Originally Posted by Sweet Jones
I voted for Kellerman.
People keep insisting that Larry Merchant is this great fountain of boxing knowledge. And yet, after all these years, NO ONE has ever LEARNED anything from listening to him. Seriously ask yourselves: Has your boxing knowledge EVER been increased at all by anything he’s ever said, either during a fight or in the post fight interview? What nugget of information during a fight has he ever said that gave you some insight into why things were occurring in the ring? Think long and hard about that.
While some people may find his rantings entertaining, I don’t. I tune in to watch fighters fight, and I listen to hear the play-by-play guy describe WHAT is happening and the color commentator to explain WHY things are happening. Merchant adds nothing to that equation, even going so far as to challenge the color man analysis (RJJ, Foreman) and unofficial judges (Lederman), with no back up for his assertions (see the RJJ youtube clip). Does Merchant add ‘drama’ to the event? Nope, only brings attention to himself with his bloviated pontifications. Howard Cosell, he aint.
As I’ve said before, the bottom line is people do not tune in to watchthe watch the interviewer piss off fighters. Holmes, Tyson, BHop, ODLH, Mayweather, RJJ were some of HBOs biggest stars. And for their trouble, all they get was some self righteous idiot harassing them with irrelevant questions.
Kellerman may be a ‘fanboy’, but at least he explains WHY he is a fanboy of certain fighters. Disagree with him all you want to, but everyone knows the EXACT reasons why Kellerman loved Judah, Chris Byrd, Ike Ibeabuchi, RJJ, etc. Kellerman also calls it like he sees it, and manages to do so without putting himself at the center of attention.
And lastly, at least I know Kellerman actually enjoys boxing, and has some appreciation for the varied styles. Merchant has turned himself into this “if-it’s-not-Gatti-Ward-then-it-ain’t-entertaining” caricature.
HBO will improve in quality the DAY he goes off the air.