Fight Night

Fight Night

On October 26, 1970, Muhammad Ali triumphantly returned to the world of boxing in Atlanta, Georgia. But every national front-page headline the next morning featured the story of one of the biggest heists in history. At the center of it all - a hustler named “Chicken Man”. Fans arrived in Rolls Royces delivered from New York City. Adorned in vibrant fur coats and dripping with diamonds, they grabbed engraved invitations then strutted into the arena. The sold-out crowd stood and cheered when the first-round bell rang, minus two empty seats. After the fight, many celebrating the victory, including top black mafia leaders, headed to Chicken Man’s house with invitation in hand. Instead of women and wine greeting them at the front door, each walked into the barrel of a sawed-off shotgun. On FIGHT NIGHT, J.D. Hudson, one of the first black detectives in Atlanta’s desegregated police force helped lead Muhammed Ali into the ring. The next day, he was assigned to the robbery by the chief of police. When asked by a journalist years later, “When did the investigation end?” J.D. summed it up perfectly, “When everybody was dead.”

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