt in his possession. 

Castaneda (19-13) was strong and aggressive in round one, but Nicholson was clearly on top of his game, connecting with hard shots and using all of his punches.  “I never lost my confidence.  I always knew what I was capable of.  I just had to make a little change in my life style”, said Nicholson. Demond is prepared to be ranked in the top ten with the World Boxing Council.  He impressed the WBC with the punch that stopped Castaneda.  “It was a right hook.  My coach preached in me that if my opponent is straight in front of me, to throw my jab…if he’s slightly to my right, to throw my right hook.  He was there, and it connected perfectly.”

Nicholson can add his name to the list of DMV contenders.

Bowie native and Bowie St. University grad, Greg Outlaw won on each judge’s card to shut out Baltimore’s Mack Allison IV and earn his 7th straight win as a pro.  “I dedicated this fight to my girlfriend who lost her battle with Cancer,” said an emotional Outlaw.  Allison attacked Outlaw all night, but Greg constantly peppered Allison with perfect jabs and body shots from an orthodox stance and a southpaw stance.  The huge crowd cheered loudly on each punch landed by Outlaw. 

Forestville native, Myke Fox (19-0), known as “The Professor”, took Gonzalo Dallera to school.  He taught Dallera (5-1) that if he wants to be aggressive toward Fox, he would land on his back with a precision like straight left from Fox.  Fox said what he liked best was, “The knock down.  We worked intelligently.  We didn’t waste any punches.  We were very accurate in what we needed to throw.”

Fox is not known for flattening opponents.  He proved, again that his punches find their mark with great accuracy.  He was even landing clean shots while back peddling.  Something most young fighters can’t master.  “He caught me with a good shot, but is wildness opened him up for counters, which were working well tonight,” said Fox.

The standing room crowd saw some good action on the undercard.  Hasim Rahman, Jr. son of former heavyweight champion by the same name won a unanimous decision to improve to 7-0.  In a very competitive fight, Bowie native, Luther “Lights Out” Smith eked out a split decision to take his record to 12-4. Washington, DC native, Tiara Brown put on a boxing clinic to improve to 7-0.  The DC police officer’s opponent could not answer the bell for the 5th round.  Lorenzo Simpson put his illustrious amateur career aside and made his pro debut with a TKO win when his bout was stopped, for no apparent reason by the referee.  Simpson was clearly superior to his opponent but there was no reason to stop the bout at that point.  The big crowd booed with their disapproval.  They wanted to see more of Simpson’s pro debut. 


Hurd wins, Retains Multiple Belts
Ron Harris
Special to the Sentinel

Los Angeles – “Swift” Jarrett Hurd, from Accokeek, unified the Super Welterweight division 7 months ago in Las Vegas.  After that fight, Hurd had shoulder surgery and he did no fight activities for several weeks.  “I rehabbed for over 8 weeks.  It was hard and painful”, Hurd said.

On December 1, Hurd put his 3 belts on the line against Britain’s Jason Welborn (24-7) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles as the co-feature on the Deontay Wilder, Jason Fury card. 

Hurd (23-0) came away with a 4th round knock out after landing a vicious right hand to Welborn’s solar plex.  Before that punch, Welborn had put Hurd on the ropes several times and was winning 2 out of the first 3 rounds on the judge’s cards.  The crowd was on Welborn’s side and his British fans were hoping for a major upset. 

Hurd, 28, was feeling the same way.  “I got caught up on the ropes and got caught with some shots and said that’s enough.”  Hurd, the International Boxing Organization, World Boxing Association and the International Boxing Federation champion, began to get back to the center of the ring and follow his plan which was to test his left shoulder by snapping his jab to the face of Welborn, who was fighting in America for the first time. 

Known to be a slow starter, Hurd picked up the pace in rounds 2 and 3, but Welborn was still bringing the action to the champion.  “I was just coming off surgery so I wanted to see how I worked off of the jab,” Hurd said.  “I heard the crowd and I didn’t want him to get brave, so I turned it up and got the knock down.”  Welborn tried to get up at the count of 9 and a half, but veteran referee Lou Moret called the last knock out of his 30-year career.  He was officiating his last fight. 

Hurd said he wants to fight his next fight at home against a right-handed opponent and then talk about fighting one of the Charlo twins.  Hurd will need faster starts when he fights any one of the twins.

The other fight action on that night, took place at the new Entertainment and Sports Arena in SE Washington, DC’s Ward 8.  It was the first professional boxing match at the arena.  The crowd was small and the action was lack luster.  Popular DC contender, Dusty Harrison withdrew as the main event because of a bruised shoulder.  Dusty said, “I hurt my shoulder and was not able to train for over 2 weeks and decided to postpone my fight.”

That moved multiple belt holder, Tori Nelson from Ashburn, Virginia, to the top of the card.  The 42-year-old, mother won a unanimous decision over Sanna Turunen.  Nelson added the UBF middleweight belt to her collection with a shut out on all judge’s cards, 100-90.  She improved her record to 19-2-3.

Other local fighters did well, also.  George Harris from Silver Spring improved to 2-0, Alexander Johnson from Washington, DC won a unanimous decision to take his record to 17-4-1, Jordan White from DC scored a first round TKO to move to 7-1, DC’s Kareem Martin won a unanimous decision to go to 11-2 and local favorite Sam “The Vanilla Gorilla” Crossed from Greenbelt, got a home town split decision to stay unbeaten at 8-0.   All in attendance thought Sam had suffered his first lost to Twon Smith. 



