Last night was the end of an era. After 45 years, HBO showed its last boxing telecast. For many throughout the years, HBO’s identity was boxing. That was a big reason why so many people signed up for the premium channel and really put them on the map over their competitors. Now that more and more places are putting boxing on broadcast and cable TV with Fox and ESPN and pay-per-view fights are being put on streaming services like DAZN, boxing isn’t as much of a reason people subscribe to HBO and the network felt it was time to leave.
The face of boxing on HBO had been Jim Lampley. Lampley has had a long and storied career, working such big time events as the Super Bowl, the Olympics and the Indianapolis 500. Lampley even interviewed President Ronald Reagan when he was on the call for Richard Petty’s 200th career NASCAR Cup Series win in 1984. But Lampley is most remembered for working various boxing matches on HBO, which he had done for the past 30 years.
Lampley tried to put it into words how important boxing was to HBO and in remembering the people who had a part in that 45 year history, Lampley teared up as he signed off.
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
It’s easy to discount boxing for all the issues the sport has had over the years, but for those passionate about their sport and what good it can still bring, losing such an integral broadcasting partner throughout all that time can be emotional.
After the final HBO broadcast, Lampley spoke to Fight Hub TV and emotionally discussed the end of the era, acknowledged that it might be the end of his on-air career and shared how he was so nervous that his hands were shaking while calling his first HBO fight in 1988 even though he had been on TV for over a decade.
You don’t have to be a boxing fan or ever watch a second of boxing to appreciate the kind of passion Jim Lampley has for the sport of boxing and the appreciation he has for HBO to have done top quality work for so many years. Whatever it is you do for a living, may you have this kind of passion that Jim Lampley has had for the sport of boxing after all these years.