A Tribute to My Friend Harold Lederman, Who Has Died at Age 79
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
*Photo Credit: Harold Lederman, Real Combat Media
New York, NY (May 12th, 2019)– Harold Lederman has died at age 79. Among judges tuned commentators, my friend the late Harold Lederman was the best of the best of the best. Warm and sincere, he was readily available to be your friend at ringside along with all that he did. What made Harold Lederman so special was his sincere concern for the well beings of the fighters he knew.
Harold did not just score fights and air his views. Harold had a sincere interest in ring safety, and was willing to get involved when the best interests of the fighters were the true priority. This side of Harold was the one the television audience, who never met him face to face, never got to experience.
Harold’s career as a boxing judge began November 8, 1937, at Sunnyside Gardens in Queens, New York, when junior middleweight Juan Ramos won an eight round split decision over Grey Gavin, with Harold voting six rounds to two for Ramos. Harold’s juding career in professional boxing would last 33 years. It ended on August 6, 1999, when Harold judged nine different bouts at a fight card held on the State Fairgrounds in Columbus, Ohio. His daughter, judge Julie Lederman, scored all nine bouts with Harold that night. Future International Boxing Federation World Super Welterweight champion Cornelius ‘K2’ Bundridge won a six round split decision that night, while heavyweight Eric ‘Butterbean’ Esch drew in a four-rounder on the same card.
Starting in 1986, it was through his work as an unofficial scoring judge and ring commentator for Home Box Office world championship boxing cards that Lederman became both respected and famous. Harold was a humble man. HBO Boxing After Dark and HOB Pay-per-View could not have succeeded without Harold’s magical presence, which provided boxing fans at home which expert commentary and a clearer picture of the fights they were witnessing. More recently, Harold served as the host of the HBO Sports digital feature, ‘Hey, Harold.’ Sadly, HBO dropped boxing from its programming schedule in 2018. Coincidentally, Harold had been ill for a year. Boxing missed Harold, and Harold missed boxing.
Much like the loss of the late Emanuel Steward and the late Bert Sugar, boxing has lost another of its iconic heroes. Perhaps Harold’s presence could qualify him for one of the boxing halls of fame. He certainly merits consideration. He was a humble man anyone could talk to, and a man with a humble voice any sports television viewer could relate to.
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