By Black Men In (Updated October 10, 2018)

Did you know that 78% percent of NFL players are under financial stress or bankrupt just two years into retirement. Within five years of retirement, 60% of NBA players are broke, according to Sports Illustrated.

In the ESPN documentary “Broke,” Director Billy Corben provides a “step-by-step guide on how to go broke” by talking to the current and former professional athletes who’ve gone broke themselves or have watched teammates and peers drain their bank accounts.

A disturbing large number of Black athletes have squandered millions of dollars due to bad business decisions, divorces, child support payments, uncontrolled lavish spending, overall poor financial planning and lack of personal discipline.

Two of the more recent athletes in the news who have gone broke are former NFL stars Vince Young and Jamal Lewis.

In August 2012, former NFL player Jamal Lewis, 32, was arrested and charged with child abandonment.  Earlier this year Lewis declared bankruptcy.   He is one of many professional athletes to file for bankruptcy.  According to court records, Lewis has $14.5 million in assets, and $10.6 million in liabilities.  Court documents also reflected that Lewis now earns $35,000 per month, and spends $34,050 of it.  In addition, Lewis’ cars cost $5,700 per month, his mortgage is $6,000 per month and he owns a $200,000 boat, along with a $150,000 Ford F-650 XUV.   Lewis also owns other vehicles, which explains why his car payments are so high.  The court documents reflected that Lewis did not contribute anything to charity.

In July 2009, Lewis continued to play football.  While still with the Ravens, Lewis invested in a cross country trucking business.  His company had a fleet of around 200 trucks delivering perishable goods.  Lewis personally guaranteed the loans with his bank.  By June 2010, Baltimore County Circuit Court records reflected that M&T bank won a judgment last year against Lewis for more than $350,000 in unpaid lease installments and late fees and $35,000 in attorney fees.

On July 30, 2006, Vince Young, the No. 3 overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft, signed a six-year contract with the Tennessee Titans that was worth $48 million dollars.  The contract had a maximum value of $57.79 million, with $25.74 million guaranteed.  Here we are six later and young is out of the league and according to his lawyer, has run out of money.

Young earned over another $4 million last season with the Philadelphia Eagles and signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Buffalo Bills in May.  Young was released in August before the start of the regular NFL season.

Let’s take a look at some of the athletes who have “gone broke.”

