On May 27 a boxing reporter asked me to comment about five highly-qualified candidates to replace Lennox Lewis for the HBO ringside commentating job opening – Naazim Richardson, Freddie Roach, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Nate Campbell and Harold Lederman (note: the HBo contract to Lewis was reportedly not renewed).
All five of those candidates could do a fantastic job, but I have maybe a better idea: Here was my answer to the reporter: “There are so many qualified contenders for that job – the five names you mention, plus John Scully, Kevin Kelley, Mike Tyson, Paulie Malignaggi, Joe Mesi, Paul Vaden, Renaldo Snipes, Miguel Callist, Steve Cunningham, Roy Jones Jr., Chris Byrd, etc. I’d like to see HBO consider to use them all for different events. As well as possibly bringing in other personalities/boxing fans like John McEnroe, Jack Nicholson, Diddy, Sylvester Stallone, Shaq, Ron Artest, Jeremy Piven, Leonardo Di Caprio for Pay-Per-View shows. This was how it was done during the Ali era, with Pearl Bailey, Red Foxx, Jim Brown, etc. It adds an extra level of excitement when you bring in new voices, fresh perspectives to commentate on a fight. And I believe doing it this way will inspire and evoke the best out of Jim Lampley, Emanuel Steward, Max Kellerman and Larry Merchant who will enjoy to cover a fight with a new personality each time. One other thing: I still would like to hear Lennox Lewis for all heavyweight fights on HBO. His best work by far was for heavyweight bouts. And bringing back George Foreman for heavyweight fights wouldn’t be a bad idea either.”