Legendary boxing judge and broadcaster Harold Lederman has passed away after a battle with cancer. He was 79 years old.
Lederman is perhaps best recognized for his three decades working on HBO, serving as an unofficial judge for many of the network's boxing broadcasts and for his catchphrase, "Ok, Jim" whenever broadcast partner Jim Lampley would turn towards him to ask for his scorecard during a fight. Lederman joined HBO in 1986 and had been working as a boxing judge since 1967.
Lederman was beloved by many within the sport and often seen as one of the boxing’s most well-respected broadcasters. He was awarded the Boxing Writers Association of America’s Sam Taub Award in 2009 for career broadcast excellent and in 2006, the Boxing Writers Association honored him with its Marvin Kohn Good Guy Award. Lederman was also inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2016.
Among the many world title fights that he has officiated, Lederman has judge bouts involving the likes of Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield, Larry Holmes, Michael Spinks, Ken Norton, Emile Griffith, Donald Curry and more.
Peter Nelson, the executive vice president of HBO Sports, released a statement lamenting the loss of one of the network's most iconic broadcasters.
“Harold Lederman had a lifelong love affair with the sport of boxing.Over the past 50 years he was universally respected and celebrated by the many people who make the sport what it is. Harold was happiest when seated ringside, studying the action and scoring the fight. When he joined HBO Sports in 1986 he added a new and critical component to live boxing coverage. Viewers embraced his unique style and his command of the rules while his broadcast colleagues relished his enthusiasm and boundless energy. He was an historian and walking rulebook. He always had time for you whether you were a heavyweight champion or just a spectator looking to say hello. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Eileen and daughters Julie and Iris. There isn’t a person in the sport who won’t miss our Harold Lederman.”
Lederman retired as an official judge in 1999 and his daughter Judie still works as a judge today.