  • Eddy Curry – A few years ago, NBA player Eddy Curry, despite making over $60 million in his career, Eddy Curry (NBA) is in serious debt while still shooting the ball. According to an Associated Press report, Curry defaulted on a $575,000 loan with an 85 percent interest rate (you read that rate correctly—85%).  Curry was ordered by a judge to pay back $1.2 million to Allstar Capital Inc.  Curry reportedly lost his $3.7 million home to foreclosure while trying to maintain monthly expenses exceeding $250,000 per month.  Curry is currently in training camp with the San Antonio Spurs.
  • Warren Sapp —The former Tampa Bay Buccaneer, Oakland Raider and NFL Network commentator owes more than $6.7 million to creditors and back child support and alimony, according to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in South Florida.  Sapp’s $6.45 million in assets includes 240 pairs of Jordan athletic shoes worth almost $6,500; a $2,250 watch; and a lion skin rug worth $1,200.
  • Dennis Rodman — The eccentric Hall of Fame basketball star is allegedly broke and behind on over $800,000 of child support bills. Rodman’s also been challenged in court for failure to pay child and spousal support to his third wife, Michelle.
  • Travis Henry — This former NFL Running Back has 11 children with 10 different women.  Henry fell behind on child support payments and reportedly tried other avenues to generate money.  Henry currently serving jail time for cocaine trafficking.
  • Latrell Sprewell — Early in his career this former NBA player turned down a $21 million contract from the Minnesota Timberwolves citing that the contract did not offer enough money because he had a “family to feed.”  According to MSNBC, Sprewell had his Italian yacht seized by a U.S. marshal after his mortgage went into default. Eventually his home, valued at $5.4 million, went into foreclosure in 2008 despite the fact that he made nearly $100 million during his career.
  • Lawrence Taylor — The NFL Hall of Fame Linebacker’s life has been marred by cocaine addiction, statutory rape charges and bad investments. Taylor also plead guilty to tax evasion.
  • Kenny Anderson — The NBA Point Guard was already broke by the time he retired from the NBA in 2005 after making approximately $60 million.  Since then, he went back to school, got a degree and is now the boys’ basketball coach at David Posnack Jewish Day School in Davie, Fla.  Anderson accumulated over $40,000 in monthly expenses to go along with child support for eight children.  Anderson also owned eight cars, a home in Beverly Hills, a $10,000 monthly allowance, and regular $3,000 giveaways to relatives. In his divorce, he lost nearly $6 million in a prenuptial agreement.
  • Scottie Pippen — Although he made an estimated $120 million during his playing days, former NBA great Scottie Pippen lost millions in mismanaged money (he sued his former law firm for the mismanaging). He also made the ill-advised purchase of a $4 million Gulfstream jet and later found out it needed $1 million worth of engine repair.  At one point, Pippen owed U.S. Bank more than $5 million in principal, interest and attorneys’ fees, which he reportedly could not afford.  On June 30 of this year, Mr. Pippen left the Cook County courthouse in tears after a jury awarded him $2 million out of the $8.2 million he was seeking in one of those lawsuits against two attorneys at the Chicago law firm Pedersen & Houpt.
  • Terrell Owens — Back in January 2012, former NFL player known as “T.O.” admitted to GQ magazine that he was friendless, almost broke and “in hell.” He claimed that he lost his millions not because of an extravagant lifestyle, but because financial advisers steered him astray.
  • Evander Holyfield — The former 4 time Heavyweight boxing champion who made over $250 million during his career said:  “I’m not broke; I’m just not liquid.”  Holyfield’s $10 million 54,000 square foot home with 109 rooms on 234 acres was foreclosed in 2008.  He also owed a landscaping company over $500,000 in unpaid services and had problems paying child support for his 11 children.  Holyfied also owed $200,000 in back taxes.  The good news is that the house recently sold at auction for $7.5 million.  The bad news is that at the time of the sale Holyfield owed more than $14 million.
  • Deuce McAllister — Former NFL player McAllister lost millions when his Nissan dealership in Jackson, Miss. went belly up in 2009. Nissan is currently suing him, claiming the dealership defaulted on hundreds of thousands in payments and even more on exceeded credit limits.
  • Michael Vick — The elusive NFL Quaterback filed for Chapter 11 in 2008 after serving prison time for participating in a dog fighting ring. He lost millions in all sorts of ways, including failing to pay for 130 rental cars and defaulting on a loan to set up a wine store. Vick’s appears to be headed in the right direction as he recently signed a $100 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Muhsin Muhammad — The former NFL Wide Receiver owed tens of thousands in overdue credit card bills and ended up selling his home on eBay.
  • Antoine Walker – Former NBA star Antoine Walker, earned more than $110 million and filed for bankruptcy in 2009, one year after retiring from the NBA.  Walker’s financial moves reportedly included supporting 70 family and friends, building his mother a 10-bathroom mansion, owning at least two Bentleys and two Mercedes and collecting watches.  In an interview with ESPN’s First Take TV show on October 2, 2012, Walker said, his financial woes were not largely due to gambling.  He admitted to gambling but not as much as has been reported.  Walker said his problems stemmed from bad investments in the real estate market, bad advice and supporting a lavish lifestyle with friends and family.
  • Raghib “Rocket” Ismael – Ismael played two years in Canada and 10 in the NFL, earning an estimated $18 million to $20 million in salary alone. He then started to invest in a series of ventures that went bust, including a Rock n’ Roll Café, COZ Records, a movie, cosmetics, nationwide phone-card dispensers, and calligraphy proverbs kiosks.
  • Mike Tyson – This former boxer may be the “King of Broke.”  Tyson reportedly earned over $400 million during his career.  Tyson’s fall from grace included a nasty divorce, a rape charge that led to a prison sentence, felony possession of drugs and a DUI charge.  At one point, Tyson was worth less that $700 dollars.  His situation has improved. He appears to be doing well in recovery for drug and alcohol problems, has remarried, had a movie made about his life and he is on Broadway starring in a play about his life.
  • Allen Iverson – This former NBA dynamo reportedly earned over $200 million in salary and endorsements is reportedly broke.  Iverson, aka “The Answer,” apparently has no answer to cure his financial woes.  Iverson reportedly owes $859,000 to a Georgia jewelry store.  Trouble seems to follow Iverson in the form of arrests for assault, carry a concealed weapon and gambling debts.

White athletes go broke too.  Names like Bernie Kosar, Mark Brunell, Johnny Unitas, Bjorn Borg, Rollie Fingers, Curt Schilling, Sean Salisbury and Lenny Dykstra have gone broke.  We chose to focus on athletes whose names and careers you are more familiar with.

Is the reporting of broke athletes different for white athletes than black athletes?  Are there more racial stereotypes associated with the black athletes?  Or is it just a matter of sports stereotypes?  We’re just asking?  We believe that many people, regardless of their race would go broke if they became a multimillionaire over night, especially, without any financial training.  We need to teach our children financial literacy skills as soon as they learn how to count.

Former college (Fab 5) and NBA player Jalen Rose explains HOW athletes go broke.

Ed Butowsky, featured in ESPN’s successful “30 for 30: Broke”, addresses how and why pro athletes find themselves in financial distress. Ed Butowsky has been in investment advising for the past 26 years and has seen first-hand how these athletes go broke.

Former Milwaukee Bucks player Vin Baker talks to fans at a summer block party Saturday, June 6, 2015, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

When Vin Baker was a 20-year-old center on the unheralded University of Hartford basketball team, Sports Illustrated called him “America’s Best Kept Secret.” Recently, it was widely reported that the former pro basketball star, who earned $100 million during 13 NBA seasons, is broke and currently in training for a managerial position at a Starbucks franchise in Rhode Island.

