Lost in the shuffle that was UFC 231, Top Rank Boxing on ESPN, and even the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury replay was the final show for HBO Boxing after 45 years in the business. The crowd at StubHub Center was sparse, the fights — wins for women’s boxing champions Cecilia Braekhus and Claressa Shields, as well as Juan Francisco Estrada — were neither interesting nor competitive. It was a sad end to a revered franchise.
As boxing in 2019 shifts predominantly to Showtime, DAZN, ESPN, and FOX Sports, we shouldn’t overlook HBO’s long-lasting impact on the sport over the decades. Blow-by-blow voice Jim Lampley broke down in tears as he signed off for the final time.
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
The entire 21-minute video going through a timeline of the best of HBO Boxing coverage is must-watch, literally through the final credits. Many boxing fans, such as myself, followed the sport through a combination of HBO Boxing and ESPN’s Friday Night Fights series. Both no longer exist. With all due respect to FNF, HBO meant a lot more than ESPN, and I highly recommend watching the clip below.