HBO Boxing announcers are Jim Lampley, Chuck Hull, Joe A Martinez and Lupe Contreras. Jim called blow by blow for the network since 1998.
HBO was a renowned platform that showcased professional boxing matches to fans around the globe. For several decades, it played a significant role in shaping the landscape of the sport.
With its high production values and comprehensive coverage, HBO Boxing provided an immersive viewing experience, captivating audiences with thrilling bouts and memorable moments.
One of the key components that contributed to the channel's success was its exceptional broadcasting teams who brought valuable insights, passion and entertainment to the telecasts.
Despite the remarkable legacy, HBO discontinued its boxing programming in 2018 announcing they would no longer feature live boxing events.
This move left a big void in the ring and led to a shift in the industry, with other platforms stepping in to fill the gap to passionate fans worldwide.
HBO Boxing Commentators List
HBO commentators boxing are:
- Max Kellerman (2007-2010)
- Roy Jones Jr. (2005-2006)
- Barry Tompkins (1980-1988)
- Raul Marquez
Max Kellerman transitioned into a role as a color commentator for HBO World Championship and Boxing After Dark after concluding his career at ESPN radio on March 9, 2009.
Initially, he was brought on board for the network's Boxing After Dark telecasts, collaborating with Fran Charles and Lennon Lewis. In 2007, Kellerman advanced to the main team of the World Championship alongside Jim Lampley and Harold Lederman.
Following the channel's departure from the sport, Kellerman secured a multiyear contract with ESPN, which expanded his involvement in the network's boxing coverage.
However, unlike his previous role as a color commentator, Max now oversees network coverage from the broadcast desk rather than being positioned ringside.
Barry Tompkins joined the channel alongside Larry Merchant and Sugar Ray Leonard. He provided commentary for numerous years, and some of his remarks gained widespread recognition.
His memorable call was when Edwin Rosario staggered Héctor Camacho in the fifth round of their fight and when Mike Tyson claimed the WBC World Heavyweight designation with a second-round knockout of Trevor Berbick.
On the other hand, former professional boxer Raul Marquez has made notable contributions as a commentator for HBO, NBC, Telefutura, and various other networks.
Presently, Marquez serves on the announcing team for Showtime, providing commentary for their Spanish-language broadcasts and the English-language ShoBox: The New Generation series.
Raul commenced his professional career after the 1992 Olympics and experienced a remarkable start, triumphing in his first 25 bouts.
However, on November 8, 2008, at 37, Marquez suffered a sixth-round TKO against the then-undefeated Arthur Abraham at Bamberg's Jako Arena. Following the bout, he bid adieu to his playing days and embarked on a media career.
HBO Boxing Analyst
Analysts for Boxing Tonight on HBO were:
- Harold Lederman (1986-2018)
- Lennox Lewis (2006-2010)
- Steve Farhood
- AI Bernstein
- Paul Malignaggi
- Austin Trout (guest analyst)
- Daniel Jacobs (guest analyst)
- Antonio Tarver (guest analyst)
- Ferdie Pacheco (guest analyst)
- Bobby Czyz (guest analyst)
Harold Lederman embarked on his career as a judge in 1967 and became part of the World Championship Boxing team in 1986, where he remained until the channel was discontinued in 2018.
In 1986, Ross Greenburg, an executive producer at HBO, invited Lederman to join the boxing show as an esteemed "expert commentator."
Lederman retired from active judging in 1999 but continued to contribute to the show as an "unofficial ringside scorer." Sadly, he passed away on 11 May 2019, at 79, due to cancer.
Lennox Lewis, a professional boxer who competed from 1989 to 2003, was a boxing analyst for Boxing After Dark from 2006 to 2010.
During his early years as a professional, Lewis secured numerous regional heavyweight championships, including the European, British, and Commonwealth titles.
Following 21 consecutive victories, Lewis defeated Donovan Ruddock in 1992, propelling him to the top spot in the WBC rankings.
Paul Malignaggi, a former boxer turned analyst, had an active career from 2001 to 2017. On March 7, 2019, news emerged that Malignaggi had sealed an exclusive contract with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC), making his debut in June 2019 against Artem Lobov.
Notably, Malignaggi had a history with Lobov's training partner, Conor McGregor, adding further intensity to the bout, which was promoted as a heated "grudge match."
This showdown took place at BKFC 6 on June 22, 2019. Following the fight, Malignaggi declared his retirement from active competition.
Amid this, Steve Farhood has established himself as an on-air analyst for ESPN, CNN, SportsChannel, and the renowned series "Tuesday Night Fights" on USA Network. He is a broadcaster on Showtime's longstanding program, "ShoBox: The New Generation."
In 2002, Farhood won the Sam Taub Award, which recognizes "Excellence in Broadcasting Journalism" and is presented by the Boxing Writers Association of America. Notably, he also served as a First Vice President of the association.
Furthermore, Farhood received a highly prestigious acknowledgment in 2017 as he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Why Did HBO Boxing End?
HBO Boxing announced its 45-year tenure as a prominent broadcaster on 27 October 2018. The last airing on the network was on December 8.
Key factors contributing to the decline of HBO Boxing were decreasing ratings and viewership along with the changing behavior of consumers.
The surge of streaming services and the growing popularity of mixed martial arts (MMA) presented challenges to retaining its traditional audience.
1973 significantly impacted boxing by airing the unforgettable moment when George Foreman knocked out heavyweight champion Joe Frazier. For a remarkable span of 45 years, it served as a platform to showcase some of the sport's most prominent names and huge fights.
However, in the final two years leading up to its official closure, Home Box Office experienced a notable decline in boxing viewership, with numbers plummeting by a third.
Furthermore, research findings indicated that subscribers were not primarily subscribing to the service solely for boxing, revealing a shift in consumer preferences.
Likewise, the landscape of boxing broadcasting became more competitive as other platforms and networks heavily invested in the sport.
HBO faced tough competition from networks such as ESPN, Showtime, and DAZN (a streaming service), which secured exclusive rights to broadcast major bouts.
Broadcasting matches involved substantial financial investments, including acquiring rights to prominent fights, covering production expenses, and undertaking promotional endeavors.
The network likely encountered difficulties maintaining profitability while grappling with the escalating costs of broadcasting live events.
As a network, Home Box Office shifted its focus towards original programming and expanding its offerings in the fiercely competitive realm of television series and movies.
Consequently, this strategic shift reduced the emphasis on boxing, a significant component of HBO's sports programming, for numerous years.