At first glance, Baker’s financial hardship seems incomprehensible: He managed to deplete that massive fortune only 10 years into his retirement from basketball. In fact, Baker’s situation is disturbingly common. According to a 2009 Sports Illustrated article, 78% of former NFL players face bankruptcy or financial stress within two years of retirement. That same article reported that the rate of NBA retirees going broke within five years of leaving the court was as high as 60%. The NBA says that figure was overblown and pulled out of thin air; according to an NBA union survey, within 10 years of retiring 6% to 8% of players had lost huge amounts of money or were having trouble making ends meet.

In any event, everyone acknowledges that the finances of pro athletes and retirees is a source of serious concern. Students of behavioral economics may not be surprised to learn that basketball players who demonstrate a preference for long-range, low-percentage three-pointers seem especially likely to run into financial problems when they retire.

Poor financial literacy, ill-chosen accountants and other financial advisors, high-risk investing, gambling addictions, divorce, cultures of lavish spending, and much else have led countless professional athletes to bottom out financially over the years. MONEY has put together a list of ten of the most famous flops, from the professional boxing leagues to the WNBA, as living proof that even the biggest of fortunes can have a short shelf life.

Mike Tyson

Let’s Talk Success

Eszylfie (pronounced “Es-zelfie”) Taylor is “swinging away.”

After a successful career at New York Life, the founder and president of Taylor Insurance and Financial Services in Los Angeles now manages a practice that serves 1,500 clients — which includes celebrities and Hall of Fame athletes — all while juggling a weekly radio show, recently penning a book, sitting on the boards of three non-profits and founding the non-profit Future Stars Basketball Camp.

Quarterback Steve Young and his $40 Million Annuity (Courtesy
This just may be the best story about an annuity. Steve Young was signed out of Brigham Young University (BYU) and into a 40-million-dollar contract with the USFL. That was the headline but the reality was that he was given an annuity that would pay out something like $40 million over the 50 years that followed. Had it been a deal with the San Francisco 49ers (where Young really earned his NFL hall-of-famer cred), I’d say it was a raw deal. However, given the fact that some players weren’t paid for playing in the final season (or other seasons) of the USFL, accepting the annuity appears to have been a genius move on the part of either Young or his agent.

Those annuity payouts have lasted longer than the league and it’s safe to say that he has made more money than probably anyone else involved with the league. To be fair, that couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Even with a large signing bonus, and salary, he continued to wear old jeans and drive a 19-year-old Oldsmobile Dynamic (a clunker at that). In addition to outlasting the league, that annuity even outlasted the Oldsmobile car company! Who would have thought that? With a staggering number of pro athletes going broke after they retire, it’s refreshing to read stories about players who made smart financial choices.

Shout out to Rashard Mendenhall

Without question HBO’s Ballers TV series has some of the best writing, acting, producing and directing in the business. One such talent is the former NFL player and Money Baller Rashard Mendenhall who defied the odds of post-retirement financial ruin by keeping his eyes open and running his life on his own terms. He now works as one of the show’s writers. “I wasn’t supposed to walk away from the NFL, but I did. I wasn’t supposed to be writing television, but I am. I’m supposed to be lost after football. I’m not. I’ve reinvented myself. This is my first transformation. I’m supposed to be broke right now, or maybe the statistics say five years from now. Either way, I’m not even close. I’m not supposed to be anything but a football player. But really, I’m just a guy who used to play football. There’s a reason I’m doing this.”

In all fairness, we cannot ignore that good work is being done by organizations like The Azara Group, the NFL and the NFLPA are working diligently to make improvements and helping players. Examples of efforts to move the needle for athletes are the NFL’s Financial Education Program and the NFLPA’s new division called “The Trust,” which focuses on retired players and their post-pro transition.

The Azara Group is also dedicated to advancing the athletic and post-athletic careers of these champions. Career planning, business strategy, and negotiation skills are essential. In the case of pro athletes, a clear action plan for the future can help preserve their wealth. We believe in always being proactive and playing offense when it comes to the future. We help our clients strategize for career longevity and lasting financial success. These players deserve to live their dreams on the field and beyond, and our goal is to help get them there.

Former Baseball Player Steve Findley Helps Athletes Manage Their Money

1. Don’t wait. Assemble your team of advisers now

A windfall is, by definition, unexpected, so prepare before one comes your way. Professional sports draft deals, for example, are completed at lightning speed — within hours, even minutes, of making a player an offer. Make a mistake and it could cost you a lot of money. That’s why I counsel my clients to get their team in place as soon as possible. Your team should include an agent (for sports or entertainment), a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and a financial adviser who communicate regularly about your financial situation and goals. That way, when a cash event occurs in your life, you’ll be ready.

2. Protect against scams

I advise that it’s not reasonable to expect a pitcher to be a great catcher, or a center fielder to be a great short stop. You want the best person for each position. Likewise, you should avoid one-stop-shop advisers. For example, don’t let one person advise you on both your tax needs and your financial investments. That’s how scams can happen. So, make sure there’s oversight between your agent, CPA, and financial adviser. This will help create a solid system of checks and balances.

3. Ready, set, negotiate

If you’re dealing with a signing bonus, it will likely be your first exposure to a significant amount of money. And it will come with a sizable side of taxes. Should you take a lump sum, or spread out payments over time? What are the tax implications of receiving your bonus in California verses Florida? Be careful here. Work with your CPA, because these decisions could affect you financially. Your agent can help you negotiate contract terms you may not have known were negotiable, like help paying for college when your sports or entertainment career is done.

