By Victor Salazar
New York - For decades, when many fans would discuss the individual they considered to be the 'voice of boxing,' HBO’s Jim Lampley would quickly come to mind.
However, after December 8th the network will end its long run within the sport after 45 years.
There were many insiders who predicted this day would come, sooner or later, as HBO's boxing budget kept shrinking and the new age of streaming platforms are invading the market.
When HBO announced their decision, it was a sad day for many, including Lampley, who says the memories of his time under HBO's boxing banner were priceless for him.
“The memories are the things I’ll carry for the rest of my life, all the fighters, the Pacquiao-Marquez rivalry, the three Morales-Barrera fights, the Gatti-Ward fights,” Lampley told BoxingScene.com.
“I been all too lucky to be a part of it. They’re all in my memory bank and I’m very lucky to be ringside for them all.”
Lampley also says he will miss the friendships and the growth of the fighters whom he consistently covered from ringside.
"Max (Kellerman) and Roy (Jones), just the friendships I developed, Larry (Merchant), George (Foreman), Emanuel (Steward), I will miss that,” stated Lampley.
"To see the fighters grow like Miguel Cotto. To see him grow into a promoter from being an excellent fighter. Machado has Miguel as a fighter and a man to look up to.”
Lampley says the health of the sport is fine - but it will depend on the willingness for those involved to make the best fights.
“There are 500 networks that want to put on boxing and there are 500 promoters who want to work with these networks,” said Lampley.
“But I always said there are more good fighters on this planet than ever before. But the question is, are they willing to fight each other? You know back in the day, everyone fought everyone. I remember Hagler, Hearns and Leonard fighting each other. But now you have Errol Spence and Keith Thurman and Terence Crawford, and it doesn't seem like they are running towards each other and [fighting each other is] what we need to see for the sport to be healthy.”