Muhammad Ali

Mark Manuel

The Magical Time When I Sparred With Muhammad Ali In A Mumbai Hotel Lobby

Christmas Eve, 1990. It is a cold, wintry night and I am at the Holiday Inn, Bombay, knocking on the door to a suite, my heart in my mouth. The door opens. A wizened old Black man, attired in a flowing kaftan, a skull cap on his head, looks at me inquiringly. His is not the most recognized face in the world. This is not the Greatest sportsman of all time. He is not Muhammad Ali. But I am a boxing aficionado. I recognize Jabir Herbert Muhammad, the Champ's manager.