4. Pump the breaks on spending

Whether a windfall is $500,000 or $5 million, it’s likely going to be much more money than a person has seen at one time. In response, a lot of those coming into windfalls spend it before the ink dries on the check.

Young athletes who have just been drafted, for example, may buy expensive cars, houses, bling — you name it. The money just vanishes as young players try to keep up with the veterans. For example, there was a player during my MLB days that got “tricked” into purchasing a $200,000 car just to show up a veteran teammate who claimed to have one on-order as a practical joke. The last thing you want is to get to the end of the year and think, “Where did it all go?”

Professional athletes are at particularly high risk of doing this. In fact, MLB players file bankruptcy four times more often than the national average. According to Sports Illustrated, 78% of NFL players are bankrupt or under financial stress within two years of exiting the league, and 60% of NBA players are bankrupt within five years.

5. Just say no

If you come into a windfall, people are going to find out. That’s when people come out of the woodwork with “great investment” ideas. Friends, family, and strangers with no business experience start seeking you out. My personal advice: Stay away from business deals your first year.

I’ve seen players lose hundreds of thousands on restaurants, car dealerships, hometown baseball academies, and other bad deals. Learn to say “no.” And if you can’t, ask them to send their proposals to your financial adviser to review. Let them be the bad guy.

Whether you’ve just been drafted into a professional sports league (the MLB draft is right around the corner in June) or are even selling a company or are receiving some other windfall — it can be like winning the lottery. That lottery ticket can come with huge distractions. At worst, it can make you spend money you don’t have. With the right team in place, you can avoid the all-too-common pitfalls that lead to financial downfall. Asking questions is both empowering and free of charge. Not knowing the answers can cost you financially.

Steve Finley is a Financial adviser with the Global Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley in Rancho Santa Fe. The information contained in this article is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives. Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, Member SIPC, or its affiliates.

Gary A. Johnson is the Founder of Gary A. Johnson Company & Associates, LLC, a management training and consulting company. The company manages a variety of Internet and digital media enterprises including Black Men In, one of the most popular web sites on the Internet, Black Men In Dating and the Black Men In Syndicated Blog. In addition, the company manages Black Boating and

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A Man For All Seasons: Harold Bell Is A Little Known Black American History Fact!

Posted January 14, 2018

Harold K. Bell has actively advocated for the rights of children his entire adult life.  In 1965, after spending two years chasing his NFL dreams without any success, he returned home to Washington, DC.  He was hired to work for the United Planning Organization.  The organization hired three neighborhood workers for its self-help program – Petey Greene, H. Rap Brown and Harold Bell.  In 1968, Harold was caught in the middle of the riots that hit inner-cities all around this country were experiencing after the shooting death of our Prince of Peace, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Harold was working as a Roving Leader (Youth Gang Task Force) for the DC Department of Recreation & Parks.  He and co-worker Willie Wood (NFL Hall of Fame) walked arm-in-arm with the first modern day U. S. Marshall in-Charge appointed by the President of the United States, Luke C. Moore.

In December 1968, out of the ashes of the riots, the Bells found their non-profit organization Kids In Trouble (KIT).  From 1968 to 2013, KIT hosted 45 straight Christmas toy parties for needy children in DC, Maryland and Virginia, without grants or loans.  The KIT toy party benefited thousands of inner-city children.  Today the NFL, NBA, MLB and the NHL have all copied his “reach back” programs to enhance the lives of inner-city children.  The Bells have been honored at the White House by President Richard M. Nixon, cited in the Congressional Record by Lou Stokes(D-Ohio), Senator Bob Dole (R-Kan.) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) for their work with at-risk children.

In 1980, Washingtonian Magazine named Harold Bell “Washingtonian of the Year” for being a one-man community action program. He is a sports media pioneer in sports talk radio and was the first sports media personality honored by the magazine.Sports talk radio was a relatively new medium for black broadcasters in the 1970s.  His first five (5) minutes of radio stardom was at the helm of two-time Emmy award winner, Petey Greene in 1967.  In 1970, he found the original “Inside Sports.”  The title for the show was suggested to him by his wife Hattie over dinner one evening.   Hattie, is the daughter of the late Dr. Charles H. Thomas, Jr.  In the 50s, Dr. Thomas was the President of the local chapter of the Orangeburg, S. C. NAACP and marched with Dr. King.  He was inducted into The Black South Carolina Hall of Fame in 2007.

Inside Sports aired first, on W-O-O-K-AM in 1970.  Its life span included WYCB-AM, W-U-S-T-AM, WPFW FM and WKYS-FM.  In 1975, Bell became the first black to host and produce a television sports special in prime time on WRC-TV 4, an NBC affiliate in DC. His special guest wasThe Greatest, Muhammad Ali.  Bell owns the copyrights to an interview collection that reads like a “Who’s Who” in sports.  The Washington Post owns the copyright to Inside Sports!

