The official word from HBO: Larry Merchant will end his unprecedented 35-year run as a ringside boxing commentator for HBO Sports with the season finale of World Championship Boxing® this Saturday night (9:30 p.m. ET/PT) from Houston. Following the telecast, Merchant will be moving into another phase of his wide-ranging career.
"Starting in January, I will become a Tom Brokaw-like senior kibbitzer on major news and events in boxing," Merchant said, adding,"I was extraordinarily lucky to land with HBO when it was just a startup. I'm proud to be associated with so many talented people who made us into a groundbreaking network. I'm looking forward now to my new role and to new adventures in television, writing and the expanding media universe."
Ken Hershman, President, HBO Sports, said, "It is extraordinary to reflect on all that Larry Merchant accomplished at HBO Sports during the past 35 years. We've been honored to have him as a colleague and he'll always be a member of the HBO family."
Merchant worked side by side with Jim Lampley since 1988. Max Kellerman, who joined HBO Sports in 2005 and has alternated with Merchant the past few years, will now be the full-time HBO ringside boxing commentator and post-fight interviewer.
Merchant had one of the best seats in the house for three-plus decades , sharing his insights and observations on Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Pernell Whitaker, Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, Arturo Gatti, Roy Jones Jr., Lennox Lewis, Oscar de la Hoya, Shane Mosley, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and others as they built their careers on HBO.
Merchant also was part of the original correspondent teams for HBO's Real Sports and Wimbledon coverage. He wrote the Emmy®-winning documentary series "Legendary Nights" that aired in 2003.
Before HBO, Merchant was a reporter-commentator-producer with NBC Sports and the host of an award-winning panel show on USA Network. Previously he was a sports editor-columnist with the Philadelphia Daily News and a columnist for the New York Post.
The Boxing Writers Association of America honored Merchant for excellence in broadcast journalism in 1985 and with the A.J. Liebling Writing Award in 2009. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2009 as well.
Larry was born and raised in New York City and graduated from Oklahoma University.