HBO Boxing: All good things come to an end.
Regardless of your age, close your eyes and imagine the year is 1973. You’re an enthusiastic fan watching HBO broadcast boxing for the very first time.
The fight: “Smokin” Joe Frazier vs. “Big” George Foreman for the heavyweight championship of the world. In two brutal rounds, Foreman steamrolled Frazier, taking the titles and solidifying himself amid the boxing world. More importantly, what happened that night was a forty five year bond between HBO and the sport we hold dearest.
The amicable relationship has followed many fans from childhood into adulthood, providing entertainment every step of the way. For others, the fondest moments of family endearment revolve around the broadcast giant’s commitment to the pugilistic art.
Sadly, however, as of December 8, 2018, HBO’s iconic era of showcasing boxing came to an end. Gone are the Saturday nights anticipating the blaring trumpets that became synonymous with the programming’s intro.
Gone are Jim Lampley’s passionate renditions of the action he witnessed from his ringside seat. Also removed is the ambitious sportscaster and expert analyst who, didn’t always agree, but completed the great blow-by-blow team.
So now the question becomes, how do you say goodbye?
A “Proper” Goodbye
After spending time rummaging through HBO’s fight-rich archives, I can’t! Goodbye, is just too harsh. It lacks the emotional capacity needed to express our sincerest of appreciations.
In this case, a genuine thank you is more appropriate. Thank you, HBO for being the countless hours of peace that made sense in our chaotic existence.
For providing our sport with a platform dedicated to compelling match-ups and unforgettable moments. Many of us will never forget watching Muhammed Ali, Aaron Pryor, Larry Holmes, Marvin Hagler, Roy Jones Jr, etc. display their skills.
So as we close this chapter, the departure will never go down as merely a “business decision.” For us, the everlasting stories of HBO fights will forever hold a place in our memory.
By: Cessell Robinson