Looking past Merchant's fumbled, painfully slow way of speaking, and his horrifying cackle that is almost always the product of his own nonsensical jokes, I wonder, just what does this man offer to viewers? HBO's Pope Innocent, eyes glazed over, has launched crusades to needlessly sully reputations and generally bemoan the state of boxing, forming peculiar and obsessive grudges against certain fighters and fights on a whim. This isn't real or constructive analysis, and it surely isn't for the viewer or boxing. It's for the amusement of Larry Merchant, the cackling ghoul who is a scourge to entertainment.
After witnessing the bombastic glamor booming from Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye's entrances, boxing fans in the United States were subjected to twelve rounds of incessant pissing and moaning by HBO's terribly stale announce crew. The air was tainted even before the bell as Larry Merchant and Jim Lampley continually mocked the German production and the passion of the rollicking crowd. Look, we've all chastised Larry and Jim for putting down past cards, fights, crowds and venues that they are paid to talk about, and I do appreciate some honesty in the broadcast booth. However, I do not tune into HBO to listen to a bitter, seemingly senile and likely sloshed harpy haunt the telecast like some vengeful lobotomized spirit. Larry Merchant embarrassed himself and HBO today.
Also, Jim Lampley shouldn't be let off the hook after tonight. Once Roy Jones Jr. gave up on offering resistance to Larry's bemoaning in the middle rounds, Lampley began to encourage his partner and follow the same, tired narrative. "You're in rare form tonight," Lampley said at one point to Larry with a smug laugh. No Jim, it was the same old trash from Larry and yourself, and I'm tired of it.