A familiar voice for boxing fans passed away on Saturday.
Harold Lederman, who provided the unofficial scorecard for HBO Boxing for more than 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 50 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 Dec. 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 HBO 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.”