By Keith Idec
Qa’id Muhammad moved from New Jersey to Las Vegas to rejuvenate his once-promising boxing career.
The onetime bantamweight prospect instead met a very violent end to his young life last week. The Star-Ledger of New Jersey has reported Muhammad was shot to death and that his body was found Wednesday near Las Vegas.
The body of Muhammad, 29, was dumped in the desert. According to The Star-Ledger’s story on its website, nj.com, police stated Muhammad suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and was thrown from a black SUV.
Police in Henderson, Nevada, arrested Ryan Small, 38. Small was charged with murder with a deadly weapon.
Small and Muhammad reportedly were acquaintances.
According to the deceased fighter’s father, Abdur Rahim Muhammad, his son had been training at Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s gym in Las Vegas for a comeback bout later this year. Muhammad expected that fight to take place at some point between October and December.
Muhammad, an Atlantic City native who was an alternate on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, hadn’t fought since November 2012. Muhammad stopped Jamal Parram in the fifth round of that fight in Tunica, Mississippi, to up his record to 8-0 (7 KOs).
His father told The Star-Ledger that a 2012 incident in which Qa’id Muhammad was accused of hitting a man and pulling the man from his vehicle initially caused him to stop boxing. Abdur Rahim Muhammad added that pleading guilty to third-degree unlawful taking as a result of that incident further stalled his son’s professional boxing career.
Qa’id Muhammad moved to Las Vegas in 2015 to start training at Mayweather’s famed gym. It isn’t clear why he still hadn’t fought again as a professional prior to his death.
Abdur Rahim Muhammad told The Star-Ledger his son was on his way to Mayweather’s gym when he got into the aforementioned black SUV last week.
“We feel in denial because as far as I’m concerned, I still haven’t seen the body,” Abdur Rahim Muhammad said. “I’m still hoping. I would love for my son to call me and tell me, ‘I lost my phone and just took a trip somewhere else.’ ”
Abdur Rahim Muhammad was making plans to have his son’s body returned to New Jersey for a funeral.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.