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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Articles tagged: Jim Lampley

Jim Lampley, HBO issue statements on death of Harold Lederman

Harold Lederman

A familiar voice for boxing fans passed away on Saturday.

Harold Lederman, who provided the unofficial scorecard for HBO Boxing for over 30 years, died on Saturday at 79 after a long battle with cancer.

HBO shared the following statement on behalf of Peter Nelson, the executive vice president of HBO Sports.

“Harold Lederman had a lifelong love affair with the sport of boxing. Over the past fifty years he was universally respected and celebrated by the many people who make the sport what it is. Harold was happiest when seated ringside, studying the action and scoring the fight. When he joined HBO Sports in 1986 he added a new and critical component to live boxing coverage. Viewers embraced his unique style and his command of the rules while his broadcast colleagues relished his enthusiasm and boundless energy. He was an historian and walking rulebook. He always had time for you whether you were a heavyweight champion or just a spectator looking to say hello. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Eileen and daughters Julie and Iris. There isn’t a person in the sport who won’t miss our Harold Lederman,” Nelson said.

Jim Lampley, who called play-by-play action for HBO Boxing from 1988-2018 and worked with Lederman on the telecast, also shared his thoughts.

“It was one of the greatest privileges of my broadcasting career to work with Harold Lederman, whose unique humanity and lifelong love of boxing brought joy to the hearts of millions of fans, show after show after show,” Lampley said in a statement. “They waited for his moments, they were thrilled by his insights, they gloried in imitating his voice. No one in the sport had more friends, because no one in the sport was more deserving of friends. As deeply saddened as I am by his passing, I am equally deeply joyful that he made it to the final bell on December 8. Nothing was more important to the legacy of HBO Boxing, so in that we can all take solace. Now his scorecard is complete.”

Lederman became a boxing judge in 1967 and began working with HBO in 1986. He provided the unofficial scorecards during fights on their telecasts all the way up until the premium channel got out of boxing at the end of last year.

We’ll never forget the way he would offer his opinion on the action, beginning his commentary by enthusiastically saying, “OK, Jim.”

Jim Lampley, Max Kellerman imply fix was in for Herrera-Benavidez

Jim Lampley and Max Kellerman came as close to saying the fix was in with the Mauricio Herrera-Jose Benavidez Jr. fight on Saturday night without actually saying it.

The HBO commentators were incensed by the judges who gave Benavidez a unanimous decision over Herrera despite Herrera appearing to win the fight. Benavidez was awarded the fight by scores of 117-11 and 116-112 (twice) according to the judges. They scored it that way despite Herrera landing 284 of 870 punches thrown compared to 250 of 647 for Benavidez.

“Come on, guys. Come on,” a disappointed Kellerman said after the decision was announced. “You want to tell me you had it 6-6? Okay. Maybe one judge on a bad night could have it 7-5. 8-4 twice and 9-3 once? Those are all bad cards. Those are bad cards.”

Lampley suggested that Benavidez’s association with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Boxing, which put on the entire card, led to the favorable decision.

“And under the circumstances. Given Benavidez’ promoter affiliation. Given the fact that that promoter is headquartered here in Las Vegas. Given the nature of the occasion and the fact that he is a rising prospect. This is the kind of thing that is not good for boxing’s public image,” Lampley said.

One could almost hear Kellerman shaking his head in disappointment over the decision.

“The fact is this: why is it 99 times out of 100, throughout the history of boxing, you know which guy is going to get the bad decision if there is a bad decision? Very rarely does it go in the non-money direction.”

Both ESPN’s Dan Rafael and Yahoo’s Kevin Iole scored the fight 117-111 (nine rounds to three) in favor of Herrera.

Herrera said after the fight he felt like the judges took it away from him.

“They must not count body shots in this division,” he said via Yahoo’s Iole. “Nothing new happens all the time, I win a fight and they take it away from me.”

bob arumThough the decision is disappointing, it should not come as a surprise. We’ve been calling out Arum (pictured) for being corrupt for years and suspected the original Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight was fixed by him.

Is it any surprise that through the Benavidez fight, all four Top Rank fighters on the card — which put on the show — won their bouts? Of course not. Just follow the money, like Kellerman said.