It’s the end of an era as far as both boxing and sports broadcasting are concerned.
45 years ago, the HBO network began showing a sport that has endured to this day despite the challenge from MMA and other forms of entertainment.
Some of those are also staples of the network, with top TV shows such as The Sopranos, Game Of Thrones and The Wire synonymous with the HBO name. That was also the case with top level boxing, starting on pay-per-view with the “Thrilla in Manila” between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, and featuring the likes of Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, and Floyd Mayweather over the years.
Their last major broadcast was the rematch between ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin in September – the same month that HBO announced their exit from the sport.
Last night’s card, headlined by Cecilia Braekhus and Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes, marked their final broadcast, and long-time host Jim Lampley bid an emotional farewell to viewers. He recalled working alongside the incomparable Larry Merchant, ringside scorer and those legends of the ring that featured on their coverage, such as Roy Jones Jr., George Foreman, and the late, great Manny Steward.
Jim Lampley's final sign-off on HBO's last ever boxing broadcast. The voice of the sport for generations. pic.twitter.com/ocu64KLARy
— Ronan Mullen (@RonanReigns) December 9, 2018
Lampley shared his thoughts further with FightHub TV, with the torch now passed to competitors in Showtime, FOX (who recently agreed a deal with Premier Boxing Champions), and new arrival DAZN.
This ‘End of an Era’ sendoff from HBO themselves is well worth checking out, however long it lasts.
“We thank the people that put forth their bodies, their souls, to write our 45 year history in the ring.”