HBO's Larry Merchant Will End Boxing Commentator Role Following Saturday Bout
HBO ringside boxing commentator Larry Merchant this Saturday will end his 35-year role with the season finale of World Championship Boxing, which features the Nonito Donaire-Jorge Arce bout in Houston. The net’s Max Kellerman now will be the full-time ringside commentator and post-fight interviewer (HBO). In L.A., Lance Pugmire noted Merchant’s “two-year deal to provide commentary ends at the calendar year, and HBO can now call upon him for three years … [to] weigh in on boxing news and big fights.” Kellerman will assume the full-time role “alongside play-by-play broadcaster Jim Lampley.” Merchant said, “I’m not retiring. I see myself as a work in progress, and I’m curious about what my next adventure will be in the media: writing, producing, Internet?” (LATIMES.com, 12/13). In N.Y., Bob Raissman cited a source as saying, "Both sides decided it was as good a time as any to do this. They will part company on good terms" (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 12/13). In L.A., Tom Hoffarth writes Merchant, who turns 82 in February, is “never shy about telling what he sees to be the truth in the corruptive world of boxing.” Lampley plans to do “a retrospective of Merchant's career during his next episode” of "The Fight Game with Jim Lampley," airing Saturday after the live fight coverage (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 12/14). ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael noted Merchant is “known for his no-nonsense approach and often whimsical view of the fight game” (ESPN.com, 12/13).