Harold Bell’s commentaries and blogs spotlight the trials and tribulations of the black athlete and have become a trilogy of classic proportions.  Prior to Bell’s Inside Sports format, topics on racism in the front offices and on the playing fields of sports’ franchises in America were taboo.  Harold Bell was the first to play message music and host media round tables, something unheard of on sports talk radio at that time.  Bell challenged athletes for hard truths regardless of their stature. His interviews with superstar athletes from Muhammad Ali, Red Auerbach, George Foreman, Don King, Andre Agassi, Jim Brown, Sugar Ray Leonard, Dr. Harry Edwards or his partner in crime, the late boxing historian Bert Randolph Sugar are classics.

In 2007, Bell was referred to as “a little known Black History fact” by syndicated talk show host, Tom Joyner.  Sportswriters Jim Beathea, Dick Heller of the Washington Star, George Solomon, and Donald Huff, of the Washington Post, Rick Snider of the Washington Times and Dave McKenna of the City Paper have all sang his praises.  In addition, in 1980 radio and television critic, William Taaffe of the Washington Star cited Bell for his pioneering contributions to sports talk radio and television.  He said, “Inside Sports is a jewel of a program-easily the most provocative radio sports talk show in Washington.”  Heller called him “The Godfather” of sports talk, the good kind.”  The late Earl Lloyd, the first black to play in the NBA, was a guest on ESPN 980 radio with former Georgetown basketball coach, John Thompson, Jr.  Mr. Lloyd was quoted saying, “Harold Bell may be controversial, but I have yet to hear anyone call him a liar.”  Washington Times sports columnist Rick Snider said, “Harold, I have always admired the warrior inside of you.  If we had more journalists like you, we would own this town instead of letting all the cheer leading media scam artists have their way.  People are just too weak minded to resist.  That’s sad, but true.” 

Harold Bell successfully led a campaign with NBA icon the late Red Auerbach and DC sports columnist Washington Times’ Dick Heller to have Mr. Lloyd inducted into the 2003 NBA Hall of Fame after decades of omission.

His Original Inside Sports talk radio format can be heard and seen on radio and television sports talk shows around the world.  Historian and civil rights icon Dr. Harry Edwards said, “Harold your archives are valuable and should be given the broadest exposure.  You should think of offering a disc of your programs to the new Smithsonian Museum of African American Culture & History (NMAAHC).  A wing of the museum will be dedicated to the struggle in sports and will be titled “A level playing field.” Your work was a major force over the years in leveling the playing field, especially, in the terms in the struggle to define and project ‘our truth’ great job over the years and the timing is right for reprising that legacy now”.

The benefactors of Kids In Trouble and Inside Sports read like a “Who’s Who” in media, pro sports and sports talk media. Harold K. Bell is a man for all seasons.  He embodies the courage of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the heart of champion, Muhammad Ali.  While others lie and bite their tongues, he keeps hope alive!


“Harold and I have a lot in common.  He too has persevered and stood fast for the principles in which he believes.”  Muhammad Ali

“Harold I am so proud to see you have returned to work with young people whose lives once resembled your very own.”  President Richard Nixon

“Harold, you help prepare me for the NBA” Dave Bing (NBA Hall of Fame)

“Harold Bell has always provided a platform for those without one” Jim Brown (NFL)

“Harold, I am the Welterweight Champion of the World today because you were there when no one else was.”  Sugar Ray Leonard, Boxing Hall of Fame 

“Harold has always been a voice for people who didn’t have a voice.  He has always called them as he saw them.  He has been an inspiration and motivation for me and a lot  of other black broadcasters.” James Brown (NFL CBS Sports

“Harold you have always been a voice for the people and we love you for it.” Judge Luke C. Moore (DC Superior Court)

“Harold Bell is a unique sportscaster, former athlete, youth leader and social critic all Rolled into one.” Bill Taaffe, (Sports lllustrated Magazine)

“Harold Bell and Inside Sports makes sense.”  Red Auerbach (NBA Hall of Fame)

“Harold Bell maybe controversial but I have yet to hear anyone call him a liar.”  Earl Lloyd (NBA Hall of Fame)

“Harold Bell is a One Man Community Action Program.  I don’t think I have ever met anyone like him. ”Nicholas Blatchford (Columnist Washington Star Newspaper)

“Harold I thank you and my office staff thanks you for allowing us to be a part of your annual Christmas toy party for needy children.”  Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC)

“Harold Bell is the Godfather of sports talk—the good kind.”Dick Heller, Washington Times

“Harold Bell is the Heavyweight Champion of sports talk.”  Don King (Boxing Hall of Fame)

“Sports talk as you see it today all started in Washington, DC with Harold Bell and Inside Sports.”  Johnny Sample (NFL Legend)

“Harold you can be a tough man sometimes but your work with children is commendable.”  John Thompson (Georgetown University)

“Harold Bell if you had been white you would be a millionaire. People would have been calling Howard Cosell the black Harold Bell.” Gene Kilroy (Ali Business Manager)

 “As his own success took him out of the projects, he could not forget who he once was and where he came from.”  Lou Stokes (D-Ohio)

“No one is indispensable, but there are some people more necessary than others, Harold Bell is one of those people.” Washington Star Newspaper Editorial

“Harold you are my hero” Dave McKenna City Paper

 “Harold Bell is a One Man Community Action Program and this city is far better  place for him remembering where he came from.”  Washingtonian Magazine

“Harold, I have always admired the warrior inside of you.  If we had more journalists like you, we would own this town instead of letting all the cheer-leading media scam artists have their way.  People are just too weak minded to resist.  That’s sad, but true.”  Sports Columnist Rick Snider

