HBO Boxing originally HBO World Championship Boxing) (WCB) is an American sports television series that premiered on 22 January 1973 and that has shown a number of significant boxing events since then. WCB's first event ever was fought in Kingston, Jamaica, where George Foreman defeated Joe Frazier in two rounds to win the world heavyweight championship. The main broadcast team is Jim Lampley on blow-by-blow, with former ESPN reporter Max Kellerman as color commentator, replacing Larry Merchant, who retired in December 2012. For the last two years of Merchant's contract he and Kellerman alternated telecasts.
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HBO Boxing - Larry Merchant - Netflix
Larry Merchant (born Larry Kaufman; February 11, 1931) is an American former sportswriter, a longtime commentator for HBO Sports presentations of HBO World Championship Boxing, Boxing After Dark and HBO pay-per-view telecasts, called “the greatest television boxing analyst of all time” by some, including ESPN Boxing analyst Dan Rafael, and derided as out of touch, biased and incoherent by others.
HBO Boxing - Criticism - Netflix
In September 2011, following the controversial ending to the fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Victor Ortiz, Mayweather angrily called for Merchant to be fired. After Merchant pressured Mayweather to respond to fans who thought that he had taken advantage of Ortiz's apology (resulting in his win by knockout), Mayweather grew irritated by Merchant's questioning and interrupted Merchant by saying “You never give me a fair shake...They can put somebody else up here to give me an interview. HBO need to fire you. You don't know shit about boxing. You ain't shit...All of these boxing experts—how can you be a boxing expert if you never had a fight before?” Floyd Mayweather, Jr.'s outburst led to Merchant responding: “I wish I was 50 years younger and I would kick your ass.” Later Mayweather defended his outburst by saying that “Everybody is tired of Larry Merchant.” Merchant also engaged in a controversial exchange with Hall of Fame boxer Bernard Hopkins after his win over Morrade Hakkar on HBO, declaring that Hopkins was paid for doing little to no work. With his daughter in his arms, Hopkins replied, “Let me tell you something Larry, you get paid everyday on TV for not doing much.” Merchant's longtime commentation partner, Jim Lampley replied strongly to Merchant denigrating the Olympic Drug testing request of a boxer. Dana White drew allegories between MMA commentator staff and stated negative opinions on Merchant, Roy Jones has also echoed negative comments, who stated that Merchant's total lack of boxing experience negated his commentary. During Merchant's interview immediately following the bout between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Miguel Cotto (May 5, 2012), Merchant acknowledged that Mayweather had apologized the night before the bout and he had accepted the apology. It was announced by HBO on December 13, 2012, that Larry Merchant would retire from broadcasting after the December 15, 2012, telecast of HBO's World Championship Boxing from Houston, Texas after 35 years of being a boxing commentator on HBO. Since leaving HBO Merchant has provided commentary for the international English language feed of some Top Rank promoted boxing shows.
HBO Boxing - References - Netflix