“Harold, I want to personally thank you for being my champion”  Willie Wood NFL Hall of Fame

“Harold Bell has been a lightning rod of a sports broadcaster for decades.  His commitment and passion to protect children and those without a voice are unparalleled.  You may not like the way he does things, but things get done and a lot of people are in better places because of his courage to act.”  Gary A. Johnson, Black Men In

Harold Bellis the Godfather of Sports Talk radio and television in Washington, DC.  Throughout the mid-sixties, seventies and eighties, Harold embarked upon a relatively new medium–-sports talk radio with classic interviews with sports celebrities, politicians and news makers of the day.  The show and format became wildly popular. Harold has been an active force fighting for the rights of children for almost 50 years with the help of his wife Hattie through their charity Kids In Trouble, Inc.   To learn more about Harold Bell visit his official web site. You can check out Harold’s work on this site by clicking here.

Left to Right:  Chris Johnson and Harold Bell covering the Washington Wizards at the Capital One Arena Press Box, Washington, DC

Christopher Johnson also known as “C. J.” is the youngest columnist on this website.  He started interviewing celebrities when he was 10-years old.  Chris comments on sports, politics, current events and he writes movie reviews.  In his spare time he is the Lead Guitarist for a band calledThe Courtland ExperimentClick here to visit his Archives Page to see more videos with Harold Bell and to read his commentaries and movie reviews. You can also follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Harold Bellis the Godfather of Sports Talk radio and television in Washington, DC.  Throughout the mid-sixties, seventies and eighties, Harold embarked upon a relatively new medium–-sports talk radio with classic interviews with sports celebrities, politicians and news makers of the day.  The show and format became wildly popular. Harold has been an active force fighting for the rights of children for almost 50 years with the help of his wife Hattie through their charity Kids In Trouble, Inc.   To learn more about Harold Bell visit his official web site. You can check out Harold’s work on this site by clicking here.



Watch Allen Iverson’s Hall of Fame Acceptance Speech

Sept. 9, 2011

This was a raw, unscripted emotional acceptance speech that left tears in the eyes of everyone in this office.  Iverson, also known as “The Answer,” during his playing days, NEVER disappointed and gave maximum effort on the court.  He did not disappoint us with this speech.




CHAMPS challenges the perception of the American Dream through the life trajectories of Evander Holyfield, Bernard Hopkins and Mike Tyson. From success to self-discovery, these men recount their battles while illuminating our country’s most critical social issues, including poverty, racial inequality, broken homes, drug and alcohol abuse, violence and the failures of our educational and prison systems. CHAMPS unearths the unique resilience of these men and highlights how our society and their industry exalts their fleeting success, but leaves them without the skills or protections that they need to succeed outside of the ring. We call them “champs” in sport, but cannot help but ask whether they can truly be champions in life.

Key Cast Includes: Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Bernard Hopkins, Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, Ron Howard, Spike Lee, Mary J. Blige, and 50 Cent.




Harold K. Bell is a pioneer who embarked upon sports talk radio – a relatively new medium for black broadcasters in the 1970s. Bell’s first five (5) minutes of radio stardom was at the helm of two-time Emmy award winner, Petey Greene in 1967. In 1971, Bell founded the original “Inside Sports.” The radio show would air, first, on WOOK-AM. Its span included WYCB-AM, WUST-AM, WPFW FM and WKYS-FM. In 1975, Bell became the first Afro-American to host and produce a television sports prime time special on WRC-TV 4, an NBC affiliate in DC. His special guest was The Greatest, Muhammad Ali. Bell has the copyrights to an interview collection that reads like a “Who’s Who” in sports.

Bell’s commentaries spotlight the trials and tribulations of the black athlete and have become a trilogy of classic proportions. Prior to Bell’s introduction, media roundtables and message music were unheard of in sports talk formats. He challenged athletes for hard truths regardless of their stature. Muhammad Ali, Red Auerbach, Don King, Jim Brown or his partner in crime, the late boxing historian Bert Randolph Sugar.

In 2007, Bell was referred to as “a little known Black History fact” by syndicated talk show host, Tom Joyner. Sportswriters, Jim Beathea and Dick Heller of the Washington Star; Donald Huff, of the Washington Post; Dave McKenna of the City Paper; in addition, radio and television critic, William Taaffe of Sports Illustrated Magazine have all cited Bell for his pioneering contributions to sports talk radio and television. Heller called Bell “The Godfather” of sports talk in Washington, DC. Earl Lloyd, the first black to play in the NBA, was a guest on ESPN 980 radio with former Georgetown Coach, John Thompson. He was quoted as saying, “Harold Bell may be controversial, but I have yet to hear anyone call him a liar.”

Harold has actively advocated for the rights of children in DC, Maryland and Virginia. In 1965 after spending two years chasing his NFL dreams without any success he returned home to Washington, DC. The United Planning Organization (UPO) hired three Neighborhood Workers for its self-held program, Petey Greene, H. Rap Brown and Harold Bell. The three would each leave their mark on the black community.

In 1980, Washingtonian Magazine named Bell “Washingtonian of the Year” for being a one-man community action program. His wife, Hattie, is the daughter of the late Dr. Charles H. Thomas, Jr., a modern day civil rights leader of the pre-Martin Luther King epoch of the early 50’s. He founded and started Voter Registration in the state of South Carolina. He was inducted into the Black South Carolina Hall of Fame.

In 1968 Harold and his wife Hattie founded the non-profit organization Kids In Trouble, Inc. They have been honored at the White House by President Richard M. Nixon, cited in the Congressional Record by Lou Stokes (D-Ohio), Senator Bob Dole (R-Kan.) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) for their work with at-risk children. Today, Harold K. Bell is a contributor on the Maggie Linton Show, heard on Sirius XM Radio-Channel 110 and the DC Historian for the World famous Ben’s Chili Bowl.

“We consider Harold’s pioneering contributions prominent. His legendary interviews are the portrait of history Harold interprets in real time. He not only talks the talk, but he also walks the walk.” – Kamal Ben Ali, CEO and Owner, Ben’s Chili Bowl, For additional content, visit http://bmia.wordpress/harold-bell and

For requests to interview Harold Bell, contact Salim Edwards at 202 427-9247.

  • “Black Men In America” – is a popular online magazine which examines the truth, the tragedy and the triumph of ordinary black men, living extraordinary lives in America (
  • Brian McIntyre – ( – Senior Communications Advisory to NBA Commissioner David Stern.
  • The Tom Joyner Morning Show – ( is heard in 132 markets across America.
  • The Maggie Linton Show features positive lessons and successful stories to inspire listeners within their own journeys; heard on Sirius XM Urban View channel110.

About the Ali/Harold Bell Project
October 30, 2014 is the 40th Anniversary of one the most profound fights in boxing history – Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire. The fight was called the “Rumble in the Jungle,” On October 30, 1974, Muhammad Ali did the unthinkable and against all odds when he defeated Big George Foreman. However, what took place days following that great fight is just as historic and it’s a story that has never been told — until now.

In early November 1974 a sports talk show host by the name of Harold K. Bell and his camera crew, (Rodney Brown and Wilfred Williams) were able to get an exclusive one-on-one interview with Muhammad Ali. This event was just as historic as the fight, as Bell was the first person from the media granted access to Ali immediately after the fight.

Bell and his team scooped legendary television sportscaster Howard Cosell, 60 Minutes and the entire sports media world. The champ didn’t just focus on the fight and his historic win, but he talked about the most important game being played in the Black Community–THE GAME CALLED LIFE!  Ali, who sustained a black eye in the fight, was candid, uncensored and “uncut” in his conversation giving Harold Bell full access to all of the facets that make up Muhammad Ali.

About the Documentary Interview
40 years ago, fresh from his victory over George Foreman, Muhammad Ali sat in a New York City hotel room for an exclusive interview with his good friend Harold Bell, an independent radio sports talk show host with no connection to any major newspapers, radio or television networks. In this historic one-on-one interview Ali discusses the differences between a boxer and fighter, his boxing career and shares his perspective on women, children, violence in the black community, friendship and more.
Ali tried to get Bell to attend the fight so they could conduct the interview over there. But Bell was reluctant to flying over the ocean and was skeptical about the level of security in a jungle setting—a decision he now regrets. Despite refusing the invitation Ali promised Bell an interview once he returned to the states.

A man of his word, Ali called Bell shortly after arriving in New York City. The next morning Bell along with his camera crew arrived in the wee hours of the morning to tape the interview. Emmy award winner and legendary Actor/Producer Robert Hooks interviews Harold Bell, Roy Foreman, the younger brother of George Foreman and Wilfred Williams, one of the original cameramen who filmed the interview. Hooks, a native Washingtonian and a longtime friend of Bell, is best known for his television roles in N.Y.P.D and in major motion pictures such as Sounder, Hurry Sundown, Troubled Man, 1972 and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. The interview ends with a poem titled “THANK YOU MUHAMMAD ALI” written and performed by renowned spoken-word artist Ty Gray-El.

Goals and Objectives
One of our objectives is to generate enough media and attention through this documentary to be picked up by a major television or cable network in the United States. A secondary goal is to tell the untold story of a Black American radio sports talk show host Harold K. Bell. Together, Ali and Bell are two who went often found themselves at odds with societal norms and yet comfortable with themselves because they were always guided by “the truth.” Two men, who exercised courage and acted on what they believed to be true. Perhaps, that was part of the formula that led them to be icons and pioneers in their field. The narration of the documentary was recorded on October 4, 2014 at Tony Bell’s Gym in Washington, D.C.

Additional Information
Top KICK-STARTER sponsors will be given signed autographed copies of the film, “Up Close and Personal: Muhammad Ali with Harold Bell.” There will also be access to VIP screenings to donors and sponsors of this project.  Once successfully funded, the money will be used for final editing and production costs, including camera and lighting equipment and distribution costs as determined by the Don Baker Digital Group. Once we exceed our goal we will reach out to marquee boxers, athletes and sports commentators who have shown an interest in this project to add their perspectives in the film.  If you would like to contact the filmmakers regarding production, investment opportunities or other related endeavors, e-mail Harold Bell at You can learn more about Harold Bell by visiting and subscribing to his YouTube channel at and witness Bell’s interviews with some of the greatest athletes of the past century.










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